Creative beer keeps customers cool in Sacramento bars

Biergarten introduces creative beer for hot days

Beer slushy!
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Beer slushy!

At exactly 3 p.m. Wednesday, when Der Biergarten’s doors opened and its roof mist system kicked in, the outdoor patio was empty. Slowly customers trickled into the midtown watering hole and spotted a tall glass of beer topped with pink slushy.

Drawn by the colorful drink, they ordered.

“The frozen beer has been a big hit,” said manager Alex Newland. “We’re the only place in town with it.”

This week has so far proved to be one of the hottest Sacramento has seen this summer, with the temperature reaching 108 degrees Tuesday and 107 Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. At Der Biergarten, where all the seating is outside, Newland said frozen beer gives customers another way to cope with the scorching heat.

The drink is a twist on the bar’s bestseller – Schofferhofer grapefruit hefeweizen beer topped with Two Rivers pomegranate cider, Newland said. Except this drink tops beer with layers of frozen beer and cider to create a cold slushy cap that keeps the beer in the glass below cool. The beer is fruity, tart and crisp.

The bar sells about 800 liters worth of the drink each week, he said.

Der Biergarten’s owner, Sean Duffield, saw the beer freezing machine at a beer convention in Las Vegas for the industry a couple of years ago, Newland said. Duffield wanted to bring the innovation to midtown’s only outdoor bar.

Newland said the drink has blown up on social media and become more popular through word of mouth. People sometimes come to the bar specifically for the drink.

“We waited for the mercury to hit the 100-degree mark, and rolled out the first servings of frozen beer in Sacramento,” Duffield said in a press release. “On a simmering afternoon or evening, this will be a pure delight for beer lovers.”

Just a few blocks away, Tank House BBQ & Bar is also serving its customers a creative way to keep cool.

The bar has been serving its popular frozen shandy for about two years, said Tank House manager Tyler Williams. It is made by dropping a house-made elderflower Popsicle into a glass of Hamm’s beer.

Because the Popsicle is nonalcoholic, kids can enjoy a Popsicle with their meal as well, Williams said. The elderflower adds a nice flavor to the beer.

“If you drink beer like me, the Popsicle will last for a couple of beers,” Williams said with a laugh. “People love that they not only get a beer ... but a little Popsicle, too. How many adults have Popsicles on the regular, you know? This is a fun adult way to enjoy a Popsicle.”

Alejandra Reyes-Velarde: 916-321-1005