By Editor In Chief/Lord Of Words Ed M Morris
Last week during a "Beer Hunt" for Evil Genius Brewing's I Love Lamp, I came upon something I don't usually see in the craft beer section of my go to shop: A six pack of craft beer for $2.99. It was for Empire Brewing - Twin Dragons. I will be direct, I have had their Cream Ale and it was outstanding, and I am a big supporter of New York craft beer and the brewers who produce them. While the sub 3 dollar for a six pack threw me a bit, I wanted to buy it and give it a try.
I asked the clerk at check out if something was wrong with the beer, why was it so inexpensive? The clerk looked at the packaging, told me the beer was fresh and it must be a manager's special and they had cases of it for $9.99. Did I want a case? I replied no, paid and made my way home.
From the Empire Brewing website:
Two Dragons - This innovative and one of a kind East meets West beer is a truly unique experience. Combining American craft brewing techniques with the history and precision of the Jing Wei Fu Tea producers (Southern Shaanxi in China), we've created a beer like no other. Nugget hops and our house ale yeast start this beer off with fruity aroma. The flavors are then a blend of subtle malt and a full earthy tea flavor with a dry finish. 5.4% ABV.
That all sounds good to me, I like drinking black tea (usually while watching Doctor Who or playing Fallout 4) and Empire Brewing has a good reputation in the NY Craft Beer community and are really involved in supporting Syracuse, NY non-profit organizations. It should be something I would really enjoy. Something I wanted to enjoy. Support the breweries that support their local communities.
But here is the thing, I only kind of liked it. Not "That was good, I want another soon." I could taste the black tea, but it was faint and only really came through when almost done with the bottle. And that was the part about this beer that made me buy it. I had never had a beer that used black tea in the brewing process and was hoping this could be one that I would reach for when in the mood for when I wanted a change up beer.
My reaction to the beer and the taste might also be all in my head, it's just $2.99, I kept thinking, how can it be good?
So in the end, I was happy that I bought it, mostly because of the brewer who made it is one of the good guys who are doing all the right things: supporting their community, sustainability, and buying their supplies from NY farmers. But Two Dragons will not be entering my beer rotation. But it was only $2.99.