Food & Drink
Y’all, Wisconsin’s Al Johnson’s Restaurant & Butik Has A Lingonberry BeerJuly 26, 2019
First, there was a Swedish restaurant with goats on the roof. Then, that restaurant started selling its lingonberry preserves and other popular Swedish treats through its butik. And now, Al Johnson’s in Sister Bay, Wis., is whipping up something new.
Lingonberry lovers, you may want to take a seat. Beer lovers? You, too.
Yes, Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant and Butik is launching its first beer, and obviously, it’s lingonberry flavored. In honor of its 70th anniversary, the restaurant partnered with Badger State Brewing Company to create the craft brew, aptly named “Al Johnson’s Lingonberry Anniversary Ale.”
And while that may be a mouthful, the brew goes down smooth.
“Having our own beer feels like a truly natural addition, especially one that utilizes the flavor of lingonberries,” said Lars Johnson, son of Al Johnson’s founder Axel Albert (Al) Johnson, in a company statement. “For many years we’ve been one of the larger importers of lingonberries, so extending the properties of these amazing berries into the beer world just seems right.”
We think so, too.
The wheat ale is a fitting deep-pink color, which we love to see from a beer. The taste is a little tart, a characteristic of the lingonberry, which is similar to the cranberry. It’s easy to drink, both in taste and ABV, checking in at a modest 4.9 %.
We enjoyed a staff taste test, and one of our writers described it well: “If someone is looking to get into sours but doesn’t want to jump right in, this would be a good starter beer.”
Another staffer mused that it could be good served “root-beer-float style.” Paging Al Johnson’s, may we please have some more? It would only be right to test this highly scientific ice cream theory.
For now, the beer is on draft at Badger State Brewing and the Stabbur at Al Johnson’s beer garden. Retail cans of the new wheat ale are expected to be available this winter or early spring. Our calendars are marked!