Are Jackalopes real? Do hybrid bear-rabbit-human beasts roam in the forest? Is that a yeti on your beer can? No, definitely no, probably yes.Jackalope brewing company, based in Nashville, TN, has a thing for brewing intriguingly hopped beers and naming them after fantastical creatures. The next time you stop by Liquor Barn, ask one of our friendly associates if we have any Jackalope brews in stock (and if not, maybe plan your next vacation to Nashville so you can pay pay this mythical brewery a visit).
The story behind Jackalope will put a smile on your face: two friends, Bailey and Robyn, met in 2002 while studying at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. The two went off into the world and pursued careers in other fields, but both yearned to start a brewery making fresh, hoppy, and creative beer. In 2010, they took the plunge and started Jackalope, with the motto “Believe in yourself” as a rallying cry. They believed in themselves, and they believed in great beer. Today, Jackalope produces four beers year-round, plus one beer depending on the season. Unlike some breweries which go wide and have a dozen or more batches out at any one time, what sets Jackalope apart is they go deep instead.
Thunder Ann American Pale Ale
This juicy, almost-tropical APA is a can’t-lose choice no matter what time of year it is. Citrusy hops bring out pineapple, apricot, and mango notes. A combination of honey and biscuit malts lends this brew a golden to amber look, with just a little sweetness dancing on the tongue. This friendly yet bold American Pale Ale is a sessionable 5.5% ABV with 37 IBUs -- just the right balance to go the distance with friends, but seasoned enough to stand alone with a fine dinner.
Rompo Red Rye Ale
An homage to the Scotch-Irish roots that bedded down in Tennessee, this red ale is a little bit British thanks to earthy, toasty malts. But it’s also got a classic Nashville twist, thanks to the addition of flaked rye in the mash -- in the state of Jack Daniel’s, rye is always king. With fruity and caramel notes and a distinctively spicy finish courtesy of the rye, this red ale is perfect with a hearty stew or over a barbecue with friends.
Bearwalker Maple Brown Ale
This brown ale was inspired in part by the Vermont roots of one of the brewery’s co-founders. This beer makes for a decadent drink: infused with maple syrup, with chocolate malts adding a roasted and slightly bitter flavor to the beverage. Rather than being as sweet as a Newcastle, the addition of hops gives this brew a slightly bitter taste that balances it out nicely.
Fennario India Pale Ale
Fennario IPA is a classic combination Simcoe and Amarillo hops, with an above-average ABV of 7.2% and 74 IBUs. It packs a floral and tangy punch to the nose, but goes down easy thanks to those juicy tangerine hops.
Casper the Gose
Gose doesn’t always get the attention it deserves, which is why this summer seasonal from Jackalope is enjoyable. As a summer beer, the half wheat/half pilsner variation goes well. But instead of lapsing off into one dimension, spices including coriander and lemon peel add another side to this German classic.