You've probably heard of Bud Light Lime. And Miller Chill. Now get ready for Dry Dock Cool -- a tongue-in-cheek takeoff on mass-produced lime-infused beers.
Aurora's Dry Dock Brewing is making the beer -- a 5.2 percent ABV Mexican-style lager -- specially for Old Chicago's 25 Colorado locations as part of the restaurant chain's periodic effort to reintegrate itself into the minds of the state's craft-minded drinkers.
Cool was brewed with three kinds of lime products, says Dry Dock co-owner Kevin DeLange: Kaffir lime leaves, regular fresh lime juice and "some sort of dehydrated limes that we bought in an Asian market and had to crack with a hammer."
A test batch turned out really nice, "super light and bright," DeLange says, but the brewery decided then to double the amount of limes. Cool will go on tap on Wednesday, April 9 as part of Old Chicago's five-week Cinco de Mayo MiniTour and wrap up on May 5.
"I mentioned to Kevin that we needed a fun craft option to spice up our beer offering for Cinco and he took the challenge to his brewing team," says Daniel Imdieke, beer director for Old Chicago. "Like their GABF Gold Medal-winning Apricot Blonde it is an awesome, more complex fruit beer that still tastes like beer."
Old Chicago began working with local breweries in the summer of 2010, asking them to cook up new beers that could be featured for a limited time -- typically over the course of a five-week MiniTour -- at all of its Colorado locations. The strategy was designed to help Old Chicago attract the burgeoning craft-beer drinking market.
Over the next few years, the homegrown company, which was purchased in 2011 by Tennessee-based Craftworks Restaurants, has worked with about two dozen Colorado breweries, many of which have turned their Old Chicago offering into regular beers.
For instance, Oskar Blues's Deviant Dale's Pale Ale got its start at Old Chicago, as did Odell Myrcenary, Boulder Beer Shake Chocolate Porter, Tommyknocker IPA Nouveau and Budha's Hand, a beer that Breckenridge Brewery will add to its lineup this year.
DeLange doesn't think Dry Dock Cool will end up in cans or bottles any time soon, but that doesn't mean the brewery didn't have fun making it. "It's a little jab at Miller Chill, I suppose," he says. "But I don't think we'll get any flack for it."
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