Like everyone else in the craft-beer world, Mike Evangelista had seen the recent headlines: "Glitter Beers Are Here to Make (or Ruin) Your Day," from Munchies; "Glitter beer is apparently a thing now and we're not sure how to feel," from Business Insider; "Glitter Beer: The Full Report," from the Beervana Blog; and even "Glitter Beer Sparkles as Spring’s Craft Beer Trend," from CraftBeer.com.
"We do these one-off firkins each week and rotate them through," says Evangelista, quality-control manager for Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora. "I try to pick something a little different each time, so I figured, why not?"
Why not, indeed, Mr. Evangelista? At noon Saturday, April 21, Dry Dock's North Dock taproom, on Tower Road, will crack open a firkin of Blue Raspberry Glitter Sour, which is the brewery's regular Apricot Sour infused with raspberry flavors and loads of edible blue glitter. Make that teal-colored glitter.
As summer approaches, glitter beers are finally having their moment in the sparkly sunshine. From Portland, Oregon, to Durham, South Carolina, and from Toledo, Ohio, to Santa Cruz, California, breweries are tapping beers infused with a variety of edible glitters — and quickly selling out of them. Golden City Brewery in Golden and Grimm Brothers Brewhouse in Loveland recently served up their own sparkly glitter brews, too.
For the brewers who are making them, the beers are fun or funny or simply beautiful. Some carry the undercurrent of a feminist message, but others are poured simply to catch the eyes and souls of beer drinkers.
Not everyone likes glitter beers, though. For a lot of people, they seem to herald the end times. Based on the comments that were left underneath the above stories and others, glitter beers represent a lack of respect for the noble history of brewing beer (and getting drunk), or are too girly, gross or just plain dumb.
Bess Dougherty has heard all of the complaints. The head brewer at the Grateful Gnome in Denver, Dougherty began making glitter beers for friends' birthdays, and then, as a brewer at Wynkoop Brewing, moved on to brewery anniversaries. She brought one to Barrels and Bottles in 2014 and another to Ska Brewing.
"It was a fun way to make a special event even more magical," she says. "It also had a tendency to piss some folks off because I wasn't 'taking beer seriously enough.' But people forget that beer is supposed to be fun. If we aren't having fun, then what are we even doing?"
In other words, don't panic. "Glitter" isn't going to become a recognized style, and it's not going to become a huge new trend. It's not going to kill you, and it's not an affront to all that is good and true about brewing. Furthermore, glitter beer isn't a threat to anyone's manliness. In fact, it could be rationally argued that drinking glitter beer will make a man even more manly. After all, manliness is usually associated with toughness and ruggedness — and what's tougher than easily, comfortably doing something that people might associate with women? What's more rugged than doing what you want and not caring what other people think?
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For her part, Dougherty, who hopes to brew a glitter beer at some point at the Grateful Gnome, thinks its "rad" that Dry Dock and other breweries around the country are now "embracing the sparkle."
Evangelista has definitely embraced it. After researching the trend, he bought some teal-colored edible glitter from Luster Dust. Today, April 20, he will experiment with the proper dosing amount — though he points out that brewery-supply company BSG Craftbrewing has a page with recommendations.
"It's something fun," he says, and while the FDA doesn't recommend drinking enormous quantities of glitter, he promises that "there's nothing toxic about it."
In fact, you might just feel a little more special afterward.