If you brought Deep River’s Crumble to the Core home expecting a sweet hybrid of beer and cider that tastes like liquid apple pie, you’re going to be disappointed. It’s more of a light, spiced winter warmer that offers a nice alternative to the darker, heavier options available this time of year.
Crumble to the Core Blonde Ale is a new seasonal offering from Deep River Brewing Co. in Clayton, N.C. The brewery launched the beer in November 2019. It is made with cinnamon from Sri Lanka (not the kind generally used in baking) and Northern Spy and McIntosh apples from Michigan. (Why not North Carolina apples, one wonders, although those two particular varieties aren’t grown commercially in the state.)
Pouring the beer releases a spicy aroma of cinnamon and cloves as the beer forms a creamy white head that dissipates quickly. Crumble to the Core is slightly hazy and the golden color associated with apple cider. There’s a continuous stream of bubbles, but the beer is not particularly effervescent.
Crumble to the Core is light, spicy and very drinkable. It is dry, not sweet. Straight out of the fridge, the spice and the alcohol, which is at the high end of the range for this style of beer at 5.2% ABV, are the dominant characteristics. If you want more fruit notes, let the beer warm up as Deep River advises on the label. Your taste buds don’t work particularly well when they’re cold, so if you want to experience the full range of flavor in this (or almost any) beer, let the temperature climb about 10 degrees.
If you want apple-ly sweetness, this is not your beer. Instead Deep River has created a lighter take on the spiced winter warmer that you might really enjoy, especially if you let it warm up just a tad.
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