This is not a drill. Buffalo’s first ever glitter beers are coming. Yes, you read that correctly. On March 23 (4pm), SATO Brewpub will unleash a trio of glitter beers – the Brewnicorn, a glitter IPA, “Gold’s Lager,” their Shimbo Rice Lager on glitter, and “Peppy Hare,” SATO’s Rabbit in the Moon Table Beer on glitter.
Following the trend of glitter cupcakes and glitter cappuccinos, glitter beer made its debut at breweries like Colorado’s Ska Brewing, Three Weavers Brewing Company out in California and at Bold Missy Brewery in North Carolina, but has been around in some shape or form since 2016.
“I feel like I had to,” SATO Brewpub Head Brewer Drew Hardin says of the glitter beer. “I don’t think anyone else would have unless someone else did. I’m a stout traditionalist, but I’m also one of those guys who will throw weird and interesting ingredients into classic beer styles. This basically started out as a joke. When it first came out, everyone saw it, everyone lost their muffins over people doing it, and everyone was like ‘oh, well he is joking, there’s no way he would do that, he doesn’t have the balls to do that,’ and I was like, ‘hold my beer.’”
If you didn’t know, glitter beer involves adding edible glitter, which is safe to consume, to beer to create a mesmerizing, swirling motion in the beer as it sits in your glass. Its non-toxic, FDA approved and doesn’t affect the flavor of the beer, just the body ever so slightly. This is the same glitter used to decorate wedding cakes, cupcakes and chocolate.
“I was sitting at home doing some recipe development, had Amazon Prime open and saw they had some edible glitter, so I went ahead and bought it. And after three weeks of testing and seeing how the glitter reacts to the beer, we decided to do it.”
The headlining act of the event is the Brewnicorn, SATO’s Keichitsu IPA (named for a Japanese micro-season that loosely translates to ‘the coming out of worms’), their spring IPA, with glitter of course.
“In a far off land there is a strange and magical beast,” Brewnicorn’s beer description reads. “A mystical steed that is as refreshing as it is shiny. A horse of a different color. Many colors in fact. Who sneezes sparkles in the face of conformity. She is the Brewnicorn. A Citra and Mosaic IPA that is absolutely fabulous. Styles be damned. Don’t be upset, but you can be a bit bitter. Like this sparkly IPA. Long live the Brewnicorn! And keep on the lookout for the Kegasus.”
And for those wondering, the glitter will not produce any glitter pee or poops (“Unfortunately,” Hardin says). He is speaking from experience as well as, in the name of science, Hardin drank glitter beer exclusively for nearly a week (“Not something I’m proud of,” he adds) while doing thorough research on all things glitter beer.
“Everyone out there is doing all sorts of crazy things to try and draw people’s attention, and there’s nothing more that draws people’s attention than shiny beer. If someone else tries this, cool, more power to them. Most people were in awe when I actually did it.”
Glitter beer is proof positive that craft beer is supposed to be fun, but for as much of a gimmick as it might be, SATO Brewpub is more a no-gimmicks-needed establishment. In fact, they have actually begun puffing their own traditional Japanese rice for their Shimbo Rice Lager and Rabbit in the Moon, moving away from the use of Brewer’s Rice as they bring the process completely in-house.
“For craft beer, the fun is lost. Everyone is searching for what’s rare, new and different and don’t really care about what style it is, they just care about how cool it is.
That’s not why I got into craft beer. I don’t care where a beer comes from as long as it’s delicious, cold and done properly, I would drink just about anything. Sometimes you have to just sit back, take a moment and laugh at yourself, have fun, enjoy what’s in your glass and just don’t overthink it.”
For more information on the beer release, click here. Hardin says that SATO might bring back glitter beer again in the future.
Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.