Mobcraft Beer | Beelzebub’s Run
Have you ever had a great idea for a beer but no means to realize it? Do you lay awake at night longing for that imperial rice lager aged in fish sauce barrels that nobody seems interested in brewing? Well, don’t lose hope; Mobcraft, the world’s first crowdsourced brewery, might just be the answer to your dreams.
I first became aware of Mobcraft during the 2014 Great American Beer Festival when their Batsh!t Crazy Brown Ale won a silver medal in the coffee beer category. Crowdfunded craft breweries are old news at this point, but how many brewers actually let their customers participate in the creative process? Mobcraft accepts suggestions as vague or complex as you care to make them, formulates recipes (homebrewers will definitely want to look here), then lets the community vote for their favorites by pre-ordering cases of the beer they’d most like to drink. A quick browse of the current selection of almost two dozen candidates gleaned options ranging from the eccentric—Jalapeno bacon IPAs and eggnog stouts—to more approachable fare in the form of brown and amber ales. Once a winner is selected, Mobcraft brews the recipe and ships it from their facility in Madison, Wisconsin to the lucky recipients, assuming they don’t live in Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Arkansas, Colorado, Federated States Of Micronesia, Alabama, Guam, Kansas, Maine, Marshall Islands, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Tennessee, Utah, Virgin Islands, or Minnesota. Yes, it’s a shame they don’t deliver to my home state of Colorado, and I didn’t think I’d have an opportunity to try any of these custom brews until a friend offered to do a little beer shopping on my behalf while visiting their family in Wisconsin. He came back with three Mobcraft beers, one of which was Beelzebub’s Run, a strong porter brewed with raspberries and cacao nibs.
Beelzebub’s Run pours dark brown with a respectable brown head. The aroma is mostly raspberry with dark malt and cocoa powder lingering in the background. A sip delivers all the raspberry the nose promised followed closely by a welcome bitterness from the roasty malt and cocoa nibs. The raspberry coats the tongue, lingering long after the bitterness fades, interwoven with the flavor of dark chocolate. Even at a 7.6% ABV that puts it in robust porter territory, the beer hides that alcohol neatly with its medium body and creamy texture.
In a day when it seems like a brewery opens every time someone steps on cat, Mobcraft has found a unique niche that really makes them stand out. I’m happy I had the opportunity to try Beelzebub’s Run, and I look forward to trying more of their one-off, crowdsourced beers in the near future. Now who wants to split a bottle of November’s Cashew and Durian pilsner?