When the sidewalk sizzles…
We love Graft Cider – their Field Day Rhubarb Spritz is a Backyard favorite – so when they approached us about taking part in their Shared Universe collab series we jumped at the chance!
You may not know this, but because of the specific licensing involved in making commercial alcohol, most breweries can not make cider and cideries and wineries can not brew beer – despite all of the similarities in their creation processes.
So in 2017, Graft launched their Shared Universe series where they partner with breweries and wineries across the country to create sister craft beverages with similar ingredients and recipes in an effort to “show the parallels between the styles.”
When we talked flavors with Graft we landed on a “sweet heat” profile with cayenne acting as the common thread in both beverages. So we wrote up a recipe with a rice IPA base that allows additions of sweet and tangy pineapple, and earthy, minty thyme to shine, with cayenne powder added to give this brew a spicy, peppery kick at the end. Since cayenne tends to be fruity, not smokey, Heatwave stays light, crisp and ideal for even the most humid weather. And for their cider, Graft created a “spicy watermelon lime cider that tastes like chilled watermelon slices and muddled lime.”
Another aspect of our “Shared Universe” with Graft is our mission to include our communities with every release. So for Heatwave we invited 60 (!!!) fourth graders to the Randall’s Island Park Alliance’s Urban Farm for a day of kickball and learning how some of the ingredients for our beers and ciders are grown. The students got to taste some fresh produce picked right from the garden, play a little kickball, make lavender satchels to take home, and enjoy lunch provided by Empanology.
On the can, modern cityscape artist Eli Shallcross teamed up with Graft’s in-house illustrator Caleb Lin to create 2 labels – one representing the sweltering summer in the city for our IPA, and the other for the cider featuring the more serene summer heat of the Hudson Valley.
Malt: Pilsen, Brown Rice, Carapils
Hops: Palisade, Calypso
What else: Pineapple Puree, Cayenne Powder, Thyme