I was very kindly given samples of a new range of RTD, (Ready to Drink). Crooked Beverage Co. launched on 5th May 2017 and is an extension to Global Brands’ portfolio. Global Brands is an independent drinks business, both distributing products and creating their own brands.
Crooked Soda are three alcoholic drinks aimed at 20 – 30 year olds, a demographic who are looking for drinks with natural ingredients, full flavours and less sugar. Age-wise I fit this category perfectly and I do look for all these qualities in my drinks, but I feel my fermentation and distillation geekery may take me slightly outside the box.
Crooked Sodas aim to be the halfway point between fruit ciders and craft beer. The base of each drink is malt, which gives a solid flavour profile to build upon. The fruit juices are all natural and a gentle hoppy note brings some bitterness to the balance.
The fruit juices are added to the fermented malt base along with natural colourings and water. The liquid is then carbonated. All three Crooked Sodas are suitable for vegans.
The name Crooked Beverage Co. comes from their location. The drinks are produced “in the shadows of the Crooked Spire in Chesterfield.” The creators blend their Yorkshire and Derbyshire heritage and backgrounds respectively.
Whether you like the liquid or not, you must admit the branding is superb. The cans are bold, colourful and eye-catching. Designed by Sheffield artist, Lisa O’Hara, the images and names refer to niche Sheffield bands and artists. Though I can’t see anything to do with Def Leppard!
Crooked Sodas are available in three variants:
Dayglo Skies – Raspberry and Lime
Mother Moon – Pomegranate and Peach
Midnight Stage – Blood Orange and Passion Fruit
Dayglo Skies – Raspberry and Lime, 4.7%
Tart gooseberry aromas with sweetness over the top and lime underneath. A touch of rhubarb. The palate is sweet, but not sickly. Gently effervescent with fresh, definitive raspberry characters. You wouldn’t know this is alcoholic! A good amount of flavour – this is my favourite.
Mother Moon – Peach and Pomegranate, 4.7%
Definite furry peach skin aromas. Fresh and juicy, but I’m not getting pomegranate on the nose. A smooth, soft, fleshy palate with raspberry and peach characters. I’m still not getting pomegranate, but the liquid is pleasant. This is my least favourite of the three, but it’s fine.
Midnight Stage – Blood Orange and Passion Fruit, 4.7%
A big passion fruit, many and melon hit on the nose. Sweet, but not sickly. Does what it says on the tin! The palate is round, but could benefit from being more carbonated. Blood orange only appears right on the finish. Refreshing – almost too refreshing as you wouldn’t know this is alcoholic either! A little tangy on the aftertaste.
Whilst this style of product will never be my personal first choice and I wouldn’t buy them myself, I am impressed with the integrity and quality of Crooked Sodas. The branding is fantastic and the demand is there.