By Chrissy Cooper
This month while we are talking about beer, the most important part of this article is the awesomeness that is GLITTER!
A great friend of mine, who just knew that I would be intrigued by the idea, shared a video with me on Facebook a while back about some beer manufacturers trying something new: edible glitter in their beers. Though the glitter has no taste or flavor itself, the idea of glitter dancing through a cold beer and down my throat got me more than a little excited. After online research, talking to local beer buyers, and even distributors, I was crushed to hear that most of the glitter beers that are being bottle are from the East Coast and they aren’t likely to make their way west. So I tabled the article idea and carried on with my life. Fast forward to about a week ago when my partner and I decided to grab a beer in Downtown Vancouver while running some errands. We stopped in to the award winning Loowit Brewing on Columbia Street, in beautiful downtown Vancouver, WA. While trying a couple samples before deciding which to commit to a pint of, one of the owners mentioned their Liliko beer and I told him I had a couple months previous had a pint or two of that delicious sour and wanted to try something different… and he with a shit eating grin said, “I bet you haven’t tried it with glitter then.” I swear my jaw dropped… this is what I had been looking for! Luckily, I never go anywhere without a growler in my trunk for just such an opportunity.
Loowit’s Lilikoi Passion Fruit Berliner Weisse Sour – Berliner Weisse is tart, but not really sour, with notes of passion fruit to add the perfect sweetness. Lilikoi, which is Hawaiian for passionfruit, is pronounced like the flower… lily, and the fish… koi. For this last batch their head brewer, Matt Freeland, added glitter… not just a little glitter, he added enough glitter to drown a unicorn.
*Disclaimer: PDXScene Magazine does not endorse the drowning of unicorns… it is just that much glitter!
Though the glitter doesn’t change the flavor of the beer at all, it very much changes how it looks. There is no way that anyone who is being honest with themselves could say that this beer is anything but beautiful. The slight carbonation keeps the glitter, which really looks more like a shimmer than pieces of glitter, moving like waves throughout the beer as you drink it. It is mesmerizing, kind of like that lava lamp you had as a kid, but you get to drink it and it tastes as good as it looks.
Along with the Lilikoi, Loowit also added some shine to the last batch of their award winning Vandalia Summer Ale Fruit Beer. The Vandalia is a light, refreshing summer beer with a hint of raspberry added to the mix; it has received statewide recognition for excellence and was awarded a gold medal for the fruit beer category at the 2013 Washington Beer Awards. So they decided to add some glitter… because well… why not. The Vandalia gets a lot of color from the 42 pounds of raspberry they use to make it; the glitter makes it look like such a lovely mythical pink that it would even make that high-end coffee brand with their fancy blended drinks jealous.
I know that there will be those that poo-poo the idea of glitter in beer. They will say things like, “Ugh, glitter doesn’t belong in beer” and “It looks like someone blended a unicorn in that glass”.
*Disclaimer: PDXScene Magazine does not endorse the blending of unicorns… not even to make pretty beer.
Beer has always been a “rugged and manly drink,” but there are lots of girly girls and guys that have no problem being in touch with their “pretty” side that like beer too. This glitter beer speaks to my soul, it is fun and whimsical and best of all… it’s beer!
So pinkies up and good luck finding the elusive… glitter beer, for wherever it may be, it surely will not last long!