TWO BROTHERS IS reportedly the nation’s top importer of Thai palm sugar. A niche product, to be sure, but that a craft brewery should be the nation’s top importer of any food product is a little surprising. Less so, though, after tasting Cane & Ebel. This pale ale is aggressively hopped (68 IBU) and packed with spicy rye, but its sugary sweetness still wins both the nose and palate. Pouring a dark amber/light brown, Cane & Ebel has a thick aroma of pineapple—not of pungent hops, rather of sweetly caramelized fruit sugars—enhanced by caramel malts. Some rye spice is noticeable along with herbal hops, but the rye doesn’t assert itself till the finish. The beer’s 7% ABV add a touch of booze and keep the body on the lighter side, though Two Brothers says the palm sugar is used for the creamy mouthfeel instead of boosting fermentables. Indeed, it does its job a little too well, muting the rye spice and hoppiness the beer advertises on its label. Still intriguing and fairly tasty overall, its error could be more in the marketing than the making.
Served: 12 oz bottle