When it comes to boozy transgressions, there’s the forgivable: Like the time you ruined a good cider by dropping in a shot of cinnamon whiskey to re-create the Atomic Fireball candy taste of your youth. Or the green food coloring you stirred into your light beer over St. Paddy’s Day earlier this month? Consider yourself absolved. Today, though, we mourn: Bubble tea beer is now a thing. As in, you can now order a beer that has gummy snacks permeating its pores and bathing in its hops.
Bubble (or boba) tea has been around since the 1980s. The Taiwanese tea + fruit or milk + fruit jellies or chewy tapioca balls combo have bubbled up in popularity in American tea shops and, mostly, fizzled out.
Now, though, the gooey balls are seeking out a new habitat in beer, with Boba 7, a speakeasy in downtown Los Angeles, serving up alcoholic boba beverages. (Margs and mojitos are also being invaded with the flavor balls). Build-a-beer options include honey, green apple, and strawberry popping bobas, all of which infuse your brew with reprehensible flavor sabotage.
But, chew on this: The sickly libation has faithful fans. A Yelp reviewer calls a green tea Heineken a “good but surprising combination.” Another credits the alcoholic boba for being the cure to a throbbing headache. Many, of course, appreciate the PG-13 puns that boba’s “balls” fall victim to on signs.
This isn’t the first time beer innovations have raised suspicion (and, admittedly, curiosity). Here are a few other beer transgressions, fads, or experiments that ought not be forgotten.
When we ordered beergaritas. Or was it margabeers? Either way, the beer-tequila combo went too far when chain restaurants started clipping iddy, biddy beers on the side of big ole’ margarita mugs. The aftermath? Letting beer drain into a frozen margarita to create a watered-down, salty slush.
When a Colorado brewery pulled an epic April Fool’s joke. “Rocky Mountain Oysters,” that are, yes, in fact, bulls’ balls, are a uniquely Colorado delicatessen. For an April Fool's stunt, Wynkoop Brewery created a stout with specialty grains and roasted bull testicles. Now, the Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout remains a seasonal draft. The brewery has fun with it, calling it a ballsy beer.
When Jelly Beans started coming in beer flavors. Jelly Belly Candy Company has long been creative with their flavors. The draft beer beans are alcohol-free and the candy company will even give you “recipes” for creating non-boozy beer tastes. (I.e., two draft beer jelly beans plus a red apple jelly bean makes an apple cider shandy. Get a Michelada with two draft beer jelly beans, plus one lemon-line and one Tabasco bean).
When people grew beer horns. On the one hand, beer helmets allow hands-free drinking. On the other hand, you’re wearing a helmet. While drinking beer. Through a straw.