Chipotle Is Getting Into The Craft Beer Game

We're (mostly) all fans of Chipotle over here are Food Republic HQ. There are couple locations close to our office. We've determined Chipotle by the numbers. We've even offered up what we call the oldest Chipotle trick in the book, which was previously a big secret. And now Chipotle is getting into the craft beer business. Well, sorta.

This afternoon we were given world that the Denver-based burrito-bowl bosses are releasing their own microbrews, to flow in conjunction with their annual traveling Cultivate Music Festival — with stops this year in San Francisco (June 8), Denver (August 17) and Chicago (September 7). The Cultivate Farmhouse Ale will be a Saison-style beer and, as the press release notes, will have a style that is unique to each city. The three beers will be made in partnership with Speakeasy Ales & Lagers in San Francisco, Great Divide Brewing Company in Denver and Five Rabbit Cerveceria in Chicago.

This brings us to the big question that is bouncing around our office. When will the 1,450-chain operation begin to brew, and sell, their own beer? They recently stepped up their margarita game with a new recipe that features Patrón and lime juice (not the sugar-water mix you find in most marg machines). And now this news about the Chipotle-engineered brew at Cultivate. We're thinking it's only a matter of time before they offer something on their own. In the meantime, here is some more information about the three special brews, from the release:

Speakeasy Ales & Lagers of San Francisco, Calif.

This special edition ale has a golden yellow appearance with a full white head. Slightly hazy, its aroma evokes fruity and spicy esters with herbal and floral notes. The flavor is a complex mix of fruit and spice notes, including Elderflower with a dry, highly carbonated mouth feel. It uses Belgian Pilsner & Pale along with Canadian Honey malts, as well as German Magnum and Hallertauer Hops and Saison II yeasts. 7% ABV.

Great Divide Brewing Company of Denver, Colo.

This beautifully crafted Saison is brewed with barley, wheat and rice with the addition of black peppercorn and sweet orange peel. This exclusive ale is delightfully fruity and slightly tart, with a dry finish infused with the slightest hint of black pepper spice. In traditional farmhouse fashion, this refreshing Belgian is born to be celebrated throughout summer months. 7.3% ABV.

Five Rabbit Cerveceria of Chicago

This Saison brew has a deep golden and slightly hazy appearance. Flaked rye is added to accentuate the phenolic notes of yeast, and a varietal Mexican honey adds a sweetish aroma with a crisp, dry finish. 5.8% ABV.