The botanic brewery collaborates with the makers of Fernet-Branca to create a unique, limited-edition beer
CHICAGO — Forbidden Root, Chicago’s botanic brewery and restaurant, will release Fernetic, a first-ever collaboration with the producers of Fernet-Branca on January 19. 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 released at Forbidden Root's West Town location on January 19, at 6 p.m. Admission to the party is FREE but attendees must register here and be of legal drinking age. The event will give attendees an opportunity to taste the unique collaboration brew, taste Fernet-Branca inspired bites, and meet the makers of Fernetic. Fernetic will be available on draft and 22-ounce bottles, dipped in black wax, will be available on a very limited basis for $14.99.
Everyone’s favorite Italian amaro, Fernet-Branca has a rich history as the world's most popular digestivo, made with 27 herbs and spices, that to this day are a closely guarded family secret. Though it was born back in 1845, over the years Fernet-Branca has successfully preserved the personality and uniqueness that have conquered Europe and America alike. Its secret formula, passed down from father to son in the Branca family, has guaranteed the protection of the quality that still makes it the digestive bitter liqueur par excellence. Indeed, the 27 herbs it contains come from four continents: aloe comes from South Africa, rhubarb from China, gentian from France, galingale from India or Sri Lanka, chamomile from Italy or Argentina, just to name a few. On top of that there are flowers, herbs, roots and plants used for alcoholic brews, extracts and teas that, blended in a special mixture, produce the beneficial properties of the product. Fernet-Branca ages for at least one year in oak barrels and has a light brown color with amber hues. Its aroma is intense and penetrating, balanced and rich.
Forbidden Root, Chicago’s first botanic brewery and restaurant, is housed in the former Hub Theater space, located at 1746 W. Chicago Ave., in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood. Forbidden Root’s year-round beers include: Wildflower Pale Ale (WPA), Sublime Ginger; and Money on My Rind, in addition to several one-off releases and pub-only offerings.
Since its inception in May 2014, the brewery has worked toward its mission to step outside of traditional styles by using botanicals and other ingredients not usually found in beer while still respecting traditional brewing practices.
The Forbidden Root restaurant and brewery is open seven days a week from 11 a.m.- midnight. Brunch is served all day on Sundays and an all day menu is served Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. with lunch specials. For more information, visit Forbidden Root’s website or follow the brewery on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram at @ForbiddenRoot and Untappd.