This Beer Wants to Replace the Bourbon in Your Old Fashioned
In fact, Minnesota’s Modist Brewing has plans to do away with your entire liquor cabinet.
The recipe for an Old Fashioned is pretty easy: bourbon, bitters, sugar, and maybe a splash of water garnished with a bit of citrus peel. But a new collaboration beer from Minneapolis’s Modist Brewing, made with the help of nearby craft cocktail specialist Parlour Bar, is streamlining things even further: bitters, orange peel… and beer.
Modist brewed its new 20 percent ABV Boozehound specifically to replace bourbon in Parlour’s popular Old Fashioned. To make that happen, co-founder and head brewer Keigan Knee started with the exact same grain bill that would be used for producing bourbon but then fermented the mash as beer with a high-tolerance yeast strain that could survive alcohol levels pushed well into double-digits. The whole thing was then aged in old Knob Creek barrels provided by Parlour to really hammer in those bourbon notes. Finally, Modist also tossed in a type of Mexican raw sugar known as Piloncillo — the same sugar Parlour uses when mixing the cocktail.
Though beers have been brewed to resemble cocktails before, Knee has coined the word “brewed spirit” to describe his attempts to make a beer meant to so closely mimic harder alcohol. “I’ve been sitting on this idea for a while, and the barrels that Jesse [Held, Bar Consultant of Jester Concepts] had picked out were perfect,” he stated. “Based on the barrels and the pedigree of their cocktails, we decided a bourbon brewed spirit presented as an Old Fashioned was the way to go.”
Speaking of presentation, Boozehound is meant to be served on draft with a splash of bitters and garnished with an orange peel. The hybrid drink will debut at the Modist taproom on Wednesday, May 22, followed by Parlour Bars’ two locations the next day.
Meanwhile, though Boozehound will only be around for a limited time, Knee says he already has plans to make similar beers in the vein of other types of whiskey, rum, and tequila. Heck, soon enough, Parlour might be able to get rid of their entire liquor collection.