There’s beer, and then there are Bloody Marys — normally, these two very different beverages are kept firmly separated by both the time of day and the setting.
Beer is, for the most part, an afternoon or evening drink (unless you’re tailgating, of course), whereas Bloody Marys fall squarely into the camp of cocktails that are socially acceptable to drink before noon. If you live in some parts of the country, maybe you mix up a red beer — a beer cocktail made with tomato juice or V8 and Worcestershire sauce — with Bloody Mary mix when you’re feeling particularly creative, but otherwise, these drinks never seem to cross paths.
Now, though, there’s a new way to enjoy a beer and a tomato-y cocktail, whenever you feel like it: Bloody Mary mix that’s been aged in beer barrels.
Two Colorado companies partnered up to make Powder Keg, which is believed to be the country’s first-ever barrel-aged Bloody Mary mix. The Real Dill, a Denver-based pickle and Bloody Mary mix company, collaborated with Greeley’s WeldWerks Brewing to create this pioneering new beverage.Photo courtesy of The Real Dill
To make the new barrel-aged Bloody Mary mix, The Real Dill poured some of its popular Bloody Mary mix into three empty beer barrels that used to contain WeldWerks’ Medianoche Imperial Stout, a big, strong, boozy dark beer (and before the barrels contained beer, they contained bourbon!). They left the Bloody Mary mix in the vessels for between five and six months, then blended it all together.
The result? A Bloody Mary mix that’s a rich, deep red color with flavorful hints of caramel, vanilla and smoke. The creators of this uniquely delicious concoction say it pairs perfectly with vodka, tequila, mezcal and even bourbon.
And if you’re feeling really sassy, maybe toss in a glug of stout beer for good measure.Photo courtesy of The Real Dill
“This project really started to take shape when we visited the team at WeldWerks and tasted a bunch of things together,” says Tyler DuBois, The Real Dill’s co-founder. “I knew that mixing a shot of stout into a Bloody Mary was not an uncommon practice, so what better stout to mix it with than Medianoche? We immediately liked the combination and tried aging the mix in a freshly emptied barrel. The rest was history.”
After removing the Bloody Mix from the barrels, the brewery repurposed them yet again, this time to make a dilly, barrel-aged rice beer called “Kind of a Weld Dill.” Fittingly, it’s served with a beer pickle.
“There are notes of garlic and dill, salty brine, followed by a slight acidic character coming from the tomatoes,” says Skip Schwartz, the brewery’s innovation and wood cellar manager. “The (beer) that gave its flavor to the Bloody Mary mix has smoothed out this lager and added some sweetness to the final beer. The char from the barrel adds an almost BBQ or Worcestershire sauce component to the final beer.”Photo courtesy of The Real Dill and WeldWerks
The new Powder Keg mix will be available on The Real Dill’s website for a limited time, as well as at WeldWerks’ taproom this week.