Cascade Brewing Co. has released a draft-only beer for the holidays that is inspired by a wine-based beverage served in Europe.
Glueh Kriek is an 8.5 percent ABV spiced beer that is served hot with an orange wedge. According to Chris Crabb, spokesperson for Cascade, the base beer is the Portland, Ore.-based brewery’s Kriek (8.2 percent ABV) sour red ale aged in oak wine barrels for 14 months with bing and sour pie cherries with cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, orange peel and honey added, amongst other spices.
In an email with Tenemu, Crabb explained that the beer is seeped in the tradition of Glühwein, a popular winter drink in parts of Europe:
Gluh meaning glow (referring to hot irons that were traditionally used to heat the beverage), wein meaning wine, which was typically used as a base for the beverage. In our case, we are using our Kriek (cherry sour red ale) instead of red wine, however the spices remain more or less the same as the traditional drink – cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, orange peel, honey, etc.. We run the beer through a stainless steel coil submerged in hot water in order to heat the beer, rather than hot irons.
First released in 2011, a version of Glueh Kriek has been available every holiday season since, although “as all of our cherry beers are vintage based, each year is a little different,” added Crabb.
According to Crabb, Glueh Kriek debuted on-tap at the brewery today in 8-ounce pours ($8) and is usually available “from Thanksgiving to St. Patricks Day.”
Glueh Kriek debuts 11/24, blend of Red ales aged in oak wine bbls w/cherries, honey & spices. Served hot with an orange wedge #HouseofSour
— Cascade Brewing (@cascadebrewing) November 17, 2015
It returned to Cascade’s tap list last night.