If you’ve ever been to Colorado, chances are you enjoyed gorgeous vistas of the Rockies, as well as the ubiquitous work of local suds masters New Belgium Brewing – they of the famously easy-drinking “Fat Tire” amber ale.
Well, the team at New Belgium have released a new brew that forecasts a terrible future, where neither beautiful nature views nor delicious beer will be on the menu. Their “Torched Earth” ale, crafted in honour of Earth Day 2021, was designed to show what beer will likely taste like when brewers are forced to use what ingredients are left after climate change is done with us. And unlike beer itself, this prophecy is sobering.
“Torched Earth Ale pours a cloudy amber and has a troubling aroma right out of the bottle, not unlike a friend’s first batch of homebrew. The brewers used smoky malt, and sure enough, there are overwhelming notes of forest fire and skunk. One whiff conjures up the mental image of a crying Smokey Bear. The smoky flavor is actually more balanced than expected, though it is overpowering and leaves an unpleasantly dry finish. Shelf-stable hop extract was used instead of fresh hops, and the difference is noticeable: there is a thinness and a staleness to the aftertaste that makes your insides feel polluted. Dandelions were also added because, as anyone with a yard knows, dandelions are an indestructible force of evil and could never be eradicated, even on the surface of the sun. They do not add much in flavor, though, and the end result is a beer that tastes like you left your Fat Tire out at a party and your friends used it as an ashtray.”
This apocalyptic beverage is actually available to buy, though the main reason it was made is to “inspire the 70% of Fortune 500 companies who do not have a real climate plan to make one now – before it’s too late”. All sales proceeds will also go to Protect Our Winters an environmental advocacy organization. All good reasons to invest in the 8-can-minimum purchase – I’d be hard-pressed to think of someone who’d buy all that just to drink it. And that, I believe, is the point! Hopefully, we can change our course before Torched Earth is all we have.