Cuisine Noir Newsletter - Stay in the Know!

Be the first to know about the latest online and print issues of Cuisine Noir, industry updates, events and promotions as part of our cultural culinary movement.

facebook  twitter  pinterest  instagram

The Sweet Innovator: Tyrone "Ty" Armstrong's Candy-Flavored Beers

by  Jeanine Lewis on July 31, 2012
The Sweet Innovator: Tyrone "Ty" Armstrong's Candy-Flavored Beers

It takes courage to step outside of normal conventions and push the boundaries of tradition. To the experienced beer drinker, there is an expectation of a bitter taste from a mixture of hops, starches and yeast. Tyrone "Ty" Armstrong challenged tradition and pushed the historic taste of beer by making it surprisingly sweet and perfecting more than 150 flavors of TNA CandyBeers. A beer without the bitter beer face? A very intriguing concept.  With more than 10 years of brewing experience, trial and error has been the preferred method of creating his sweet and delicious invention.

Armstrong began home brewing 11 years ago after studying the Belgian White style of brewing. He made traditionally hoppy brews until a conversation about the taste of beer changed the direction of beer production. "A [non-beer enthusiast] friend asked why beer has to be so bitter. She said she would drink it if it was sweet," says Armstrong.  He explained how this was his "Aha!" moment. "My grandmother had candy recipes and I decided to merge the foundation of making beer with the candy recipes to make a new type of beer," he shares. In addition to candy recipes, Armstrong branched out to incorporate various teas and exotic fruits. "It took about four years to perfect the final TNA CandyBeer products. It was a lot of do overs."  Brewing from home has its advantages. There is no time table on making a perfect batch.

After living the majority of his life in San Luis Obispo, Calif. and working as a youth counselor, Armstrong is an excellent example to our young people on how to follow through on your passion. It takes determination and perseverance to build a business from an idea. "It's hard to keep going with the product without a big distribution deal. Right when I feel it may be time to give it up, I get a sign that should I keep steady on my goal to launch TNA CandyBeer in a big way," Armstrong relays. There are many barriers on the road to success and it's the tortoise not the hare that normally wins the race.

TNA CandyBeer's mission is to convert non-beer drinkers into brew lovers. As a recent convert myself, I was excited to try something that could possibly infuse my favorite fruit flavors into a cold beer.  TNA "Mojito Candiale" stood out right away. If you love mojitos, this is your beer. It is medium bodied, crisp, with a hint of lime just like a mojito. It wasn't too sweet and paired perfectly with a spicy dish. Running in at a close second was TNA "BLK n BLU" made with fresh blueberries and blackberries. It is hoppy in a good way with a sweet and citrus taste that made it an excellent sipping beer.

I sat on my patio after a long day at work with this beer. It was just what I needed to wind down. I have found that beer itself is very possessive of your time and thoughts. It wants nothing more than for its drinker to center his thoughts only on its brilliant and refreshing taste. Ty's BLK n BLU demands the same attention.

There are many other flavors that I didn't try such as the "Dark Jamaican," his rootbeer flavored stout, the sangria and a New Orleans inspired "Hurricane" beer.  I've got nothing but time and I can't wait to try them all.

For more about TNA CandyBeers, visit and follow Ty Armstrong on Twitter and Facebook.

Photo credit: KMS Photography

Jeanine Lewis

Jeanine Lewis

Jeanine Lewis is a renaissance freelance writer. As an alumna of University of Washington, she has been published in a variety of subject matters. full bio


Any unauthorized duplication, download or reprint of images or content from this website for promotional or commercial use is strictyly prohibited without written permission from V. Sheree Publishing, LLC. Violators will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Trademark pending.