Heavy Seas Beer is making a blonde ale that tastes like egg custard

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Label art designed by Owen Murphy of One Drop Design Studio. Image courtesy of Heavy Seas Beer.

A summertime Baltimore staple has earned its own signature brew.

Halethorpe-based Heavy Seas Beer announced today that it’s rolling out the canned Bmore Snoball, a first-of-its-kind “egg custard blonde ale” commemorating the original flavor of the popular warm weather dessert that was originally made with shaved ice, sugar, vanilla and eggs.

Thankfully for most, this recipe will omit the final of those ingredients. (“It does not taste like eggs,” Heavy Seas made sure to note in a release.)

Brewmaster Christopher Leonard said in a statement that the beer will use use Maris Otter pale malt for its base, with added Munich malt giving it a “bready character,” plus Stresselspalt hops. Other ingredients in the recipe include “LOTS” of vanilla and “just a touch of nutmeg and cinnamon.”

The tradition of egg custard snowballs in Baltimore dates to the 19th century, when trains would carry ice from northern states down to Florida and stop through Baltimore and dole out shavings from their haul to the kiddos, according to this brief history from Preservation Maryland. Their mothers would then spruce the shavings up with flavored syrups, including an egg custard one made with the aforementioned ingredients.

The cost-effective treat was popularized further during the Great Depression, and sales remained strong even through World War II when milk and sugar were rationed, according to the preservation nonprofit.

And nearly a century later, the recipe is now being tested in the craft beer boom. Heavy Seas is making the 5.5 percent ABV Bmore Snoball on its new 15-barrel system, marking its fifth such small-batch release of 2019. Local artist Owen Murphy, of One Drop Design Studio, designed the label art, seen above.

It’ll be available exclusively at the brewery at 4615 Hollins Ferry Road starting Friday, July 26, in four-packs of 16-oz. cans, as well as on draft.

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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in CityLab, Slate, Baltimore City Paper, DCist and elsewhere.
Ethan McLeod
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