It’s an interesting time to be a beer writer. For one, there are almost 6,000 breweries operating in the United States right now, each with their own interesting backstories and goals and philosophies. On the other, there’s a staunch divide between those people who write about and support solely independent beer and those who choose to embrace, however tightly, the entire landscape of beer.
With the weird exception of Goose Island’s Bourbon County series, which seems to exist on a separate plane from the rest of AB-InBev’s craft collective, expressing a taste for anything Budweiser or owned by the parent company is frowned upon. It seems that a person cannot be both a champion for independent beer and someone who, from time to time, enjoys something not-so-independent. In other words, you’re either with us or against us, even if the only “big beer” consumption in your life takes place inside stadiums or at a friend’s backyard barbecue. It’s very Karl Rove-ian.
This extends to websites that cover the beer industry as well. Because of October’s well-documented partner, if I’m to write a positive review of a beer like the one I’m reviewing today, it’s going to be dismissed as propaganda, a glorified press release; But, should I have pitched the same review to a different website, it would likely be declined because their site doesn’t cover “big beer.” It’s damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.
What should matter is how a beer tastes. And that’s what we’re going to talk about here.
A super refreshing, fruity finish.”
Tonya Cornett, a brewer at 10 Barrel’s Bend facility, is one of the more talented brewers in the United States, and central to the brewing community in Central Oregon. While at Bend Brewing, she won heaps of medals, including gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival and the designation of Champion Brewer at the 2008 World Beer Cup. When she transitioned to 10 Barrel, her Cucumber Crush Berlinerweiss, well, crushed the competition at the World Beer Cup in 2014.
I love Cucumber Crush, but it somehow hogs all the attention from its more brightly-colored counterpart, Raspberry Crush. A tad on the big side for the style (it’s 6.5%), it’s served in a can of simplistic design. It pours a beautiful dark pink, almost like a resort-made cocktail.
It’s a bright, acidic beer (the tartness of the raspberries seems to be more of a compliment than the source of that acidity). It’s sour enough to straddle the line of satisfying the sour aficionado, but is also a good introductory course for the beer drinker getting into the style. A super refreshing, fruity finish.
Believe me or not, there is enough proof that good beer is still being produced by beer’s largest producer and the companies they’ve acquired. Choose to drink it, or not, that’s up to the individual, but let’s just let us all drink what we like.