One of the most unusual beers produced in Ohio is coming back. Next month, Black Box Brewing Co. in Westlake will release the first new batch of Cucumber Belgian White Wheat in three years.
Black Box peels and cuts 150 pounds of fresh cucumber, and adds orange peel to the brew, giving it a distinct cucumber aroma and flavor. The label features a large cucumber smashed on top of an empty brown bottle. There's also a black hammer and the slogan: "Why not pound a few back today!" The beer is 5 percent alcohol by volume. (An early version of label is attached.)
The beer will be available in limited supply in the Cleveland area in kegs and -- for the first time -- in bottles. Brewer and owner Jerome Welliver expects the beer to hit the market in early or mid-June. Black Box made only 30 barrels, but can quickly make more if there's demand, he said.
The cucumber wheat is one of the most unusual beers I had ever tasted when I traveled around the state sampling every Ohio-made beer made for the book Ohio Breweries. It was light, refreshing and had a distinct cucumber flavor that quickly disappeared, leaving me wanting to take another sip.
The recipe is the same as it was three years ago -- except Black Box added more cucumber this time. Welliver wasn't sure where the beer will be distributed yet. He suggested people keep an eye on the Black Box Facebook page for updates.