St. Charles brewery creates new line of cocktail-inspired ales to tap into growing spirit market

Riverlands Brewing Co., a small craft brewery that calls St. Charles, Illinois, its home, announces a new line of fruited sour ales that take aim at the growing ready-to-drink and spirits markets, set to release at their taproom on Friday, Dec. 8.

The new series of beers, Cocktail Hour, features highly recognizable flavor combinations most commonly found in popular cocktails, specifically of the tiki or tropical persuasion. Technically fruited sour ales, these beers use real fruit puree and 100% natural ingredients and extracts to recreate a wide array of famous cocktails.

The first entry in the series is Cocktail Hour: Painkiller. After kettle souring and fermentation, real pineapple, orange, and cream of coconut are added to recreate its tropical, rum-based counterpart.

Served at the taproom in a specialty tiki glass, a slice of dehydrated pineapple, and nutmeg garnish, Cocktail Hour: Painkiller will appeal to anyone who normally chooses fruitier, tropical beverages over lagers or IPAs.

"One of the things we've always felt strongly about is that beer can be for everyone," says Eric Bramwell, head brewer and co-founder of the brewery. "Many folks think of beer as just this one thing that they don't like. But there's so much variety out there now. This series expands on that by tying flavors back to cocktails people are already familiar with."

Cocktail Hour: Painkiller will make its debut on the Riverlands tap list and in four packs of 16 ounce cans to-go on Friday, Dec. 8.

Two other versions, Cocktail Hour: Mai Tai and Cocktail Hour: Tiki Whiskey Sour, will be on tap while pours last as well, and Fernando's Street Kitchen will be serving Hawaiian-inspired food from 5pm to 8pm to help celebrate the release.

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