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Pipeworks Brewing Co. | Super Rainbow Sure Bet

Pipeworks Super Rainbow Sure Bet DIPA
Jeff Knese

Super Rainbow Sure Bet from Pipeworks Brewing Company in Chicago isn’t subtle with its can design or willingness to use lots of ingredients. The beer itself, however, will surprise you. It’s a delicate but nuanced tropical Imperial IPA that is more like being kissed by a unicorn than kicked by one.

Addition by Addition

There are some beers out there that wow you with their simplicity. A crispy Pilsner, a roasty Porter, or a Single Hop IPA. They are all still finely crafted but put together with the bare minimum ingredient-wise. These beers are able to achieve their desired results without adjuncts.

Then there are beers like Super Rainbow Sure Bet from Pipeworks Brewing Company. Super Rainbow Sure Bet is also expertly crafted, but Pipeworks took a different route to get there. They piled on the hops, added tons of fruit and amped up the strength. The result is as impressive as some of the simple beers described above but with some qualities that may surprise you.

The Birth of the Unicorn

Pipeworks Brewing Company, sometimes known as Pdubs, has been around since 2012. Unlike some of the other Chicago craft beer mainstays, Pipeworks has always done things in its own distinct way. When they first got up and running they eschewed the more traditional business plan of starting slow and building based on the success of a flagship beer. Instead, they decided to go full creative mode and put out lots of one-off beers.  

Now ten years later, Pipeworks is still putting out plenty of creative and unique limited releases or one-offs like Fluffo Sando and Coconanajama. They also have a few flagship beers that have emerged, namely Ninja vs Unicorn, an Imperial IPA, and Lizard King a mosaic hopped American Pale Ale. In fact, if you took a random poll of Chicagoans about their favorite local beers you shouldn’t be surprised how many of them name NvU or Lizard King as one of their top choices.

Fruit and Cryo Hops

This brings us back to Super Rainbow Sure Bet. Super Rainbow Sure Bet isn’t a flagship beer, and it isn’t a one-off either. It’s part of the growing Sure Bet series of hoppy and fruity high-octane Imperial IPAs. The original Sure Bet has been around for a number of years while Rainbow Sure Bet and Super Rainbow Sure Bet are more recent additions. The most recent edition of Super Rainbow Sure Bet was released in May of 2022. 

All it takes is one look at the colorful and eye-catching can featuring a unicorn with rainbows shooting out of its eyes to know that this beer has a lot going on. Based on this description you would expect this to be a punch in the face, though it is anything but. It is not overpowering and is actually a delicate experience with well-balanced and subdued flavor.

Depending on how much of a sweet tooth you have, you may or may not have figured out that the name is a play on Rainbow Sherbet. Rainbow Sherbet is a frozen dessert similar to ice cream but more fruit-forward. Pipeworks truly summoned the spirit of Rainbow Sherbet with this beer.

Super Rainbow Sure Bet contains seven components that combine to create alcoholic Rainbow Sherbet in a can. The fruits used in Super Rainbow Sure Bet are tangerine, peach, mango and lime. The hop profile is Mosaic, Citra and Simcoe Cryo Hops. Pipeworks features Cryo hops in a few of their beers and has embraced Cryo hops with Super Rainbow Sure Bet. Cryo hops contain concentrated lupulin, which supplies the beer with strong hop flavors and aroma.

How About That Aroma?

The aroma is the first thing you notice when pouring the beer. The nose is fruity, tropical and extremely enticing. Super Rainbow Sure Bet also looks very appealing with the contrast between the golden beer and the nice pillowy head. The flavor follows right along with the aroma. The fruit and hop flavor comes first followed by a creaminess. A few seconds after that first sip, a warmness comes over your body. That’s when you realize that this fruity hoppy beer is also quite powerful. Super Rainbow Sure Bet weighs in at 10.1% alcohol by volume.

That high ABV is really the only thing standing in the way of this beer being a crusher. It’s bright and smooth enough to enjoy (one) on a summer patio but warming enough to have one on a cooler day or a night in. Who knew that something that reads as a big beer would be so delightful and approachable?

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