Icy Inspiration

Mexican summer treats, reincarnated

Seeking out paletas from the frosty coolers of street vendors and corner mercados is a classic ritual of Chicago summers.

This year, you can find the Mexican ice pops at the bar, too. The gents at 5 Rabbit Brewery have created a series of wheat beers inspired by the sweet treats, the first of which is now on taps around town.

Fueled by fond childhood memories of the paleta cart's familiar ding, 5 Rabbit's series kicks off with a guava-drenched draft. Pink peppercorn and orange blossom are added, lending a sophisticated, complex flavor to the fruity brew. The beer is more carbonated than 5 Rabbit's typical beers and is reminiscent of a Radler or Shandy.

According to founder Andrés Araya, the goal for each beer is to balance fruit and spice in equal measure. The Paletas brews are finished at about 3.5 percent alcohol by volume, mild enough to have a few at a time.

The draft-only series will be released one after the other, tamarind following guava, and then watermelon. Like summer, once they're gone, they're gone–until next year, when new flavors will emerge.

Find 5 Rabbit's Paletas on tap at Beer BistroThe Bad Apple, Farmhouse, SmallBar, Four Moon Tavern, The Owl and The Green Lady.