I always like a beer a little bit more when buying a bottle or a pint helps out a good cause. Such is the case with Sweetwater Crank Tank Rye’d Ale, a beer that’s made with rye and helps kids at the same time. That’s because your purchase of Sweetwater Rye’d Ale helps support Camp Twin Lakes, a retreat for great kids with disabilities.
The “Rye’d” moniker has a double entendre, of course. First and foremost, the beer is made with 25% rye malt. The second meaning refers to Team Sweetwater, a bike team that races to raise money for Camp Twin Lakes. Important safety tip: you should never ride a bike after more than one beer, and only take a ride in a car when someone else is driving. In August, Sweetwater holds an event at the brewery. Attendees donate $10 to the cause, and in return get a glass, some beer to put in it, free music, and a tour. The good feeling you get for doing something for others is thrown in at no extra charge.
On to the beer itself. My first taste of Crank Tank Rye’d Ale was at on tap at Taco Mac (big surprise, that), but I’ve also enjoyed it in 22 ounce bottles, too. The draft serving was reasonable at $5, as was the bomber bottle for $4.49. Crank tank beers are usually higher in alcohol than most, but Rye’d Ale sin’t too far above average at 6.2% by volume. The beer is generously hopped with Mt. Hoods, Centennials, and Columbus. Its dry hopped as well.
Sweetwater Crank tank Rye’d Ale pours to a hazy golden-orange color with a thick creamy head formation and a spicy rye nose. Tasty, chewy caramel malt hits the palate at first sip, followed by wonderfully grainy, peppery rye flavor. The hops emerge in the finish, herbal, grassy, and just a litte more than bitter enough to leave a long dry impression on the tongue. Overall, the spicy, grainy rye and peppery hops are all well represented. And I want some rye flavor in my rye beer.
This is a very nice beer indeed, not so much because of its heft I think but because the flavors all work so well in balance-the rich caramel, the pungent rye, the bitter hops, each hitting the palate in its own wave, distinct in their own right yet also an integral part of a greater whole. I love it. And I love knowing drinking it helps a good cause, as well.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.