Forbidden Root Brewing Company beers have been available in Jacksonville for a while now, but the brewery’s unique Fernet-Branca inspired beer, Fernetic, has not made it south from Chicago – until now. In a press release, the brewery has announced that a limited amount – three kegs total – of the collaborative brew will hit Florida in three separate special tapings.
Fernet-Branca is an Italian digestif that is made from 27 herbs and spices such as rhubarb root, saffron, and wormwood among others. Forbidden Root deconstructed the beloved herbal bitter herbal spirit – also known as an amaro — and then reconstructed it into a limited-edition beer that hints of coffee and peppermint on the nose, offers complex flavors and a soft roastiness in its dark-colored finish.
First created in 1845 using a secret blend of 27 flowers, herbs, roots, and plants thought to have beneficial properties, Fernet-Branca is widely considered to be the quintessential digestif from Italy. Supporters of the 39% ABV potent potable swear that is has the ability to alleviate fatigue, relieve food bloat and cure hangovers.
Inspiration for the beer brewed by Forbidden Root came when the Count Eduardo Branca – a sixth generation member of the digestif’s founding family – visited the Forbidden Roots brewery and struck up a conversation with head brewer and operations manager, BJ Pichman. After a number of samples, the idea of a collaboration was floated out and Branca jumped at it.
For details on how you can get a taste of this unique and extremely rare collaboration, read the official press release below.
Chicago, IL—(June 8, 2017)—Fernetic, a collaboration between Chicago’s Forbidden Root Brewery and Fernet-Branca, will see limited distribution throughout the state of Florida. This highly sought after craft beer is Fernet-Branca’s first foray into craft beer. With help from the Branca family, the Forbidden Root team deconstructed the beloved Italian digestif and reconstructed the legendary family recipe into an unforgettable craft beer for Amaro and beer lovers alike.
At 8.4%, Fernetic is an exotic, spicy and complex beer from quality ingredients such as rhubarb root, saffron, and wormwood, among the selected botanics of the 27 herbs and spices found in Fernet-Branca. With hints of coffee and peppermint on the nose, Fernetic offers complex flavors and a soft roastiness in its dark-colored finish. Bitter notes build to a spicy, creamy middle and dry woody finish.
“I am extremely proud of Fernetic, a craft beer inspired by my family’s Fernet-Branca recipe that dates back to 1845,” says Edoardo Branca, the sixth generation Branca family member now managing the Fratelli Branca business in the U.S. “Our goal was to find a way to translate the Fernet-Branca experience into beer and Forbidden Root was the natural partner to make this happen. Amaro and craft beer fans alike will now get to experience something that has never been done before – the first collaboration of this kind for both Fernet-Branca and Forbidden Root.”
“Collaborations are always an opportunity to step outside your comfort zone and build off someone else’s creative energy,” says Forbidden Root head brewer BJ Pichman. “With Fernet-Branca, we were working with a nearly 175 year-old recipe, a body of very distinct flavors and a bitterness factor that is not usually present in beers. Our team really enjoyed the creative challenge of working to make a delicious, uncommon beer while keeping true to the flavors and history of the Fernet-Branca recipe.”
Fernetic will be launched at the Ice Plant Bar in St. Augustine, FL on June 21. A cocktail competition will run from 3-5 p.m. preceding the 5 p.m. Fernetic tapping. The event will give attendees an opportunity to taste the unique collaboration brew, meet Fernet-Branca and Forbidden Root representatives, and enjoy Fernet-inspired cocktails.