If I were to choose one very special beer to share with you, today, on Mother's Day, it might be this: Serendipity Happy Accident Fruit Ale, from New Glarus Brewing (of New Glarus, Wisconsin).
New Glarus is known for its sweet-tart fruit beers, especially its Wisconsin Belgian Red, fermented with the equivalent of over a pound of Door County cherries in every bottle.
In 2012, however, brewing that beer would prove impossible, when ninety-seven percent of Michigan's cherry crop was destroyed by a freak weather pattern. An unseasonably warm March caused trees to bud early; that was followed by an April freeze that killed the blossoms. (Associated Press). But nature, with berry serendipity, compensated by delivering a bumper cranberry harvest. Here's how New Glarus' Dan and Deb Carey responded.
Severe Drought, we shared the farmers' horror as Wisconsin's cherry crop failed! Dan bought what cherries he could. The Apple crop fared better. Then joy! A grand Wisconsin cranberry harvest. What will Dan brew with Apples, Cranberries, and Cherries? Oh my! You hold the happy accident of Wisconsin's favorite fruit aged in oak with an almost magical wild fermentation. Serendipity is a wondrous celebration that sparkles your senses, and dances across your palate. A kaleidoscope of flavor discovered by accident in a sour ale! Cheers to the unexpected!
Serendipity Ale, a mere 4% alcohol-by-volume, but, oh, what zymur-alchemy, what a happy accident. Big sweet/sour, cherry/apple flavor and aroma. The cranberries magically seem to stretch the cherry character. At 4%, a magnificently flavored treat, sweet with fruit, but tart and dry and lingering in the finish. [Fie on all you 'session-beer' haters.]
I have to admit, though, Mom, that I drank the bottle already, in fact, on the very day that one of your other sons drove it down from Wisconsin. I hope that you'll accept flowers and home-cooked brunch as a substitute on this morning.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom!
— Dan Cary, co-owner/brewer of New Glarus, as quoted by Jay Brooks (of Brookston Beer Bulletin).