If you’ve ever wondered whether or not Twisted Tea should be classified as beer, you’re not alone. This popular alcoholic beverage has caused quite a bit of confusion among drinkers, thanks to its name and marketing. So, what is the answer? Is Twisted Tea beer? Let’s take a closer look.
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What is Twisted Tea?
Twisted Tea is an alcoholic beverage that is brewed like beer, is malt-based, and is made with tea leaves. It comes in either a bottle or a can and is available in several flavors. It has a sweet taste and is typically consumed cold.
While the exact recipe for Twisted Tea is unknown, we do know that it contains malt, tea, alcohol, and flavorings, unlike beer it does not contain hops. The alcohol content in Twisted Tea can range from 4-6% ABV.
Twisted Tea Ingredients
The ingredients in Twisted Tea include malt grains, yeast, and water, it is also assumed that it contains ingredients such as corn syrup, natural flavors, citric acid, sodium benzoate (preservative), and caffeine from the tea leaves. Some flavors of Twisted Tea also contain artificial colors.
How is Twisted Tea Brewed?
The makers of Twisted Tea keep the exact recipe for their popular beverage a closely guarded secret however there is no question that it is brewed using a process similar to that of brewing beer. First, a malt (beer-like) base would be brewed using grains (malt) and water in a similar process to that of beer, it would then be fermented with yeast for approximately 7 – 14 days.
For the tea component, our best guess is that water and corn syrup are combined and heated until the corn syrup dissolves. Then, tea leaves are steeped in the hot liquid for a period of time. After that, the brewed tea is combined with natural flavors and artificial colors before being mixed with the malt (beer) base.
Is Twisted Tea Beer?
The answer to this question is slightly convoluted. Although as a result of its malt base and how it is brewed it is more closely related to beer than any other alcoholic beverage technically speaking, no, Twisted Tea is not a beer and one of the main reasons for this is that it does not contain hops.
Beer contains 4 main ingredients, water, malt, yeast, and hops as such Twisted Tea is better classified as a malt beverage. However, because it is brewed using the same process as beer for the most part and does contain malt, many people do consider it to be a type of beer. In the end, it is up to the drinker to decide what they want to call it.
So there you have it: although Twisted Tea is closely related to beer, having many of the same ingredients and being brewed in the same manner, ultimately it can not be classified as a beer as it is missing one of the main ingredients of beer, i.e. hops.
P.S. If you brew your own beer or want to start, be sure to pick up our gift to you of Big Robb’s top 5 favorite beer recipes from his brewpub. Cheers!