Craft Beer Review: Three Floyds Zombie Dust

We all love an ice-cold beer during the evenings, especially after a busy day at the office has left us feeling exhausted and overworked.

So if you are a hardcore beer enthusiast, then chances are you spend your free time sampling as many obscure beers as you can find, from international brands to lesser-known blends being brewed in your local area. But with so many craft beers currently available, which one should you add next to your ever-growing bucket list?

Well, if you consider yourself a fan of pale ales, then we think we might have found the perfect beer for your next tasting experience.

Produced by the 3 Floyds brewing company, Zombie Dust is an aromatic creation that is favoured in the Midwest, where it still remains the popular pale ale of choice. And although the beer is considered very hard to find, we were able to get our hands on a bottle for this review. 

So if you have ever wondered why Zombie Dust is so popular, then we have everything you need to know about the ale and its cult status. 

Overview

As we previously mentioned, Zombie Dust is a pale ale that is brewed by the 3 Floyds brewing company, which was first founded in 1996 by brothers Nick and Simon Floyd and their father Mike. The company’s headquarters can currently be found in Munster, Indiana, where the brewery produces its 10 year-round beers. 

Considered especially difficult to find, Zombie Dust can now be found in liquor stores and micro-breweries across the country, with increased production making it more readily available to the public.

Although the beer is now much easier to come across, this does not mean that it will appear in many commercial stores, as it is still defined as an obscure and lesser-known brand. 

Due to its limited supply, Zombie Dust will often be sold at expensive prices, with some stores being known to sell the brand for around $5 a bottle. A steep price when you consider that the 3 Floyds brewing company sells the beer in six-packs for $10 each.

However, if you are lucky, you may come across the brand in a more independent establishment for a much cheaper price. 

In terms of alcoholic content, Zombie Dust contains an ABV of 6.2% and IBUs of 50, making it a moderately potent pale ale. However, it is still not the most alcoholic pale ale produced by the 3 Floyds brewing company, as their Permanent Funeral brand is known to feature an ABV of 10.5% and IBUs of 100. 

Detailed Look

When you finally get the chance to open a bottle of Zombie Dust, you may find yourself stricken by the beer’s overall look, with both the bottle and ale being distinguished by their unique and dominant appearances.

Zombie Dust usually comes inside a common brown beer bottle that is slim and easy to grip in your hand. However, it is the beer’s label that is particularly striking, as it displays the graphic image of an undead skeletal warrior. 

This is how the 3 Floyds brewing company describes Zombie Dust – ‘This intensely hopped and gushing undead pale ale will be one’s only respite after the zombie apocalypse.

Created with our marvellous friends in the comic industry.’ – due to the final part of that statement, we can assume that the label has been designed by a professional comic book artist. Something that is particularly believable when you consider just how striking and powerful the final image is. 

One of the first things you will experience when you open your bottle of Zombie Dust is the ale’s intense aroma, which begins to fill the room the second you have popped the lid. Featuring heavy undertones of earth and pine, the aroma of this beer only continues to grow, especially once it has been poured into a cool beer glass. 

Beyond its gory and artistic label, the ale is also noticeable for its rich color, which when properly poured takes on a deep golden hue, with varying shades of amber also blending through the liquid. Like many pale ales, Zombie dust also sports a bright white foam, which can settle into a thick and frothy head once it has been poured and allowed to rest. 

Taste

Now we’ve come to the part that you’ve all been waiting for, what does Zombie Dust taste like? What makes Zombie Dust so unique coming after craft beers and commercial pale ales is its uncanny ability to balance various flavors and textures into one harmonious whole.

If you have ever tried brewing your own beer, you will know just how difficult this is to do, with even some popular brands not being able to capture the perfect blend. 

In these modern times, pale ales and IPAs are beginning to trend more and more for their fruity undertones, with the beer’s natural bitterness being disregarded for a more sweet and lasting taste.

However, Zombie Dust does not fall into this category and is completely unapologetic in what it is – which is a bold and aromatic beer that is brimming with natural bitterness. 

In its finest moments, Zombie Dust can perfectly balance its notes of pine, malt and fruit, while also undercutting these various flavors with the beer’s naturally bitter taste.

Out of all the beers we have had the pleasure of tasting, Zombie Dust has been one of a small few where we could distinguish the fruity hints of the hops, which blended very well with the overall piney aromas. 

As we mentioned in the section above, Zombie Dust is a bitter beer and it is not ashamed of this fact, with the ale seemingly relishing in its powerful taste.

However, this does not mean that Zombie Dust delivers the kind of bitterness that will render your taste buds useless, as the smoothness of the malt helps to keep the bitterness under control. The final result is a delicious and moreish beer that delivers a soft and sour hint with every sip. 

Final Observations

Although Zombie Dust is a perfectly crafted pale ale, the brand has become associated with a certain controversy in the craft beer world, with the beer often being criticized for its freshness and availability.

Many headstrong beer aficionados believe that Zombie Dust can only be enjoyed if you purchase a bottle that is close to its bottling date, as this means that the ale is fresher and more flavorful. 

And though many beer enthusiasts would agree that freshness is always an important factor when it comes to sampling craft beers, there are some critics and drinkers who take the mantra too far.

In some cases, some people even believe that Zombie Dust is undrinkable unless it has been bottled the week or day that you have purchased it, which is an excessive statement, to say the least. 

Of course, many of these statements are meant to be taken with a grain of salt, with many often falling into the realms of hyperbole. But it does demonstrate how some beer enthusiasts take the bottling process so seriously, which can ruin the overall tasting experience.

So although Zombie Dust is now more readily available to the public, you may find many people trying to purchase the freshest bottles that they can. 

We do recommend drinking a fresh or recently bottled beer, as these will usually yield the best results in terms of flavour and colour.

However, this does not mean that you should completely avoid more seasoned brews, as this can also contain more variety and texture than a freshly made bottle. But of course, this decision is ultimately yours to make. 

Conclusion

Although the West and East Coast often receive critical praise and attention for their variety of breweries and craft beers, this does not mean that the Midwest should be overlooked. The Midwest is currently home to some of the greatest breweries operating in the United States, with Zombie Dust only being one example of how amazing this area’s beers can be. 

The 3 Floyds brewing company is often held in high regard among pale ale fans and we believe this infamy is completely warranted, as they produce some of the best pale ales currently available in Middle America and beyond. Although Zombie Dust is the perfect example of a bitter pale ale being done right, it is not even the strongest product that this brewery creates. 

Beyond Zombie Dust, the company is also famed for its annual brands such as Alpha King and Barbarian Haze, with each beer said to deliver more flavor and bite than any other pale ales or IPAs currently on the market.

However, if you are looking for a less potent pale ale that packs a delicious and balanced flavor, then Zombie Dust may quickly become your new favorite brand. 

So have you had the chance to try this amazing beer? And if you have, what did you think about it? Let us know down below, so we can keep the conversation going!