From musicians to clothing brands, brewers collaborate with just about anyone these days. Unique among the trend, Atlanta-based brewery Wild Heaven may be the first to team up with a botanical garden to create a special brew. Its aptly named “Garden Beer” is a collaboration between Wild Heaven and the Atlanta Botanical Garden to produce a “beer-coction” that showcases seasonal flavors and ingredients harvested directly from the Garden.
Season One of Garden Beer contained a medley of makrut lime leaves, hibiscus, and lemongrass. Now on Season Two, Wild Heaven’s brewers have chosen scuppernong (a variety of large muscadine grape native to the Southeast), peach, and basil to be the star botanical ingredients in the next iteration of this ongoing series.
Appearance and Aroma
Garden Beer’s can is adorned in a beautiful artwork depicting its showcased flora. Out of the can, the beer pours a dark peach gold with an off-white foam that disappears quickly. Swirling it in my snifter glass, the smell of tart, unripe stone fruit, white grapes, and herbs comes through.
This beer is best suited for two types of drinkers: wine drinkers who may be interested in beer and those with an adventurous palate.”
The flavor of Garden Beer threw me off at first. I wasn’t sure what to expect and what my palate got was definitely unexpected. A notable light biscuity malt flavor is present but hard to pick up over the strong notes of white wine, peaches. and a robust floral, herbal quality. The latter seems to replace the usual hops flavors you’d expect in a beer. It finishes dry and smooth with an aftertaste reminiscent of pinot grigio.
Garden Beer is uniquely flavorful and refreshing, but it’s definitely not a beverage every beer drinker will prefer. This beer is best suited for two types of drinkers: wine drinkers who may be interested in beer (it could be a good crossover beverage) and those with an adventurous palate like me. It’ll be interesting to see what Season Three holds for this distinctive brew.
A previous version of this article incorrectly named Heaven Hill as Garden Beer's brewery in the headline. Garden Beer is brewed by Wild Heaven and we have updated the headline to reflect that. October regrets the error.