TOAST OF THE TOWN: It’s almost time for Mother’s Day Mother Schmucker’s!
April showers ready the terra for May flowers, or so the saying goes.
Of course, many of you will give those flowers to the matriarch of your family on Mother’s Day. But what if your dear mom is tired of keeping those flowers you get her away from the cat? Flowers, every year? Mom deserves more.
Yes, she loves your handmade cards, but really, are you going to get her another candle?
Let’s break that cycle of subpar gift-giving. Let’s also remember this universal truth: Moms love beer.
Why not get mom a six-pack that she can enjoy during one of those upcoming days at the lake or during a quiet Sunday afternoon?
Show her your good taste with a gift that tastes good. She’ll also be proud of you for (finally) venturing outside of the candle section of Meijer for her Mother’s Day present. Also, a sixer with a bow on top – perfect wrapping!
Don’t know what to look for in the beer aisle?
I’ve got you covered – Mother Schmucker’s.
This delightful blonde ale with the saucy name is brewed with 100 pounds of raspberries added to the fermenter. The result is a pint glass filled with a little bit of heaven just in time for May. It’s tart with a dry finish. Unlike other varieties of fruit-infused beer, the raspberry tang tastes natural and organic. My quibble with Founder’s popular raspberry ale Rubaeus is its syrupy mouthfeel – these Mother Schmucker’s are crisp. The label suggests that it tastes like “mom’s toast and jam.” They’re not wrong – there’s a maltiness there that gives it a pleasant bready character.
At 5% ABV, it’s a nice spring and summer sipper you can both enjoy as you catch up during mom’s big day.
Now, a six-pack of uncomplicated, Beer Flavored Beer is a perfectly fine gift … for Father’s Day.
Think about all the nice things your mom has done for you. Think back on all the wonderful meals and delectable desserts that mom has prepared. And really, she just wants to spend time with you, you don’t get to see each other as much as she would like.
Why not turn your gift into a fun family sip & dish sesh that could easily serve as a dessert course?
As you know by now, explorers, our fun begins by browsing the beer store. Fear not, these days you can find Mother Schmucker’s just about everywhere you look. Grab a six-pack of that and we are halfway there. Now, what are some other tastes that mom might appreciate? Chocolate? Peanut butter? Grab those too.
Now, it’s time to do a little homework. Mixing beer can be as simple as the Bell’s Oberon mimosa (beer + orange juice) or as traditional as an old school Black and Tan (I prefer the Guinness and Bass Ale combo). We live in the age of the remix – the mashup – so why not take an existing hit and put our own personal spin on it? In fact, Grand Armory suggests creating a mix of this raspberry goodness with “Nutter Your Business,” their peanut butter stout. It’s a delicious take on the PB&J.
Grand Armory suggests if you combine those two together you get …
“Nutter Your Business, Mother Schmucker’s.”
HEY! You kiss your mother with that mouth?
Our friends at the food and culture magazine Bon Appétit suggest making some small batches until we get the flavor right. Taking half of one beer and mixing it with half of another beer isn’t the precise mixology mom deserves. Here are a couple of fundamentals:
• If you are using a lighter, fruit ale or lager partner that with a heavier beer like a stout or porter. Don’t use styles or tastes that are going to compete with each other.
• Look for complementary flavors. For instance, that jalapeno spiced larger that has been hanging out in the back in the beer fridge? Introduce it to the mocha, cinnamon number that looks so lonely on the fridge door. Together they might make a fine spicy hot cocoa concoction.
• Be creative. Play mad scientist. If it doesn’t work, down the drain it goes. No fuss, no muss.
Chocolate and raspberry is always a winning combination. Lucky for you and mom, there are many, many delicious chocolate-flavored beers on the market. You should be able to track down two beers that are bigger than the Beatles in England – Young’s Double Chocolate Stout or Samuel Smith Organic Chocolate Stout. I rummaged around in Lemmy the Beer Fridge until I found a last can of Leinenkugel’s outstanding chocolate dunkel. All of these brews share a sweet, almost Hershey’s Kiss chocolate character, so be careful with that pour. I ended up 75% Mother Schmucker, 25% chocolate. Add more chocolate as you go.
Onto the PB&J. Same rules apply. I used Midland Brewing Company’s Fabian Fournier peanut butter porter – my favorite of that style. That big peanut butter taste and stout character go a long way and can overwhelm that lovely, subtle raspberry flavor. Think about a 60-40 split favoring the Mother Schmucker that’s supposed to be the star of the show.
If you want to get really weird, mix the chocolate and peanut beer together and drink with a raspberry ale chaser.
Lastly, Grand Armory suggested the peanut butter-raspberry combination, but I was more intrigued by another one of their offerings, “White Chocolate Blonde.” Sure enough, the white chocolate-flavored ale blended wonderfully with the fruity, bready taste of the raspberry beer. To me, the combination added a creaminess and almost marshmallow sweetness. Try 2/3 of a pint glass or raspberry beer and 1/3 white chocolate. Throw a couple of real raspberries in there for garnish. I highly recommend!
Adding beer to your beer can be a fun diversion as you search for your next great pint. Go online and take a look at the many, many recipes and mashups our fellow mixologists have come up with. That should keep you, and your mom, busy until next time, when we can explore some more … Sköll!
Do you have a craft beer suggestion? Everything I know about beer has come from someone else who has led me on an adventure. If you would like me to review YOUR favorite beer, send your suggestion to email@example.com