Today is December 21st, 2012 and according to the Mayans, we’re all supposed to die today. Nothing says holiday cheer like the impending apocalypse. With the end of the world approaching, I was pleasantly surprised to be invited to attend a dangerously last minute sneak preview of 5 Rabbit’s “very limited edition” beer, Ki’Chun, to celebrate the Mayan end of days.
5 Rabbit Cervecería has been around for a little over a year now and has graced us with a handful of unique and meticulously thought out beers. After contract brewing for the majority of the their existence, 5 Rabbit has found their own place to call home on the Southwest side of the city in Bedfork Park. Appropriately meaning “tasty start”, Ki’Chun was brewed to celebrate the winter solstice but perhaps, even more appropriately, to commemorate the beginning of their brand spanking new facility.
Upon entering the brewery, the first thing you notice is the amount of space 5 Rabbit brewers/co-owners, Andrés, Isaac and Randy, have to work with — 25,000 square feet to be exact. Currently, they are set up with a 30 bbl brewing system with 60 bbl fermenters which leaves plenty of room to expand production and variety of beer. The second thing you notice is the brand new, state-of-the-art brewing system waiting to be put to work. A handful of test batches were already in the tanks, I was lucky enough to sample the first batch of 5 Lizard and 5 Grass pulled straight from the source. Delicious as always, but the real treat was definitely Ki’Chun.
Ki’Chun ale is brewed with Chanterelle mushrooms (yes, you read that right, mushrooms) and “blends the apricot perfume of chanterelles with three malts and toasted oats, all tied together by the exotic fruitiness of New Zealand Rakau hops, accented by a Belgian yeast strain. Dark Thai palm sugar lightens the body a bit and makes this 9.5 % alc/vol beer dangerously drinkable, dry and creamy.” Basically, you end up with a very easy drinking ale that finds the perfect and unexpected balance between sweet and earthy. It very seriously rivals 5 Lizard as my favorite 5 Rabbit brew.
It’s clear to see that everyone at 5 Rabbit is excited about their operation and the ability to finally have control over their beer and overall destiny. Inviting a bunch of beer bloggers in to sample Ki’Chun, eat tacos, participate in a Randy Mosher impromptu cheese pairing challenge and generally nerd out with other beer writers shows their eagerness to spread the word about their future plans. If their past is any indication of their future, I’m equally as eager to to see what they have in store.