About a year and a half ago, Heavy Seas Brewmaster, Chris Leonard, and I got together to talk about collaboration in brewing. During that conversation, he told me about a Scottish Ale that Heavy Seas had brewed with the team at Mad Tree Brewing in Cincinnati. Because Heavy Seas makes really good beer, I knew that they would only collaborate with an equally excellent brewery. That led me to wanting to learn more about Mad Tree Brewing and hoping I might be able to find their beer here. Unfortunately, their distribution was, and still is, limited to Ohio.
But my curiosity about Mad Tree led to a moment of inspiration! My younger brother lives near Cincinnati. Maybe he could find it for me! And he did, giving me a six-pack of Mad Tree’s Thundersnow for Christmas last year. And it’s fantastic. Thundersnow is a spiced Scottish Ale, with notes of ginger, nutmeg, vanilla and cinnamon. It’s dark chestnut brown with a thick creamy light tan head, checks in at 8.5% ABV, and is a regular seasonal release for the brewery.
With so many breweries that I’ve grown to love over my craft beer journey coupled with the new breweries opening almost every day, I pretty much forgot about Mad Tree Brewing until just last weekend. My brother came to visit for the Holidays and gave me the gift of beer: a six-pack of Rubus Cacao Chocolate Raspberry Stout from… Mad Tree Brewing. Rubus Cacao is a rich, delicious stout with a deep brown hue and a thick creamy head and is brewed with raspberry puree and cocoa nibs. The slight tartness of the raspberry works beautifully in concert with the sweetness of the cocoa nibs resulting in an outstanding beer.
As we wrap up the Holiday Season, look for some seasonal releases, like Mad Tree’s Rubus Cacao, that are so good to enjoy during the winter months.
100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy