You’ve got to give Tampa’s Hidden Springs Ale Works credit for really putting it out there. Seemingly no flavor combination is off the table, whether it’s sneaking beets into a passion fruit-lime berliner (Bearski) or assembling an impressively odd pairing of ingredients such as maple syrup, chipotle pepper and cranberry (Freaky Deaky Dutch).
The latest: a “superfood berliner” called New Beer, New You, featuring ingredients that you might find in a smoothie, like pomegranate, açai berries and … kale?
Like the average New Year’s resolution, the health benefits of this beer are probably short-lasting and mostly symbolic — not that Hidden Springs makes any claims to the contrary — but the beer is still a must-try for the adventure factor alone.
And yes, you’ll need to be a little adventurous. The beer sports a pretty unusual appearance — is “off red” a color? — and its nose is challenging, for lack of a better term. Have you ever opened a bag of chopped kale from the grocery store? Throw in some exotic fruit and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what to expect.
It actually comes together quite well.
The beer will certainly be polarizing, but it’s intriguing at worst and uniquely tasty, depending on your palate. The combination of a lightly tart wheat-beer base and juicy pomegranate and açai are an easy fit; the earthy, pungent kale adds a savory, grasslike element to the mix that will offend some and delight others.
There’s only one way to find out which category you belong in: try it on tap or in four-pack cans, available at Hidden Springs’ tasting room at 1631 N Franklin St. in Tampa. No word yet on whether or not a collard greens, black-eyed peas and cornbread berliner is in the works. 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]