Often when I try a beer that claims to taste like a certain dessert, it only remotely resembles the sweet treat. The same cannot be said about The Lost Druid Brewery’s Fairy Dreams: Southern Cobbler.
Putting my nose up to the glass, the aroma of blueberry cobbler seized my senses, taking me back to my childhood home where I’d make the Southern classic with my mother. I thought, surely, there’s no way the beer’s taste would prove as tantalizing as it smells. Well, my friends, I was wrong.
The brew strikes a beautiful balance between sweetness and tartness, offering both a bold blueberry flavor with notes of buttery, crumbly cobbler crust. It’s one of those beers that prompts an instant positive reaction. The blueberry brew is not only scrumptious, but familiar.
Fairy Dreams: Southern Cobbler
Brewery: The Lost Druid Brewery
Alcohol by volume: 4%
Bottom line: Almost as delicious as my mom’s homemade blueberry cobbler
I tried to pinpoint the ingredients used to impart that characteristic cobbler dough, detecting a hint of cinnamon. But, there was something I still couldn’t put my finger on. I knew I was dealing with some powerful beer magic, so I reached out to Rob Hopek, the wizard behind the brew.
Hopek explained that Southern Cobbler is a beer brewed in the “Fairy Dreams” series, which embraces tart dessert flavors, including apple pie.
None of the beers in the series contain lactose, despite their sweetness and creamy mouthfeel. Hopek said he doesn’t like to add the ingredient frivolously, only when absolutely necessary.
“I’m in the boat of deciding that lactose belongs in beers that should have it,” he said. “Our only lactose beer is our milk porter.”
To replicate a Southern blueberry cobbler, Hopek used vanilla, blueberry puree and ingredients you would find in pie crust like cinnamon and nutmeg. To enhance the tartness of the fruit, he mixed in lemon juice. After experimenting with various small kegs, Hopek said he chose the beer that not only tasted exactly like blueberry cobbler but offered the same aromatic experience.
“One of the hardest parts was managing the spice level,” he said. “I wanted the appropriate taste when it hit the palate and at the same time, you’d get it on your nose.”
When I last checked, this beer was on tap at Downtown Drafts on the square. However, if they run out by the time you make it to the shop, you can find it at The Lost Druid, located at 2866 Washington St. in Avondale Estates. To check out more of the brewery’s tasty beers, visit thelostdruid.com.