Rhinegeist Brewery, a Cincinnati-based beer, which is actually located a couple miles north of where I previously worked at The Cincinnati Enquirer, came up with this concoction of a beer.
Perhaps their most well-known beer, at least locally, as I’m not sure what their reach is beyond Cincinnati, and which is available year-round, is the Truth IPA. Truth IPA is a solid, tropical beer clocking in at 7.2 percent ABV. It does not take too many of those to get me feeling something at that kinda hop. What’s interesting, and something I didn’t know until seconds ago as I’m writing this, is that Truth is a blend of tropical fruit, such as grapefruit and mango. Now, you know I’m down with the mango, as I previously wrote about the best beer I’ve ever had, Mango Cart, but I’ve always thought I wasn’t a grapefruit-in-beer kinda guy.
Turns out, I am! At least when it comes to Rhinegeist’s Truth IPA. They must not use a lot of grapefruit because I’ve never noticed a hint of it, to be honest. Or maybe I have and I actually like grapefruit unbeknownst to my taste buds.
Anyhow, I was browsing Target a few days before Christmas 2021 and the Rhinegeist label caught my eye, followed quickly by, “Crumb Cake,” and finally, followed by “beer with coffee.” Welp, sold! Say no more. Let’s go!
For one, as you know, if you follow along with this blog, I’m always game to try gimmick food and drinks, whether that’s Jolly Rancher cereal or something else ridiculous, including a crumb cake beer. I can’t remember the last time I had a crumb cake, but my memory tells me I love it because … it’s a crumb cake!
Rhinegeist touts this beer as a “no-bake no-brainer.”
What’s neat about it is that it’s part of Rhinegeist’s Brewers Series, where individual brewers were able to craft their own specialty one-off beer. But this one became a crowd favorite apparently, so they brought it back instead of merely being a one-off.
In addition to coffee, the beer has lactose and vanilla extra. Honestly, I have no idea what it means to have lactose. (Okay, I just looked it up and it’s a milk sugar; boom.) But like I said, it’s been too long since I’ve had a crumb cake to know if this beer tasted like a crumb cake, but I will say, it was more of a spicy beer (like cinnamon spicy) that hit the spot.
I like drinking beer because it tastes good and has an interesting flavor profile. I’m not drinking alcohol anymore like I did in my 20s with the sole purpose of getting drunk like a moron. I drink to enjoy the variety in my mouth and Crumb Cake offers something quite different, to be sure.
At 7 percent ABV, it’s also a beer that packs a potent punch. But unlike Truth, Crumb Cake didn’t come across “heavy” to me. It didn’t sit heavy in my stomach like an IPA would.
Also, I’ve just become a coffee-in-beer kinda guy. It’s a nice melding of tastes. I mean, coffee is already bitter, so it would be a natural ally of beer, which is also bitter, right?
One of my favorite combinations is actually an oatmeal stout with coffee. Of course, I suck at remembering names, so I can’t recall the beer name unless I reviewed it and I didn’t, ergo!
If you’re a beer-drinker looking to try something a bit different and that strays from the usual IPA or stout path, then you can’t go wrong with trying out Rhinegeist’s Crumb Cake. Of course, since it’s seasonable, you’ll have to hurry to get it before February ends or you’ll have to wait until Thanksgiving.