Sunday, July 22, 2018
Bars & Spirits

Local craft beer of the week is a cider: Ananas by Slim Pickens Cider & Mead

Well, it's not a beer, but Slim Pickens' Ananas cider is now on the shelves across Tampa Bay, which means you can find cans of it wherever fine beers (and ciders) are sold.

Ananas — the word for pineapple in just about every language except English — is a cider brewed with pineapple. The cider is named after a Swedish coffee shop owner named Anne Lunell (nickname: Ananas), whom Slim Pickens founder Todd Strauss befriended during an extended stay in Sweden.

Strauss, formerly of Tampa's Cigar City Cider & Mead, started his gypsy brewing operation at Sweden's Brewski, which produced the first batch of Make Momma Proud, Slim Pickens' passionfruit cider. He now produces cider at various locations, including domestic breweries like Pennsylvania's Wynridge Farm, where Ananas is currently produced and packaged.

Although Ananas is brewed out of state, it's currently only available in Florida, where it's quickly becoming a fixture in the local cider market.

The most striking aspect of Ananas is how juicy and authentically sweet it is. To get this much pineapple flavor, it's common to fall back on added flavor and artificial sweeteners. Amazingly, Ananas is produced with nothing but Washington state apples and fresh pineapple, fermented under controlled temperature settings designed to preserve the fruit flavor.

Ananas pours a nearly neon yellow, which again belies its lack of artificial ingredients. Pineapple is both the dominant aroma and flavor, but a crisp apple base shines through, especially in the finish. The base cider is likely plenty tasty on its own, but pineapple adds an intense, flavorful fruit burst that really puts Ananas over the top. Anne must be proud.

Ananas is available in 12-ounce cans in bottle shops throughout Tampa Bay, as well as on draft. Hops and Props and Hawthorne Bottle Shoppe in St. Petersburg both feature Slim Pickens ciders, and Todd Strauss himself can regularly be found hanging out in the latter.

— Justin Grant

Have a suggestion for the Local Craft Beer of the Week? Brewers, have a limited release coming that we should know about? Email [email protected]; @WordsWithJG.

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