It’s time I stopped being surprised by how delicious the seasonal varieties of Rachel’s Ginger Beer can be. I’ve reviewed several on the site so far, and they’re all great. I’ve tried nearly all of the standard varieties and will eventually get around to posting reviews…but until this blog starts paying the bills it’ll take me a bit to get there.
Here’s the story. I’m walking through Pike Place Market, as I do, and I poke my head into Rachel’s. I’ve been here about 20 times. I’ve converted at least a dozen people’s to the religion of craft ginger beer. There’s an insatiable burning inside me to try everything that they make in the off-chance that one of their combinations will lead to permanent euphoria. Their newest variety, Spiced Honeycrisp came close. I’d call it a seasonal euphoria (fall) and it only lasted about half an hour.
There’s a honeycrisp orchard in my college town (Bellewood Acres) that I’ve visited at least once a year for the past 10 years. It was originally just an orchard, but over the years it’s grown into much more of a destination with a cafe, distillery, and pumpkin patch. What hasn’t changed is their outstanding honeycrisp apple cider. Honeycrisp apples are my favorite. They’re a little tart, very sweet, but have a full and lingering “apple” flavor. They also have an excellent texture. Bellewood uses approximately 13 pounds of honeycrisp apples per gallon of cider and it tastes like liquid gold.
Rachel’s Ginger Beer came as close as anyone I’ve seen to rival Bellewood’s cider. What I loved about the Spiced Honeycrisp Ginger Beer is that not only do you get that tart and punchy honeycrisp cider flavor, you get the bonus of fiery ginger burn for the final 2/3 of your sip. It’s a thick and cloudy drink but maintains a respectable amount of carbonation (for a while). They also balance the apple and ginger with enough fresh lemon to keep the drink bright and clean. Sometimes I feel like Rachel’s overdoes it with the fresh lemon juice, but that wasn’t the case with this brew.
This is fall in a growler. It’s warming, and comforting, and invigorating. I love it. If you’re concerned about the “spiced” element of the Spiced Honeycrisp, don’t be. The spicing is very mild and filtered. It adds a bit of depth to the apple flavor but it’s definitely in the background. This is a solid 9 out of 10, which is the highest that I’ve rated one of their ginger beers thus far.
Sampled on 10/27/2016 at home with friends. They liked it, too. Purchased for $21 for 64 ounces at their Pike Place Market location. It’s expensive, but incredible (you can buy smaller amounts).