Lollyphile's new beer lollipops are many things: the epitome of human innovation, the height of sweety science, and unfortunately, alcohol-free. But how do they do it and—more importantly—how do they taste? We talked to Lollyphile founder Jason Darling (and tried 'em for ourselves) to find out.
Darling's standard fare isn't what most would consider to be "normal" flavours. Rather, his interests lie strictly in the breast milk/blue cheese/chilli sauce/bacon realms. But how does he translate such unorthodox flavours into something approximating sweets? Trial and error. Darling explains:
Every once in a while, it'll come close to being dead-on on one of the first tries. But most of the time there's lots of back-and-forth between me and my flavour lab. Sometimes I'll even give them a specific brand—like make it taste like this brand of beer, or this style of curry.
They're willing to try pretty much anything. It's almost scary.
Every once in a while, though, it's hard to know exactly what flavours you're actually looking for. Take breast milk for instance.
I have a bunch of hippy friends who let me try their breast milk. And I learned a lot about the stuff all at once. Obviously it varies from person to person, but it does have a sort of nutty, almond flavour across the board.
But even with all of Darling's absurd concoctions, one request kept coming back: beer. Rather than go with some monstrous amalgam of every variety, he settled on the three types that most immediately come to people's minds when they think of beer: IPA and lager.
As for whether or not they actually tasted like their namesakes, well—it depends who you ask. Most of our testers were generally able to pick out the stout with relative ease, considering its more recognisable, chocolatey undertones. The IPA was mistaken for citrus quite a bit, since we imagine it's probably not easy to approximate its distinct hoppiness in something sugar-friendly. The lager was the most difficult for our tasters to pick out, one of whom compared it to the tepid, tasteless nectar of frat parties. But beer-iness aside, our kind semi-volunteers overwhelmingly said that they just tasted more or less like boiled sweet, as they would expect.
So if you're looking for a little fun, you've got nothing to lose. But if you're looking for something non-alcoholic to satisfy your cravings, stick to O'Douls.