Infestation Libation

If you're keen on beer made with ingredients that once had multiple legs and antennae, that's your business.

Topsy Turvy Brewery cicada-infused nut brown ale
Published On: June 14, 2024

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When it gives you cicadas, you make beer.

At least that’s what the Topsy Turvy Brewery in Lake Geneva did. They created a cicada-infused nut brown ale called Magicicada Buzz for the town’s Cicadapalooza celebration.

If you have been living underground for a spell and haven’t heard, cicadas are insects that live in the dirt for 17 years, and then all surface at once in the mood for love. They make a lot of noise, do it, and then die, leaving a big crunchy mess behind.

This 17-year brood synched up with a 13-year variety this summer, creating a historic cicada flash mob, hence all the literal and figurative buzz. The worst of the bug jamboree is farther south than Wisconsin, so we’re getting off easy.

If you haven’t seen one, they are rather big and extremely ugly, so for most, making beer from them isn’t the first thing that would spring to mind.

But Topsy Turvy did, incorporating a few dehydrated cicadas into their usual nut brown ale recipe.

The Drink Wisconsinbly Week in Review Editorial Board would never tell you how to live your life. If you’re keen on beer made with ingredients that once had multiple legs and antennae, that’s your business.

Drinking something like that sounds like the final challenge on a gross-out gameshow or some sort of gang initiation. We’ll stick with plain beer-flavored beer.

Sadly, for those adventurous souls who wanted to sample it, Magicicada Buzz is gone. Like a cicada hellbent on propagating the species, it burned brightly and then faded away. They only made a small amount, which didn’t last.

The Topsy Turvy Brewery still has plenty of other regular, bug-free beers on tap. So if you want a cicada in yours, you’ll need to bring your own.