Local craft beer of the week: Slushie beers, St. Pete Brewing Co.

When slushie meets suds, it’s nice as ice.
Published April 11

Beer snobs: You can skip this one. For the rest of us, there’s fun to be had this weekend at St. Pete Brewing Co.

A few weeks ago, the brewery had the novel idea of topping fresh draft pours with a frozen beer mix made in a rented slushie machine — the kind you might see pouring frozen daiquiris at a beach bar. The gimmick was so popular that St. Pete Brewing decided to buy its own slushie machine, a centerpiece of its five-year anniversary party on April 13.

For the anniversary, guests will have a pick of two rotating slushie flavors — a fresh batch only takes about 90 minutes to enter the slush zone — to top with draft beer, with flavors including a mango Kölsh, raspberry gose, guava berliner weisse and coffee-coconut stout.

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The brewery has played with a variety of frozen options, including some that you might not expect, like the plum- and cinnamon-infused winter warmer or an imperial stout. Of course, the brewery’s flagship St. Pete Orange Wheat is a natural fit for the format, with crisp citrus notes serving as a perfect backdrop for an alcoholic slushie.

The constant agitation of the slushie machine effectively removes all carbonation from the semi-frozen beer, resulting in a layered glass of draft beer on the bottom and icy slush on top. There’s no watering down, and the beer stays cold under the end of the glass. It’s not unlike the frozen Kirin lager that you may have tried at Epcot at Walt Disney World.

Best of all, flavor combinations are encouraged. Check it out yourself starting at noon April 13 at St. Pete Brewing Co. at 544 First Ave. N. But if you miss it, don’t fret: The slushie machine likely will become a fixture in the tasting room.

— Have a suggestion for the Local Craft Beer of the Week? Brewers, have a limited release coming that we should know about? Email jg@saintbeat.com.