Oh that’s right, you’ve heard it here first; all the cool kids will be drinking Rosé beer, so better get educated.
What exactly is rosé beer? Simply put, they are beers that brewers are tweaking to bring out the crisp and tart qualities that you would typically find in a rosé wine. Something that is refreshing and easy to drink but still has some subtle flavours that reflect spring and summer.
BC’s Steel and Oak brewing has already hopped on the trend with a special release, the Blush Rosé Saison. Blush was brewed with pilsner, spelt, flaked wheat, and acidulated malt and fermented with Saison yeast. It then sat on Merlot and Cab Franc grape skins from their neighbours at Pacific Breeze Winery and can conditioned for 6 weeks to give it a Rosé-like quality.
Steel and Oak aren’t the only ones, and certainly not the first. One method to achieve a rosé like quality without actually labelling the beer a “Rosé” is to use hibiscus flower in the brewing. The end result is a bold rouge colour with a tart palate; a great example of this again comes from BC with Brassneck Brewing’s Hibiscus Wit.
Brewery Ommegang, one of New York’s most an esteemed Belgian-influenced operation also recently released Saison Rosé, a 7.7 percent ABV farmhouse ale.
Granted all of these beers are either seasonal or limited releases, but it showcases the early trend, one that is expected to grow over the next several years.
Can it be viewed as a marketing fad? Sure. But there’s no denying the popularity of the style, and these aren’t lacking in flavour. Honestly, if this is the next gimmick, then I’m all for it. It’s better than “Fruit loops beer” or flooding the market with poorly made Hazy IPAs.
I say bring on the Rosé!