By Mike Pomranz
Gulfport’s Chandeluer Island Brewing Co. used a large king cake for each keg of beer.
Mardi Gras might be New Orleans’ time to shine, but not that far up the coast in Gulfport, Mississippi, a local brewery and bakery have teamed up to create their own liquid Fat Tuesday celebration: a king cake beer.
Though much like everything else in the beer world, king cake beers have been made before, Chandeluer Island Brewing Company’s take on the style—which it is calling simply King Cake Beer (or Ale, it doesn’t even have an official name really)—has to be one of the king cake-iest. The brewery started with a slightly tweaked version of its cream ale as a base beer before letting actual king cakes, provided by the nearby bakery Le Bakery, soak in the tanks after it’s been brewed, allowing the liquid fill with those sugary king cake flavors. The results “taste like king cake,” according to Chandeluer Island brewmaster and Advanced Cicerone Dave Reese.
As far as his inspiration, Reese explained that after the success of an Oreo stout earlier this year, he came up with the idea of doing a king cake beer as a joke. “People just started freaking out about it,” he says.
According to the brewery’s Facebook page, the beer went through multiple king cake additions. On Tuesday, they posted that they “just did the second round of dry caking on our double dry caked King Cake Ale!”—a play on words of the popular technique of “double dry hopping” beers. And even today, Chandeluer Island posted, “Drew said the last batch of King Cake wasn’t ‘King Cakey’ enough so we picked up another cake from Le Bakery and we’re adding it to the tank.”
In all, Reese said that they have six kegs of the beer, and each keg required one large cake to make. As a result, he’s guessing that they used about 1.5 pounds of cake for every gallon of beer. And to make sure its extra creamy, the brewery will be serving it on nitro. Hopeful, the trinket can fit through that nozzle!
The beer will only be available for a limited time, starting today, in the brewery’s taproom. Reese says with all the attention the brew’s gotten, he doesn’t expect it to be around long.
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