Around these parts, we’re supporters of the hazy IPA. We are also supporters of cleverly nostalgic beer gambits. So ding ding ding, Marz Brewing! We’re digging the thinking behind Cryo Crag. It’s the newest release from the Chicago brewery behind Jungle Boogie, Smoke Wheat Everyday, and other delightfully named beers. In this case, the name tips its hat to the Aggro Crag, the daunting mountain that so challenged competitors on Nickelodeon GUTS. It’s easier seen than explained, so feast your eyes:
Now that we’ve got the “crag” part of Cryo Crag explained, onto the “cryo.” Cryo Hops are a “a bright-green hop powder created by Yakima Chief-Hopunion, or YCH, a major Yakima, Washington-based hop supplier.” Thanks to a proprietary process, the powder is “much more concentrated than whole hop cones or the standard dried, milled hop pellets—YCH recommends that brewers use half the amount of regular hops—and bursting with the zesty citrus aromas and pungent dank notes that drive New England-style-IPA fans wild, without any astringency.” (Thanks for the explainer, Washington Post!)
That’s all very delicious-sounding, but Marz pushed things a bit further with this release, teaming with Crystal Collective to offer crystal- and crystal choker accompaniments. Per Marz, the crystals may help drinkers to “[charge] their life with energy that helps them stay focused.” The sparkly things are available for pre-order with the beer, but the brewery warns that they’ve got a limited supply (and you’ve got to pick up at the brewery, so sorry, non-Chicagoans).
In short, if you are fueled by either “zesty citrus aromas and pungent dank notes,” pretty shiny crystals that probably don’t have mystical effects on the body, or ’90s nostalgia, Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood has a beer for you.