Dark. Strong. Delicious. Respect the bear.
Release date: 10.28.16
Bottle size: 750ml
Number of bottles produced: 630
WHAT IS IT
Black Bear Bierschnaps is a collaboration with Upland Brewing Co. in Bloomington. This spirit is made with Upland’s Teddy Bear Kisses stout, which we brewed together with Upland brewers, then fermented and distilled on site at Cardinal Spirits.
We think bartenders and home drinkers alike will have fun with this curious, original spirit. It is smooth, chocolatey, malty and dry. Also, slightly bitter and lightly hopped. It drinks like an elixir, and it is warming, even when enjoyed ice cold.
WHAT IS BIERSCHNAPS
Bierschnaps is a German spirit that is made from beer which is brewed and fermented, then distilled to a stronger strength and more intense flavor.
HOW WE MADE IT
We brewed a special batch of Upland's Teddy Bear Kisses seasonal stout with their brewers, then fermented and distilled it on-site at Cardinal Spirits. Before fermentation, we set aside a bit of the wort and boiled it down into a rich, dark-roasted malt syrup. After all was said and done, we blended the wort syrup, the distilled stout, the original stout, and a couple extra botanicals to create this one-of-a-kind bierschnaps.
ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS
The base of this bierschnaps is Teddy Bear Kisses, a Russian imperial stout brewed by Upland Brewing Co. in Bloomington and aged on cacao nibs. It is available seasonally in late fall/early winter, and has a cult following and has won gold and silver medals in competition. It is a big, bold beer that is velvety, complex and roasty, and that profile is gloriously intensified in our Black Bear Bierschnaps.
Black Bear Bierschnaps is smooth, chocolatey, malty and dry. Also, slightly bitter and lightly hopped.
HOW TO DRINK IT
Bierschnaps is traditionally enjoyed ice cold, yet it warms you from the inside out. Sip it straight up, or try it alongside a beer.
ABOUT THE NAME
Black Bear Bierschnaps is a nod to the teddy bear in the name and on the label of Upland’s Teddy Bear Kisses. Upland says the name Teddy Bear Kisses is ironic: it is one of the biggest and boldest beers they make, contrary to the thought of kisses from a gentle teddy bear.
We riffed on this idea and added this German saying to the back of the bottle label: "Hier ist der Schnaps den alle Schwarzbär trinken.” The English translation is: "This is the schnaps all black bears drink".
A bit more about word choice: We chose to use the German verb "trinken" rather than "saufen". They both mean to drink, but “trinken” is for people and "saufen" is for animals. But, the verb "saufen" can be used figuratively to mean "get drunk", so "besoffen" means drunk — probably a cognate with besotten, and a very common usage in German. So when asked about the incorrect usage of trinken by a picky German speaker, we just say that these are responsible bears who don't drink recklessly