I’ll admit that I have no idea what the desert tastes like. But I do have an imagination, and 5 Grass, the latest release from the year-old 5 Rabbit Cerveceria, could well be it. That’s what the brewers had in mind when they were making it, at least; founder Isaac Showaki says that for the final installment in their lineup of flagship beers—which also includes 5 Lizard, a Latin-style witbier; 5 Vulture, a Oaxacan-style dark ale; and 5 Rabbit, a golden ale—they wanted a beer that smells and tastes like—you guessed it—the desert. They made several test batches, experimenting with herbs and spices until they struck a balance that tasted right. While 5 Grass incorporates rosemary, juniper berry, two types of sage, and Tasmanian pepper berry, those flavors aren’t overwhelming (oregano was included at one point but eventually ditched because it was too strong). “Superextreme beers are popular,” Showaki says, but 5 Rabbit has always sought balance in its brews, even while incorporating ingredients like chiles and piloncillo sugar (in its 5 Vulture). The result in this case is a fresh, herbal beer that’s noticeably but not overwhelmingly bitter—in fact, it’s less hoppy than you’d expect considering its 60 IBUs. It’s currently available on draft at bars including State and Lake, Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap, the Fountainhead, the Bad Apple, and the Hopleaf, and will be sold in six-packs starting in August.
Best Beer That Tastes Like the Desert
5 Rabbit Cerveceria’s 5 Grass