Petoskey Brewing Cranium Crush Beer Review

Style: Raspberry Cream Ale
ABV: 7%
8.5 Stars

Normally dessert is a treat saved for after your meal, but why not enjoy dessert while you eat your meal? In fact, why do we need to bring a meal into this at all? Skip the utensils and napkins and dishes and all that annoying chewing… give me my dessert in a 16oz aluminum beer can. Just make sure that can’s label shows a skull in a waffle cone and it says Petoskey Brewing on the front, because that means it contains the creamy liquid tastiness that is Cranium Crush Raspberry Waffle Cone Cream Ale.

I wasn’t terribly familiar with Petoskey Brewing when I first gave Cranium Crush a try. I’d had their Mind’s EyePA and thought it was pretty good, but aside from that, I hadn’t sampled anything else this Northern Michigan brewery has to offer. Luckily, their marketing department is doing something right, because I was immediately drawn to the can of Cranium Crush I saw sitting on the store shelf. What does that say about me, that all it takes to get my attention is an interesting, colorful beer can? Probably quite a bit. Does it mean I’ll buy your beer? Maybe. Will I buy your beer if it says “Raspberry Waffle Cone Cream Ale” on the label? Yup.

When I cracked it open and poured it into a pint glass, it smelled strongly of raspberries and was a pale, orangish yellow in color. Wait, what nonsense is this? Yellow? A beer that smells like it’s packed full of raspberries should surely be red, but nope, there it sat, being all yellow… a tiny bubbly head on top, inviting me to take a sip. An invitation I gladly accepted.

To put it in terms I’m sure anyone can relate to, Cranium Crush tastes like a melted raspberry creamsicle siphoned directly into your face through an ice cream cone (that’s a thing people do, right?). It’s straight-up delightful. Petosky Brewing adds actual waffle cones to the mash during the brewing process, giving the beer a nice dash of vanilla, which balances out the raspberries nicely. It’s sweet, but not overly so, and very smooth with not much carbonation. An obvious comparison to Cranium Crush would be Founders’ Rubaeus, though I find Rubaeus to be much sweeter and not nearly as smooth as Cranium Crush, the latter of which also has a noticeably malty backbone, making it taste more like beer and less like alcoholic juice.

With only 15 IBUs and a respectable 7% ABV, this is a beer that’s very easy to drink but also one that could get you into trouble. But I say bring it on. It’s Summer… let the kids have their ice cream cones, I’ll take my sweet refreshment in a 16oz aluminum can stamped Petoskey Brewing.

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A craft beer fan since 19, used to look for your non-regular beers on frequent trips to downtown Windsor with friends, at 21 Ken basically took over an entire refrigerator with monthly visits to Merchants. With 5 years of podcasting prior, Ken decided to create the brand and show Better on Draft in the spring of 2015, and began creating his dream of a beer-centric website that wasn't too full of itself. He now runs the board and does a lot of the back office stuff while the show goes on, keeping everyone in line, and the beer flowing!