March 28, 2023
Water has been in the Philly news cycle for all of the wrong reasons over the last week.
Water ice-flavored beer may be the silver lining we all need.
To recap, a chemical spill at a plant in Bucks County flowed into the Delaware River last Friday, sending the region into a panic shopping spree for bottled water. On Tuesday evening, Philadelphia officials said the city's drinking water supply is safe and no longer at risk of contamination.
Great, but who could be blamed for feeling like Bucks County kind of owes one to Philly to make up for this travesty?
One of the county's most celebrated brewers, Neshaminy Creek, will do its part by paying homage to another company with Bucks County roots — Rita's Italian Ice. (Alright, it's not actually about the water situation, but it doesn't hurt).
Neshaminy Creek announced its new mango-flavored, Rita's Fruit Brews beer on Tuesday, describing it as a blonde ale that will be sold in six-packs of 12-ounce cans following an April 15 launch party. The 5% ABV beer is brewed with two-row malt, white wheat and flaked oats. It's hopped with Herkules and Chinook and conditioned "on loads of juicy mangoes," the brewery said.
The beer will debut at the brewery's Croydon and Dublin taprooms during celebration events that begin at noon on Saturday, April 15. There will be live music, circus performers, food trucks and Rita’s water ice.
“The idea originated during the height of the pandemic when taking my kids to Rita’s was one of the few escapes from the monotony of working from home," said Kyle Park, director of sales and marketing at Neshaminy Creek. "The brand continues to be such a big part of our summer memories, creating a line of beers inspired by them felt like a no-brainer."
Rita's was founded in 1984 in Bensalem, a short drive from from Neshaminy Creek's production brewery. The company has gone on to franchise with more than 500 locations in the U.S. Neshaminy Creek was founded in 2010 and has expanded distribution to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland since then.
Rita's Fruit Brews Mango will be available at beer distributors, grocery stores, bottle shops and on draft in all of those states while supplies last.
“We’re thrilled to see Neshaminy Creek bring Rita’s to life in a new, exciting way for our adult fans,” said Linda Chadwick, CEO of Rita’s Licensing, LLC. “Rita’s Fruit Brews Mango is delightfully refreshing, unexpectedly not too sweet, and is true to the beer quality you can come to expect from Neshaminy Creek. It is sure to be a staple for craft beer lovers and Rita’s adult fans alike, and we can’t wait to see what flavor mashup their brewing team comes up with next.”
Neshaminy Creek hinted at "exciting plans for the future," which may mean that mango is the first in a series of Rita's-inspired beers from the brewery.