While the content of the can and bottle is most important, often it’s the label or the name of a beer that first catches a beer drinkers’ attention. Sometimes, the names are whimsical, sparking the curiosity of potential drinkers. Others take the guessing game out of it with more straightforward names. Between those two extremes lies a beer from the Land of 10,000 Lakes: Rochester, Minnesota’s Forager Brewing’s Dollar Menu Pie.
One look at the name and you immediately think of the reward you might give yourself for ordering diet soda instead of regular with your double cheeseburger and large fries. You might think, “Well, it says pie, so this must be another pastry-inspired, heavily fruited sour.” But a quick read of the label reveals that assumption to be wrong. Dollar Menu Pie is a rye saison that’s fermented with saison yeast and Brettanomyces in red wine oak casks before resting on second-use Minnesota-grown Meteor, North Star, and Montmorency cherries for 200 days. Something tells me this might not be dessert.
First pour out of the 750-ml bottle is a hazy, pale amber-orange. The Brettanomyces’ trademark earthy, barnyard funk hits the nostrils, followed by some citrus and stone fruit. But as it warms, the spicy rye gives off some pie-crust-like notes, which, paired with the cherries, creates the fruit pie aroma. Earthy, tart citrus flavors fill the first sip. There’s a bit of a stone fruit on the back end, like when you take that last bite of a peach that's just a little too close to the pit. There’s a light hint of cherry before a crisp finish.
Unlike its namesake, Dollar Menu Pie is ideal for sharing, thanks to its large bottle. It’s a light and refreshingly tart beer nuanced with enough funk and fruit to keep you intrigued but never overwhelmed.