No strangers to collaboration, Wolf Brewing Co. and Imprint Beer Co. recently teamed up to create a sour India pale ale with mangoes, pink guava, Tahitian vanilla beans and hibiscus petals. The name of this beer is blending of the names of both breweries: Wolf Prints.
If you look up Wolf Brewing Co. online, you’ll find many accolades directed toward this husband-wife team that set a goal to win homebrew competitions in all 50 states (they did), something that I’m sure helped pave the way for their current success in opening up their own taproom in Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County, slated for sometime in 2020.
With formal brewing training through Siebel Institute and the Beer Judge Certification Program, and academic degrees in business administration, the Wolfs have dotted all the I’s and crossed all the T’s when it comes to starting a brewery. They’ve put in the work and are patiently waiting to reap the rewards of their labor, all while keeping very busy.
Imprint Brewing Co. is kind of an overnight success story.
Even though its doors have been open only since 2018, the word on the street is that Imprint is bringing its creative game to the market, and it’s already expanding to meet the demand.
And when I say creative, I’m talking about the brewery making beers like one made with Little Hug blue raspberry in place of brewing water. Yes, that childhood drink dating back to the ’70s that contains absolutely no fruit juice and only one gram of sugar, thanks to artificial sweeteners called acesulfame potassium and sucralose.
Perhaps part of the hype surrounding Imprint Beer, which runs a brewery and taproom in Hatfield, Montgomery County, is that it’s also actively involved in charitable efforts in their community. Last year it played host to the Haze It Forward event, at which most of the beers were, you might have guessed it, hazy IPAs, and more than $10,000 was raised and donated to the intensive care unit at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
When it comes to social media, it looks like the team at Imprint Beer Co. puts more effort into brewing beer than answering questions from its thirsty followers (not that any fans are complaining about that). Because it has more than 11,000 followers on its Instagram account, it has to be challenging keeping up with all the adoration. So your best bet might be heading directly to the taproom and asking your questions there.
The 7% alcohol by volume Wolf Prints poured a murky, dense rhubarb red color with a large-bubbled white head that quickly dissipated.
It smelled of unsweetened hibiscus tea, minerals, tartness that spurred my salivation and a seductive whisper of vanilla bean, especially as it warms up. There are tropical fruits in the aroma, too, and the juicy notes couldn’t get much more bold. Something about it also reminded me of cutting into a ripe tomato, fresh-picked from the garden, during the summer.
The flavor followed closely to the nose, although there was a lot more pucker in the mouth than what my nose led me to believe. While it was undoubtedly sour, my delicate sensibilities when it comes to beers of this nature weren’t offended in the least; it remained exceptionally drinkable. I also appreciated the reserved presence of vanilla, which can be unpleasantly overpowering when added with too heavy a hand.
Think of your favorite sour candy that’s flavored like tropical fruit, and that’s what this is — in liquid, drinkable form.
You’ll find this beer, which has limited availability in cans, at a variety of locations throughout the area, including Bulls Head Public House in Lititz. Grab a four-pack to take home with you for $18 or enjoy one at the pub for $6.
Contact Amber DeGrace with comments and questions at firstname.lastname@example.org and find her on Twitter at @amberdegrace.