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Redd’s Apple Ale: where are the apples?

Redd's Six-Pack BottleDude is in a watering hole talking with a couple of ladies. His friend, standing at the bar, calls out, “Hey, what beer you drinking?”

As dude ponders the choices, a huge red apple comes out of nowhere, beans him on the noggin and knocks him flat.

And that is how Sir Issac Newton discovered the principle of latitudinal gravitational force. No, I’m kidding. That’s the Redd’s Apple Ale commercial that aired during the Super Bowl.

Did you see it? Are you curious to try this new apple-flavored beer, which happens to be brewed in Albany, Georgia.

MillerCoors – the beer giant that makes Redd’s — sent a couple of sample bottles to the paper. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. I found the flavor kind of damp and one note, with a weird apple sweetness on the finish.

More interesting than the beer were the press materials that came along with the sample. They claimed that Redd’s “is an ale, not a cider. A cider is made using fermented apple juice (similar to wine). Ales are brewed.”

Regardless of the fact that fermentation — the turning of sugars into alcohol — is the part of the brewing process we all count on, this seemed like a fancy way of saying that beer doesn’t contain any, you know, apples.

A publicist for the account checked into the existence of actual apples for me and was only able to say Redd’s contains “natural apple flavor.”

“Does that come from real apples?” I persisted.

“It’s natural apple flavor,” she said.

As long as certain chemical ingredients — such as n-hexanal, ethyl butyrate and 1-butyl acetate — are plant derived, they can be sold as “natural apple flavors.”

Welcome to Georgia, the state that gave us flavored beer.

- by John Kessler, jkessler@ajc.com

18 comments Add your comment

y3ll0wjacket

February 12th, 2013
12:44 pm

When can I get some beer-flavored apples?

Mike

February 12th, 2013
1:13 pm

Considering the AJC home page is wallpapered with huge ads for the stuff, this may be the most daring review you’ve ever written.

JK in Acworth

February 12th, 2013
1:57 pm

No wonder they purposely distanced themselves from cider! Not too surprised about “natural apple flavor” from a megabeer company. If they cannot mass produce a zillion gallons for a nickel each they don’t want to do it.

Tranny

February 12th, 2013
2:18 pm

I found some at the Target on Sidney Marcus…I like the taste

RK

February 12th, 2013
2:25 pm

Georgia gave us flavored beer?

Thanks for posting those scientific names — interesting when reading out them on wikipedia.

Thirsty South

February 12th, 2013
3:17 pm

My favorite illustration for Redd’s is in the link below – “Ceci n’est pas une pomme”!
http://www.thirstysouth.com/2012/10/08/review-redds-apple-ale/

Anton Chigurh

February 12th, 2013
3:34 pm

Actually Boone Farms “wine,” hard lemonade, hard iced tea, etc. are flavored beer.

Kar

February 12th, 2013
3:47 pm

Why not get a real hard cider drink then? There’s been a surge of new boutique artisan brands as families have tried new markets for their aging orchards.

Lorenzo

February 12th, 2013
3:49 pm

One would assume it’s made from some amount of malted barley, too (that “ale” thing again), but with that list of chemicals I wouldn’t be so certain.

bongostella

February 12th, 2013
4:59 pm

This brought up memories of Apple Beer from the 1960’s. It was non-alcoholic but
kids liked to walk around with a can of it, their hand covering the part that said
apple, and make adults think they were drinking real beer.

Ned Ludd

February 12th, 2013
5:30 pm

A is for Apple
Z is for Zima

Never thought the two would meet.

P

February 12th, 2013
10:15 pm

Albany? Is it made in the old Pabst brewery?

Political Mongrel

February 12th, 2013
10:16 pm

Flavored beers have been around for a long time. This is hardly the first.

This is one drink that tastes better from a can than from a bottle, and the colder the better.

Baltisraul...

February 13th, 2013
10:01 am

Just one more good reason to enjoy beer for breakfast!

Edward

February 13th, 2013
1:19 pm

I suppose people do drink worse things, after all, someone still buys wine coolers.

Hipster

February 13th, 2013
2:08 pm

John, please leave the beer reviews to Bob.. Actually on second thought, he rightfully wouldn’t touch this crap if his life depended on it, as you were then. And your last sentence makes you look so entirely ignorant on beer, it’s chuckle-worthy.

John Kessler

February 13th, 2013
10:19 pm

Ha…yeah…guilty of a hastily written walk-off line…definitely had my share of flavored beers before…

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