Inner Groove Partners with Oakmont Bakery on a Gingerbread Beer

This weekend, you can try ‘Ginger Bell Rock' - a festive brown ale brewed in Verona using 10 dozen gingerbread cookies from Oakmont Bakery.

by Aadam Soorma
November 19, 2019

ABV is our weekly series that highlights a different beer from a local Pittsburgh brewery every week. Check out our past picks here.

Fans of Oakmont Bakery: cheers! There’s an upcoming collaboration beer made just for you and just in time for the holidays.

Inner Groove Brewing in Verona has partnered with Oakmont Bakery to release Ginger Bell Rock; a brown ale brewed using actual gingerbread cookies from the bakery.

Here’s where (and when) you can try this seasonal, festive treat.

A look inside the taproom at Inner Groove Brewing. Photo: Pat Hogan

Saturday, Nov 23 – Keg Tapping at The Oaks Theater

Inner Groove Brewing will be on-site at the annual Hometown Christmas festival in Oakmont.

Head to The Oaks Theater beginning at 3pm for an inaugural sample pour of Ginger Bell Rock. They’ll also be selling full pours for you Gingerbread fanatics. Plan to stick around (Spoiler Alert: Santa!) and continue the party with more of the collaboration beer, after the parade.

Sunday, Nov 24 – Beer Release Party at Inner Groove Brewing

The festive weekend continues with Inner Groove’s beer release party on Sunday, Nov 24. Head to the Verona taproom beginning at 2pm for beer, and – we’re being told – actual gingerbread cookies to kickoff the formal launch of Ginger Bell Rock brown ale.

A flight of beers at Inner Groove Brewing. Photo: Pat Hogan

What to expect from Ginger Bell Rock brown ale

We chatted with the team at Inner Groove Brewing in Verona to better understand how this partnership came together.

“A little while back, we made an oatmeal raisin beer. It wasn’t a collaboration beer, but we got great feedback,” explains Kevin Walzer, one of the co-owners at Inner Groove. “The beer performed really well for us.”

Kevin Walzer is a brewer and co-owner at Inner Groove Brewing in Verona. Photo: Pat Hogan

Fast forward a bit and we’re entering the Holiday season. It made sense for the brewery to try something collaborative with a festive angle.

“Basically, we took 10 dozen gingerbread cookies from Oakmont Bakery and added them straight into the mash,” Walzer says.

The mash – for folks unfamiliar – is an early stage of the brewing process that involves boiling hot water, milled grain and other ingredients that literally get “mashed” together using brewing equipment to extract sugar and prepare the recipe for fermentation.

“One thing we’re proud of is that we’re able to brew a variety of styles (of beer). To keep up with demand, we regularly brew our brown ale. It’s available for our guests nearly all the time.”

Folks who are fond of brown ales (think Newcastle Brown, etc) will note the flavors and aromas resulting from this brown ale base.

“Finally, we added more (Oakmont Bakery) gingerbread cookies into the cold side to round out the conditioning and prepare the beer for this weekend’s launch,” Walzer said.

While the “mash” and “boil” are commonly referred to as the hot side of brewing, the stages that follow (after heat is extracted) can be called the cold side of brewing. Yeast interacts with sugar (a process called flocculation) and hops are added to bring the beer up to its desired flavor and strength. Once the beer is cooled and carbonated, voila! It is ready to be served.

The co-owners of Inner Groove Brewing. Photo: Pat Hogan

ABV, volume XLII

Ginger Bell Rock Brown Ale – available beginning Saturday, Nov 23

Beer Name: Ginger Bell Rock

Style / ABV: Brown Ale in collaboration with Oakmont Bakery, 5.8% ABV

Why we recommend it: No doubt, this is timely and seasonally relevant. I admire the brewery & bakery peeps collaborating on a release that syncs up with Oakmont’s Light Up Night.

Per Inner Groove: Ginger Bell Rock is a Gingerbread Cookie Brown Ale. Think naughty and nice with a tad sweetness and a tingle of a gingery bite finish, just like the cookie.

Safe to say, brown ale fans will love this. The allure of this particular collaboration also speaks toward craft beer drinkers who have more recently found themselves frequenting breweries. This will be a fun, festive beer. Nice work, Inner Groove.

When is it available: Ginger Bell Rock will launch on Saturday, Nov 23 at The Oaks Theater; as part of the annual Hometown Christmas event, Inner Groove’s team will be on-site for a ceremonial keg tapping. Head there and be the first to try it. You can also try Ginger Bell Rock at Inner Groove Brewing’s taproom starting Sunday, Nov 24 in Verona.

How is it served: Draft sizes at Inner Groove are 5-oz // 12-oz // 16-oz. They aren’t canning quite yet, but you can certainly ask about growler and crowler fills in the taproom.

Where is it available: Inner Groove Brewing (Verona)

Honorable Mention Beer: Not into brown ales? Not a problem. We highly recommend Inner Groove’s First Born Unicorn Pale Ale (5.7% ABV)

Photos by Pat Hogan. Follow Pat on Instagram.


Inner Groove Brewing
Getting there
751 E Railroad Ave, Verona, PA 15147, USA
Mon Closed
Tue-Thu 5–10pm
Fri 4–10pm
Sat 12–10pm
Sun 12–7pm
More Info

Visiting Verona?

In 2012, Aadam moved to Pittsburgh. He's currently parked (sans chair) in Lawrenceville and plans to stay a while. On the weekends, you'll find him driving a small green bus (Porter Tours) as he leads tours at local breweries. Got a fun story idea? DMs are open: @asoorma.

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