When I got a UPS notice saying to expect a sample package from Jelly Belly, I assumed it was an error. What could Jelly Beans have to do with our Drinks site? Don't they know I'm more likely to write about pinot noir than pie, and I really cover more gin than gelato? Sweets are really Carrie V's domain.
The package, it turned out, was filled with beer-flavored jelly beans. Jelly Belly has added to their epic lineup and created a Draft Beer jelly bean that they say is "inspired by a Hefeweizen ale." I whipped out my phone and sent a snapshot of the golden beans (yes, they're shiny gold, just like...beer?) to Sweets editor Carrie.
I took her "Woah" to mean "Please write these up immediately."
The beer-flavored beans smell exactly like the floor at college parties: which is to say, carefully cleaned with Milwaukee's Best. It felt a little wrong to taste them before lunch. And the flavor: yeasty, beery, and then...sweet, like you poured butterscotch syrup in your hefeweizen. They're more than a little bizarre, and they leave your breath a little too suspiciously scented for a chance meeting with the cops.
Jelly Belly recommends pairing the Draft Beer jelly beans with other beans to make 'beer cocktails.' Beer (two beans) + peach (just one) = 'beer sangria', I guess, but it didn't quite work for me. Beer (two beans) + one red apple is supposed to be a cider shandy, which was pretty accurate, if super-sweet. The idea of beer jelly beans plus a lemon lime jelly bean and a Tabasco jelly bean had me a little nervous, but it worked the best of the bunch, since the Tabasco brings in actual savory spice that kind of helps you forget that you're eating beer-flavored candy.
What's next? Please tell me there's a Fernet-flavored jelly bean in the works, Jelly Belly.