Fearful Symmetries

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27 June, 2016

Meanwhile in Peshtigo: Cherry Radler by Forgotten Fire Brewing Company



My initial encounter with Forgotten Fire was not particularly thrilling. But, like many Americans, I like to root for the underdog. I want this company up in Peshtigo (although the beer is brewed in Stevens Point) to succeed. And so I was eager to give the brewery a second chance and did so recently when I saw their Cherry Radler for sale. It's summer and I'm in media res of a multi-radler expose à la Woodward and Bernstein so the timing was perfect.

To reiterate something I wrote earlier, Stiegl Grapefruit Radler is, to my taste, the apotheosis of the radler. It is a 60-40 mix of grapefruit soda and Stiegl-Goldbräu, a helles lager, and it is fizzy, moderately sweet, and a bit tart. The beer alone is 4.9% A.B.V. while the radler is 2%. So when I saw that Cherry Radler was 4.8% and described on the label as being "beer with natural flavors added", I did not get my hopes up. A radler is, for me, a mixed drink – a cocktail, if you will. Just as one does not distill a martini, one does not brew a radler. Beer meet soda.

If you're not mixing soda and beer at a rate of 50/50 or thereabouts, it's not a radler to me. Sure, you can, say, take a beer and add a splash or two of soda for a refreshing treat. Just don't try to pawn that off as a radler. If you add extract to your beer, it's not a radler. If you age your beer in the barrel that your fruit-flavored extract came in, it's not a radler. Soda meet beer.

Cherry Radler pours a light gold hue that is quite clear. My glass ended up with a pillowy white head of about half a centimeter that last 30 seconds or so. There were lots of bubbles inside my glass apart from the ones clinging to the side. I am going to try a different brand of dishwasher rinse aid hoolie to see if I can get a glass without stuff on the side to attract bubbles. Even if your radler is really an extract-laden beer, it still deserves to at least look pretty as I denounce it as an impostor.

The aroma here was mostly cherry candy. Cherry candy that is bereft of anything resembling a cherry, that is. It reminded me of cherry Twizzlers but less sweet. I also caught just a hint of grain in the smell too.

I must admit to not being surprised that this stuff tasted like a combination of cherry candy and cherry cough syrup. It was fairly sweet but not cloyingly so.

The more medicinal cherry flavor persisted on the finish. There were a few specks of scattered Schaumhaftvermoegen.

If this brew didn't taste like cough syrup, it wouldn't be half bad. It was light and fizzy so it's not without any merit.

According to Robin Shepard of Isthmus, Forgotten Fire is going to be tweaking their recipes in the near future. If and when I receive confirmation of this I will try their brews again. Until then I'm off of Forgotten Fire because the Cherry Radler I drank was just bad. Remember the Sacred Radler Credo: Mix the beer with the soda. How would Buffalo Bill put it? It puts the soda into the beer.

Junk food pairing: Pair Cherry Radler with Jays Hot Stuff potato chips. The faux stone fruit goes well with the earthy, paprika flavor of the chips.

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|| Palmer, 5:42 AM

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