If you’re looking for a way to celebrate National IPA Day today, I may just have what you seek. Two Southern beverage companies are celebrating National IPA Day with a libation that combines Coppertail Brewing Company’s Free Dive IPA, and Coopers’ Craft Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Now I’m not typically one to mix my craft beer with anything but more craft beer so when Punch Media came a callin’ with the ingredient list to the ‘Rusty Pale’, I was a little skeptical. Unlike a lot of my compatriots, I haven’t yet delved into the world of bourbon. To help open that door Punch Media sent a care package containing a bottle of Coopers’ Craft, a glass, and a bottle of Free Dive.
After figuring out exactly what a ‘part’ and a ‘dash’ signify on the ingredient list (thank you Google), I was ready to make my first craft beer cocktail. I’m sure you can do this in whatever order you choose, but this seemed to be the correct way for me to proceed. A dash (works out to be about a fifth of a teaspoon) of Hell Fire Habanero Shrub or any vinegar based hot sauce. I used Boyd Barrels Ed Humptress Hot Sauce, which includes 3 Floyd’s Brewing’s Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout on the ingredient list. Not only that, but the hot sauce itself is aged for three months in bourbon barrels. Talk about a match made in craft beer heaven! Next up was a quarter part of lemon juice and a quarter ounce of Demerara Syrup (half a tablespoon of Simple Syrup). Now for the really important ingredients. Two parts Coopers’ Craft Bourbon and five parts Free Dive IPA. In this case, based on the glass used, one part equaled one-quarter of a cup. After everything else was added, there was enough room for the entire IPA. To finish off your craft beer cocktail garnish with a lemon wedge.
- 5 parts Coppertail Brewing Company’s Free Dive IPA
- 2 parts Coopers’ Craft Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
- ¼ part Lemon Juice
- ¼ oz. Demerara Syrup (I used Simple Syrup)
- Dash of Hell Fire Habanero Shrub or a Vinegar Based Hot Sauce
- Garnish with a Lemon Wedge
The aroma of this new concoction reminds me of a Lemon Drop candy. Sweet, almost-candy, lemon is first with a bit of spice from either the hot sauce or the bourbon and just a bit of the bourbon itself comes through. My first taste was a complete surprise. I was afraid the bourbon would overpower the beer, but that just wasn’t the case. The fresh lemon juice enhanced the citrus notes from the IPA. The bit of hot sauce added to the spicy bite from the bourbon. This is a really well-crafted drink that I compare to a bourbon barrel aged IPA. I’m happy to say I have the ingredients to make myself quite a few more of these bad boys in the near future.
In closing, any craft beer aficionado is sure to love the Rusty Pale. The complexity of this well-crafted cocktail is something to appreciate. I’m genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed my first craft beer cocktail. Give it a taste and let me know what you think.
Happy National IPA Day!
About Coopers’ Craft Bourbon
Coopers’ Craft is a celebration of Brown-Forman’s more than 70 years of expertise raising its own barrels at Brown-Forman Cooperage. Drawing inspiration from the craft of raising barrels and the importance of wood in bourbon-making, Coopers’ Craft uses a unique charcoal finishing process. Coopers’ Craft is a product of Brown-Forman Corporation, a premier producer, and marketer of fine quality beverage alcohol brands, including Jack Daniels, Woodford Reserve, Tequila Herradura, Korbel, Finlandia, Chambord and Sonoma-Cutrer. Coopers’ Craft comes in at 41.1% abv and is currently available in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee.
About Coppertail Brewing Co.
Coppertail Brewing Co. is an independently owned production brewery and tasting room in the Ybor neighborhood of Tampa, FL. It was founded on the desire to bring more quality, Florida-brewed beer to the thirsty masses. They craft flavorful beer for the Florida lifestyle. Coppertail Brewing Co. believes in time-honored, old-world production techniques. They use natural carbonation, whole leaf hops, and don’t filter the beer. It takes longer to make beer this way, but sometimes amazing things come to those who wait. Florida inspired. Florida brewed.