When it comes to beer, there are countless options to choose from. From light to dark, hoppy to malty, and everything in between. But have you ever wondered who makes natural ice beer? This popular brew has a distinct taste and is a favorite among many beer enthusiasts. In this article, we will dive into the history and creation of natural ice beer, as well as explore the companies that produce it.
Table of Contents
What is Natural Ice Beer?
Natural ice beer, often shortened to “Natty Ice,” is a type of American lager that is brewed with a higher alcohol content and lower cost than other beers. It was first introduced by Anheuser-Busch in 1995 as a response to the popularity of other high-alcohol beers such as Bud Ice and Milwaukee’s Best Ice. Natural ice beer has an ABV (alcohol by volume) of 5.9%, which is higher than the standard 4-5% found in most American lagers.
How is Natural Ice Beer Made?
The process of making natural ice beer is similar to other American lagers. It begins with a mixture of malted barley, corn, and water, which is then heated and boiled to make a sweet liquid called wort. Hops are added to the wort for flavor and bitterness, and the mixture is then cooled and fermented with yeast. The beer is aged and carbonated before being packaged in cans or bottles.
What makes natural ice beer unique is the process of “icing” it. After the beer is fermented, it is chilled to near-freezing temperatures, causing water to freeze and separate from the alcohol. The ice is then removed, leaving a higher concentration of alcohol in the remaining liquid.
Who Makes Natural Ice Beer?
As mentioned earlier, natural ice beer was first introduced by Anheuser-Busch in 1995. The company has since been acquired by Belgian-Brazilian conglomerate InBev, but still produces natural ice beer under the Anheuser-Busch name. Other companies that produce natural ice beer include MillerCoors, which makes Icehouse, and Pabst Brewing Company, which produces Stroh’s Ice.
The Legacy of Natural Ice Beer
While natural ice beer may not be the most popular brew among beer enthusiasts, it has a loyal following and is a staple in many college towns and dive bars. Its higher alcohol content and lower cost make it an attractive option for those looking to drink on a budget. However, it is important to drink responsibly and in moderation, as excessive consumption of any alcoholic beverage can have negative health effects.
In conclusion, natural ice beer is a unique and affordable option for beer drinkers. It is produced by several major companies, including Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, and Pabst Brewing Company. While its taste may not be for everyone, it has undoubtedly left its mark on the American beer industry.
1. Is natural ice beer gluten-free?
No, natural ice beer is not gluten-free. It is made with malted barley, which contains gluten.
2. How many calories are in natural ice beer?
A 12-ounce can of natural ice beer contains approximately 157 calories.
3. Is natural ice beer vegan-friendly?
It depends on the brand. Some companies use animal-derived finings in their brewing process, while others use plant-based alternatives. It’s always best to check with the company or look for information on their website.
4. Can natural ice beer be aged?
While it is not typically recommended to age American lagers, some beer enthusiasts have experimented with aging natural ice beer. However, the beer may lose its carbonation and freshness over time.
5. Is natural ice beer only available in the United States?
Yes, natural ice beer is primarily marketed and sold in the United States.