RedEye

Jelly Belly debuts draft beer flavor jelly bean; tastes wheaty, smells yeasty

Jelly Belly Candy Co., the Fairfield, Calif., maker of Jelly Belly jelly beans (about 37 million pounds of them annually), has announced a new flavor: draft beer.

Jelly Belly also introduced dark chocolate-covered Tabasco Jelly Bellys at this month's Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. (The Tabasco Jelly Bellys have been a flavor since last year; it's the chocolate coating that's new.)

Draft beer isn't one of Jelly Belly's "rookie" flavors, which include the 50 classics such as buttered popcorn, green apple, coconut, sour cherry, cappuccino and raspberry. The draft beer Jelly Bellys are an iridescent gold and were inspired by German hefeweizen, the company said.

Beer is a flavor that consumers had requested for decades, the company said. According to a release, the jelly beans have an “effervescent and crisp flavor .... Beer connoisseurs will find the flavor profile to be clean with notes of wheat and a touch of sweetness. The aroma is mildly bready.”

It's true, they do taste like sweet beer, with "notes of wheat" even. But their aroma is more than "mildly bready." They smell like sour mash. The smell of fermentation might be off-putting enough to make you wonder whether it's one of Jelly Belly's "BeanBoozled" flavors (remember canned dog food and skunk spray?). Or maybe it's a selling point for beer-brewing aficionados.

“Usually the factory has a sweet and fruity aroma, but when we’re making this flavor it’s just like being in an ale house,” Jeff Brown, vice president in charge of manufacturing for Jelly Belly, said in a release.

Other new cocktail-inspired flavors include piña colada, mai tai and strawberry daiquiri. None contains any alcohol.

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Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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