Black Box Brewing Co. owner and brewer Jerome Welliver embraces the unusual. He sponsors the annual Miss Plumbers Crack Ale competition at Ohio Brew Week in Athens. He dressed up in lederhosen for the World Beer Festival in Cleveland this year. And he’s created a light cucumber ale.
So it should come as no surprise that Black Box is working on an alternative brew to all those pumpkin beers floating around. The Westlake brewery — which also makes a pumpkin beer called Erie Nights — will release a caramel apple ale in mid-October. It’s simply called Caramel Apple.
“Our vision is for the old-fashioned caramel apple that you got at the carnival,” Welliver said. “You want that crisp apple character underneath and nice caramel malt and spices.”
It will be a bigger beer at 8 or 9 percent alcohol by volume. It also will be made with apple juice —so it will be more of an apple beer.
“It gives somebody something other than a spiced pumpkin beer,” he said. “The spices that are going to be in this aren’t your typical spices that you find in a pumpkin ale. We’re looking for that toffee, kind of caramel character you get like when you took an apple and dipped it in soft caramel.”
Welliver made the beer on a whim about eight or nine years ago and then just got away from it. But apples rule today, with all the ciders, Redd’s Apple Ale and Shock Top Honeycrisp Apple Wheat available.
“Everybody is hip on apples,” he said.
Caramel Apple will be available on draft throughout Northeast Ohio. Black Box is distributed by R.L. Lipton Distributing Co.