The beer-cocktail hybrid even packs a 10-percent ABV punch.

Moscow Mule Ale
Credit: Courtesy of Ballast Point

Serious beer and wine hybrids like Dogfish Head’s Mixed Media and Two Road’s Sauvignon Blanc Gose have been a hot trend for craft brewers as of late. But today the Constellation Brands-owned, California-based Ballast Point Brewing Company announced plans to take another kind of boozy hybrid nationwide: cocktail-inspired Moscow Mule Ale.

Beers inspired by the vodka, ginger beer and lime mixed drink known as a Moscow Mule, traditionally served in a copper mug as well, are nothing new. A quick search on Untappd brings up dozens of them. But Ballast Point appears to be the biggest brewer in this realm, and its take was already one of the best-known versions on the market before it even hit national distribution. “The brewers at our Little Italy R&D brewery developed the Moscow Mule Ale after testing out a number of other cocktail-inspired brews like the Old Fashioned and Irish Coffee,” Aaron Justus, Director of R&D/Specialty Brewing, said in a statement. “The Moscow Mule Ale was a runaway favorite among the team and our tasting room customers, making it an easy decision to share it with the rest of the country.”

The brew gets its distinct Moscow Mule notes by starting with a base beer that is kettle-soured to give it a tart, tangy edge. From there, the brewery adds loads of lime zest and ginger to hammer home the flavor. Also, Ballast Point really ramped up the alcohol level: 10 percent ABV. That’s not necessarily cocktail levels, but it’s twice as strong a Budweiser. “The flavor profile of this beer is really unique. It tastes just like a cocktail, but it’s in fact beer,” said James Murray, vice president of brewing at Ballast Point. “Our brewing team hit it out of the park with this one.”

Of course, with these sorts of hybrid drinks, the question always arises of who are they intended for? “We’re really excited about this innovative new brew because we think it will appeal to cocktail lovers and adventurous craft drinkers alike,” Murray told us via email. “Those who love Moscow Mules will enjoy it, but it’s also a kettle soured beer with a balanced, slightly tart flavor profile that craft beer nerds will appreciate.”

Ballast Point Moscow Mule Ale is available now both on draft and in 12-ounce bottles, but it’s only slated to be a spring/summer release, so don’t expect fresh bottles to be hitting store shelves after July.