October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which means you’ll be seeing pink everywhere, from the playing fields of the National Football League to the tower of the Empire State Building. One unexpected place to find a fluorescent shade of pink: your beer cooler.
Since 2011, California’s Green Flash Brewing has produced a limited-release beer called Treasure Chest to raise money for local and national breast cancer-related charities. The reason is personal: Lisa Hinkley, who founded the San Diego brewery with her husband, Mike, in 2002, received a diagnosis of breast cancer in 2010. After undergoing a bilateral mastectomy, she has been cancer-free for five years.
Each Treasure Chest is different from the last. Last year’s was a saison aged on plums, with a distinctive purple color. For 2015, Treasure Chest is what I’d call a tiki IPA: a lively 5.7 percent IPA brewed with grapefruit juice, prickly pear juice and hibiscus flowers.
Mosaic hops and the prickly pear provide a lot of tropical fruit and floral notes in the nose. The first taste is sweetness, with pink grapefruit and juicy mango. The herbal, earthy dryness in the finish provides a nice contrast. There’s a slight pink tinge to the golden beer — not really the “natural pink hue” the label promises that the hibiscus would provide.
Sales of Treasure Chest bottles and an annual Treasure Chest Fest at the brewery have raised a total of $150,000 for charity over the past four years. But this year, Green Flash is taking the beer nationwide in an attempt to raise $150,000 in 2015 alone. Treasure Chest is a novelty beer, very different from Green Flash’s bolder West Coast IPA or Palate Wrecker, but it’s a solid and refreshing IPA for a great cause.
— Fritz Hahn
Green Flash Brewing: www.greenflashbrew.com. $7.49 for a 22-ounce bottle at selected retailers, including Total Wine & More and Whole Foods Markets.