I was one of the very few lucky ducklings who got to be among the first to sample Babe’s Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse’s brand new “Babe’s Brandini Toffee Brown Ale” at the restaurant’s headquarters at The River last week. If the names “Babe’s” (www.babesbbqandbrewhouse.com) and “Brandini” (www.brandinitoffee.com) ring bells, it’s because they are two of the most successful enterprises in Rancho Mirage. Who doesn’t believe that a mash-up of these two beloved brands isn’t a marriage made in heaven?
The idea for a collaboration started in late fall of 2015. “We were originally thinking of brewing a Toffee Porter,” says Babe’s operations manager Arthur Vasquez of his work with brewmaster Scott Grabbe, “but later thought that a Brown Ale would allow the toffee to come out, and would be easier to drink for the general public.” The official first batch—made with nearly 50 lbs. of Brandini toffee in two different stages of brewing, and equal to 18 kegs—was born on April 17. A portion of this lot will be sold on tap and in bottles at various locations throughout the desert, while the rest will be served on tap at Babe’s. Art describes it as “an American Brown Ale, medium body, light to medium hops. The aroma is heavy with toffee while the initial taste is that of dark chocolate and finishes with subtle toffee and hops.” Can you say “Yum!”?
Asked how he was feeling at the launch, Brandini namesake and co-founder Brandon Weimer proudly beamed and said, “Isn’t it every man’s dream to have a beer named after him?”
If you want to sample the newbie, Jack be nimble, Jack be quick—the guys at Babe’s believe they’ll have run out by Father’s Day. But enough was reserved to enter it into both the 2016 U.S. Open Beer Championships in July and the 2016 Great American Beer Festival in September. If it wins at either competition, you can bet your butt Babe’s now-award-winning Brandini Toffee Brown Ale will be brewed again and back before you know it!