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Cucumber: The next big thing?

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The first time I ever heard of a cucumber beer was early last year, when I got word that Cigar City planned to release a saison brewed with the green gourd. I was curious, to say the least. They sent us a bottle, we tasted it and later that year declared it one of the top 25 beers of 2012. It was pretty amazing. Here’s what I had to say about it at the time:

“Just like the cucumber-spiked water you’d find in a spa lobby, this brew is invigorating, smudging subtle hints of veggie freshness onto a canvas of sharp pepper, brilliant lemon and juicy orange. It’s the perfect vacation beer, whether you’re on a tropical island or in your own backyard.”

The beer itself was actually an underdog from the beginning. Cigar City founder Joey Redner explained to us that the idea came from the brewery’s vice president, who was inspired by a cucumber gimlet. He wasn’t too thrilled about the concept, but brewed a small batch anyway. People went crazy, so they brewed more.

I figured that the use of cucumber, although genius, wouldn’t really catch on. I’ve been wrong before and I could be wrong again. In the last few weeks, I’ve heard about two more cucumber beers.

Magic Hat currently has a beer out called HiCu, which is brewed with hibiscus and cucumbers and Twisted Pine just released its Cucumber Cream Ale last week.

How many examples does it take before you can declare a new trend? I’ll say this: Keep an eye on cucumbers.

Have you seen any cucumber beers pouring near you?

 

Author
Chris Staten is DRAFT’s beer editor. Follow him on Twitter at @DRAFTbeereditor and email him at chris.staten@draftmag.com.

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4 Comments

  • AM says:

    I brewed one of these up myself. It’s ok but next time I will put a little more malt behind it. Cucumber has a strong flavor profile to it.

  • Alex Placito says:

    Brewed a cucumber witbier last summer, and it took a gold medal a couple of months ago at the Amber Waves of Grain Western New York homebrew competition (over 500 entries) in the HSV category.

  • DMM says:

    I tried the Magic Hat HiCu this weekend, from a bottle in a sampler. It had a great cucumber scent immediately,but I was a bit underwhelmed by the taste.

  • Veggie Ed says:

    The only reason why I looked this up is because:
    1. My cucumbers are growing so fast that I cant possibly pickle them all.
    2. I like beer
    3. I have a strange imagination.
    All that being said I was kind of happy to see that someone has attempted this before me. I also like the idea of the peppercorn hint to the flavor. I haven’t sampled any of the a fore mentioned brews but I think I have an idea as to how to accomplish it.
    Wish me luck in Indiana cucumber heaven.

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