For today’s edition of the Afternoon Beer Break, we’re going to talk about a beer with an ingredient that I had not experienced in a beer before – lactose sugar. If you’ve been looking for (or drinking) milk stouts or the various of that ilk (sometimes with a milkshake moniker), odds are you’ve had lactose sugar-enhanced beer. My first go-around with it was with the 18th Street Candi Crushable.
Now, all beer has (or had) sugar in some amount, generally sucrose. That’s what the little yeast machines use to turn into alcohol (aka fermentation). Lactose sugar, on the other hand, is not a sugar that the brewers yeast can consume. So why is it added? Well, it fortifies things in a sense, and does add another flavor dimension. For more on the topic, I found this article over on Oct.co informative.
Now, with extra sugar in the mix – even one with a lower perceived sweetness – you’d think you’d be getting setup for a very sweet beer. At least, that’s what I thought I was going into, especially with all of the dime store candy iconography on the can artwork. Well, be forewarned, what you’re setting your mind up for is not at all what your tastebuds will register. Rather than a sweetness, the first thing I tasted was a strong sourness to the 18th Street Candi Crushable. And it wasn’t just my tastebuds – I had a buddy try a can as well, and he said the same thing.
Interestingly, for all that sourness up front, the 18th Street Candi Crushable does have a very sweet nose to it, and there’s an aftertaste (not even sure how to describe it) that lingers with you. The brewery lists this as a pale ale, but I frankly didn’t detect the bitterness of a pale, the coloration in the glass was definitely more of a deeper amber. Who knows, maybe I’m just all mixed up on this. Part of the fun with beer is trying new stuff, and sometimes you find something that just is not what you wanted. For me, the 18th Street Candi Crushable was ok enough (say, a 2.75 / 5) but not anything I’ll be purchasing in the near future, I don’t believe. Candi Crushable
- Deep gold
- Sweet nose
- Sour taste up front
- After taste lingers
Details from 18th Street Brewing
Made in collaboration with Northdown Cafe & Taproom. This beautiful beer is rounded out with flaked oats and lactose sugar, simcoe, and falconers flight.
Style: Pale Ale with Lactose Sugar Added
Hops: Simcoe, Falconer’s Flight, Warrior
Available as: 16oz Cans, 6 Stills and 1/2 Barrels