Our barrel-aged “Cocktail Series” continues with Kentucky Mule – our answer to the classic Moscow Mule cocktail, substituting Russia’s favorite spirit with Kentucky’s finest.

The journey of this beer began when we blended two equal lots of our signature Bravo brown ale and Helldorado blonde barley wine, both aged for 18 months in premium Kentucky bourbon barrels. We then infused this blend with hand-diced Fiji-grown ginger as well as fresh California lime zest and juice, perfectly accentuating the beer’s bourbon-inspired flavors of vanilla and maple syrup. The result is a true Moscow Mule-style sipping experience with a uniquely American twist.

We sat down with Barrel Program Manager Eric Ponce to learn more about the inspiration and creation of Kentucky Mule.

Advice for Ginger Spice

There are many varieties of ginger, each with its own flavors and aromas. Eric started by gathering multiple ginger samples, then dicing and steeping in hot water – making a sort of tea.

“This process let the distinctive Fijian ginger sample shine – beautiful floral aromatics, strong but not too spicey, and even a touch of sweetness,” he shared. Selecting Fijian ginger was a no-brainer from that moment.

With over 100 pounds of hand-peeled, sliced and diced ginger added to the recirculation tank, the beer circulated of Fijian ginger for 14 hours. Once the sweetness of the beer, the acidity of the lime, and the spice from the ginger were in perfect harmony, Eric decided the beer was finished.

Sipping on Mules

“When my mother-in-law is in town, we drink a lot of Moscow mules. A few years ago during a visit we ran out of vodka – she calls it her Polish water. I had an ice-cold copper mug in my freezer, an ample supply of bourbon and a few ginger beers in the fridge. We mixed up a few and I was hooked.” – Eric Ponce

Lime Time

California has beautiful, aromatic and juicy limes that were perfect for this project. With the addition of 60 gallons of juice to start, the blend of barrel-aged beers got a nice touch of acidity. On top of that, Eric’s small band of helpers zested around 250 pounds of limes.

“After zesting we had around 60 pounds of lime peel which just brought out this most beautiful aroma to the beer and the whole room,” Eric shared.  From this point it was time to balance the tart lime aspect with a beautiful, distinctive ginger.

Cocktail Time

The final beer is a work of balance. Bourbon-inspired flavors of vanilla and maple syrup accentuated with aromatics and spice from Fiji-grown ginger and fresh California lime. At 11.8%, this beer is a stunning sipper, and don’t be surprised if you find us garnishing with a fresh sprig of mint.

Enjoy this limited-time release while it lasts.