We have put no small amount of thought into what makes an ideal taffy apple, and Affy Tapple has always been the unrivaled champion. The apples are the perfect size, not too tart, soft to bite into, and completely covered with crunchy, savory nuts. These apples never try to get too fancy with overly complicated toppings such as M&Ms and chocolate drizzle. They are exactly what they are, and what they have been since 1948: a seasonal delight to look forward to all year long. Phase Three Brewing Company in Lake Zurich, Illinois, seems to understand the supremacy of the Affy Tapple as much as we do, because the two brands have partnered on A Bushel of Apples, a beer brewed in partnership with the makers of the classic fall treat.
According to a press release, the brewery “took a traditional blonde ale and added apple juice, peanuts, and Affy Tapple caramel to create the unmistakable aroma and flavor of an Affy Tapple Caramel Apple.” Beers with so-called caramel notes are already common, so reading this description, I can sense, with unreasonable levels of excitement, what this might taste like. The only thing that’s throwing me is the peanuts. Will they add anything to the flavor profile? Could the answer do anything to diminish my anticipation of this beer?
“The moment we started discussing a collaboration with Affy Tapple, we knew it was a no-brainer,” said Phase Three co-founders Evan Morris and Shaun Berns. “We love their long, Chicago-based history.” (Affy Tapple is based in Niles, Illinois, just 20 miles from Phase Three.)
If you, like me, wish to drink “A craft beer with notes of sweet caramel and nutty peanuts, and a crisp, refreshing apple finish,” A Bushel of Apples will be available starting Saturday, October 10 at the Phase Three taproom in Lake Zurich. Naturally, Affy Tapples will also be for sale, and the brewery will be raffling off prizes to raise money for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. That means you don’t have to feel the least bit self-conscious about driving great distances to purchase a novelty beer—you can say you’re doing it for a good cause.