PLAINFIELD, Ind. – You may have heard about a Virginia brewery coming out with a Lucky Charms-flavored beer.
The news went viral on social media, but some Hoosiers were scratching their heads. That’s because a brewery in Plainfield released a beer with the cereal in it three years ago. It sold out then, but it’s making its return this St. Patrick’s Day.
Brew Link Brewing Company has put matcha in beer, even chocolate and peanut butter, so cereal didn’t seem like that much of a stretch. When you walk into their tap room, you can see the signs for the interesting beers they have on tap.
“Pretty, Pretty, Awkward” is a milkshake beer. “Hole in One Jelly Donuts,” self-explanatory—there are jelly donuts in that beer. But to see the newest addition to the family, we had to go straight to the source.
It’s called “You Cereal?!” That’s what we were wondering when we heard about it. But Brew Link is definitely “cereal.” This beer is actually a revival of the cereal beer they released three years ago on St. Patrick’s Day. Yes, there are actually marshmallows and cereal in the recipe.
“We changed up the malt build a little bit, we put a little bit more marshmallows in it,” said Ruari Crabbe, owner of Brew Link. “It’s designed to taste like the milk at the end of the cereal.”
For beer aficionados, Crabbe describes it as “full bodied, it’s got a little bit of silkiness to it, a little bit of marshmallow on the nose and marshmallow on the brim of the taste.”
No leprechauns were harmed in the making of this beer, but you might be wondering--how in the world did Brew Link come up with the idea?
“Lucky Charms are my most favorite cereal, so I was eating it one morning around St. Paddy’s Day and was thinking what we could do for a cool beer release,” said Crabbe. “Also, you can’t put anything gold in beer…You think weird stuff like that.”
And that’s pretty much how all the flavors come to life. Starting from an idea from Crabbe’s mind and then brewer Mike Hess takes hold to try to bring it to life. From there, they both go through a trial-and-error process until it’s perfect.
“We started with a 15-gallon batch first because these are 375 gallons, because if you mess that batch up, you can’t send it out the door,” said Crabbe. “Because, if it’s supposed to taste like something and it goes out the door and it doesn’t—you’re gonna get ripped apart.”
“We start with just base malts, all our grain’s over there,” said Hess. “There’s a lot of specialty malts that go in there and then, you pick some hops out.”
“We take a lot of steps to make sure it’s right,” Crabbe said. “We flavor it right and even scaling up is the hard part, too. We take steps to make sure it’s right before it goes out the door.”
That’s not to say Brew Link doesn’t make traditional beers, but the ones with the unconventional names and flavors give them their edge.
“You have to have something that stands out,” said Hess. “But, in the market these days, you have to have something that kind of grabs people’s attention. A lot of people want something new. It’s just the way society is now.”
And making these crazy beers is what makes Crabbe and Hess’ jobs as eccentric and fun as their beer flavors.
“I wouldn’t call it crazy. I would call it fulfilling,” said Crabbe. “I’ve met a lot of cool people, I’ve met just amazing people, just the people in the community that I’ve met, it’s just—the relationships have blossomed.”
“You start to make the same beers over and over, especially on a large scale, it just starts to get a little repetitive,” said Hess. “So, it’s nice to change it up once in a while.”
“I wouldn’t change it for the world, it’s stressful, a lot,” Crabbe goes on to say. “It’s a lot of late nights and a lot of thinking a lot of times, but I love it.”
Brew Link is having a special St. Paddy’s Day bash on Saturday, March 16, where they will sell their “You Cereal?!” beer. It will be the only chance you can get your hands on it. It sold out in two hours last time.
It will be their last run for a while. Their tap room off East Main St. in Plainfield will be closing while they move to a bigger, better location.
Right now, there’s no opening date set for the new location. We’ll keep you updated.