Taking its cue from Starbucks, who recently had a polarizing buy runaway hit with its sickly sweet and colorful treat, the Unicorn Frappuccino, the Bold Mariner Brewing Company in Norfolk, Virginia, is now serving up Unicorn Beer — a cream ale with purple corn grits, lactose, vanilla bean, and mango topped with a cotton candy garnish. “We like to come up with new and exciting flavor trends,” the brewery’s co-owner Kerrie Stacks said in a report from the Virginian-Pilot.” We like to stay ahead of the curve and keep exploring.”
The Unicorn Brew obviously took a few hints from the limited edition Starbuck’s frap. For one, it’s purple — and the vanilla and mango flavors make the brew sweeter than most. Bold Mariner’s brewmaster, John O’Reilly, didn’t try the Frappuccino for himself, so he had to get insight about the drink’s sour mango flavor and distinct color combinations. To replicate the “unicorn” color swirl, O’Reilly decided to top off each pint with a puff of cotton candy that dissolves into the beer, and streaks the glass with blue sugar.
The corn malt comes in at a light 5.5 percent ABV, which is probably a good thing since the combination of alcohol and sugar can make for some gnarly hangovers.
Bold Mariner is keeping the Unicorn Beer limited — just like the frap, which disappeared after only a few days of availability in April. The brewery only has one keg of the candied malt on tap, and plans to keep it that way. The brewery started pouring up the Unicorn brew on Thursday, and once it’s gone, they’ll be on to the next flavor trend next week. Word on the street (or the Bold Mariner Facebook page) is that the brew has already been all bought up.
Let’s hope the next week’s drink trend is a little more waistline-friendly.