From the Beer Writer: Tiki drinks are experiencing a fun renaissance. Fruity, rummy, umbrella-accompanied tipples and island-themed dens in which to procure them are popping up like palm trees all over San Diego. Trends from other factions of the adult-beverage scene tend to find their way into the beer industry, and this one is no different. Island-style cocktail stylings can be found in Tiki Life For Me, a fruited kettle-sour from the famously experimental Rancho Bernardo brewpub Abnormal Beer Co. The base wheat ale is infused with a luau spread of ingredients—pineapple, guava, coconut, almonds—all of which coalesce remarkably well to create a flavor akin to a punchy rum drink. No one item stands out. Instead, they complement each other beautifully and make for something that, if sipped on a beach, or even a backyard (preferably from a hollowed-out coconut or pineapple), it could create the illusion of island lounging.
From the Brewer: “We drew up inspiration for this beer through the delicious, super fruit-forward cocktails you would find on an island or beach resort somewhere. The idea was to imitate iconic island cocktails like the Piña Colada, Zombie or Painkiller. So naturally, market research had to be done and, needless to say, we drank a lot of rum cocktails. Through this, we realized the base to most of these drinks is coconut and pineapple. Then, through talking with our tour guide-like bartenders, we realized some of the better places used almond or macadamia nut liqueurs and flavorings to round out the drinks. Finally, we thought we had a good idea of where to go with this, so we took a blank canvas type of beer, in this case an American wheat ale, and sent it through a hop-back full of coconut. Once fermentation was done, we used the hop-back again to recirculate the beer over more coconut, almonds, pineapple, pink guava and a splash of blood orange. The result is a thirst-quenching, fruity and balanced beer that is perfect for summer and won’t leave you hung over like the true cocktail version! It’s available now on-draft and in six-packs of cans with a design that sorta mimics a beautiful sunset.”–Nyle Molina, Head Brewer, Abnormal Beer Co.