9/4/17: MadTree Brewing Company's Dreamsicle

1:16 PM

What's your dream? No, seriously. Given the subject of today's post this is not only a truly terrible pun (although it is so I'll own that), it's also a legitimate question. See, for as long as I've been going to MadTree, I've known about Dreamsicle. It's their kölsch that tastes like an orange creamsicle. I remember the first time I had it--it was on my very first trip to their old taproom. I was blown away. That first sip was as good as this beer ever got and it hasn't wavered in quality since.

Dreamsicle has long been a staple of MadTree. And, for as long as it's been on draft, fans of the brewery have been clamoring to get it canned. You could say it was a dream of theirs.

Then, lo!, in April of last year MadTree posted this image on their social media pages. Cincinnati beer drinkers went wild. Finally, they'd be able to take this magic elixir home to sit on and share with friends and loved ones when they visited or when they were visited.

But, all too late, people noticed the exact date of that Dreamsicle post. April 1st. It was all an elaborate joke. Some people laughed it off. Some people got angry.

MadTree, however, delivers on their promises. Nearly a year and five months after the joke, cans of Dreamsicle were officially released. They came out last Thursday. I drove straight to the brewery after I got off work to nab a sixer. I came home and drank three cans that night (each can clocks in at 4.7% ABV so put those judging eyes away). I gave one to my roommate. I'm about to crack into the fifth can. I'll try to hold onto the last one of those six as long as I'm able.


So, as you can probably tell by now, today's beer is Dreamsicle. I've had it before. It's good. Now, let's get down to the brass tacks.

I know MadTree. If you've been following this blog for any period of time, you know MadTree. If you're new around these parts you'd best buckle up. I'm going to speed through this. Just hit up the search bar in the upper right corner of my blog with the keyword "MadTree" if you need more than what I'm about to give you here.

MadTree's a Cincinnati area-based brewery that opened in 2013 with a vision of canning their beers. Shortly after they started their operation, other recognizable Cincinnati breweries hit the scene with canning aspirations. MadTree was first. Last year they moved from their first location (in Kennedy Heights) to a new one exactly one neighborhood over (in Oakley). MadTree 2.0, as it's called, allows the brewery to make a lot more beer and employ a lot more people. They also regularly support and donate to charities.

(That spiel was done from memory. Check out MadTree's website for authentic details on everything I just wrote.)

Should you follow the above link today (9/4/17) to visit MadTree's website, you'll be treated to an image of cans of Dreamsicle. Click that to be taken to the kölsch's official web presence. Here you'll see the ABV (4.7%, as stated above), that it's brewed with four kinds of malt, one variety of hops, orange bits (namely zest and juice), and vanilla.

I won't mince words here. Dreamsicle smells like freshly squeezed orange juice. I get none of that slight hoppiness that one attributes to a kölsch's aroma. Just orange with hint of vanilla standing in the orange's shadow. You know who doesn't like oranges or the smell of oranges? That's right. Purrl. She refused to deign to stick her nose anywhere near my can. That's a big honking zero on the Purrl score. She doesn't know what she's missing.

That's a cat who is not having any of it.
The flavor is where this beer really shines. Yes, it's got the crisp hoppiness one would find in a kölsch. But that's enough focusing on generics. No, this is a dreamsicle. This is a Dreamsicle. It's orange with a subtle vanilla core hidden within. Take a swig from a can and hold it for a minute. You'll see what I mean. The orange melts away and you're left with vanilla. The vanilla is doubly pronounced in the finish. It's incredible and a perfect treat for a sweltering day like today.

Like you'd expect given the flavor and the name of this beer, Dreamsicle has a very creamy mouthfeel. Takes you back to when you were a kid eating orange creamsicles.

Speaking of orange creamsicles and childhood, Dreamsicle brings one apt yet fragmented memory to my mind. It was before my family moved out to the country--long before. I was elementary school. It was in the evening of a late-summer day. The sun was starting to set. My brother, the kids from across the street, and myself were all outside on the sidewalk drawing with sidewalk chalk. Some parent (either my mom or dad or the neighbor kids' mom or dad, I can't recall) brought out a box of creamsicles and divvied them up amongst the four of us kids. We savored them and told each other the jokes on their sticks while we finished up our washable sidewalk masterpieces. It was the perfect ending to a fantastic summer day.

I love Dreamsicle. MadTree's been knocking it out of the park with this one for some time now, and I, like the rest of the Cincinnati beer-drinking community, am glad to see it finally in cans. I'm giving an easy 10/10. Buy it up while you can--it's a seasonal and will soon be gone until next year.

Also, let me throw this out there: You'll probably see one more MadTree post from me before the year is up. Last year the brewery posted this picture regarding their Thanksgiving beer, Pilgrim, to their Instagram. I've heard a rumor, from the same source that I heard about the legitimate canned Dreamsicle, that Pilgrim will be getting cans of its own this year. If this is true, I expect to see you back here for my review of it in November.

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