I’m not a girl who gives her phone number to guys, but I was compelled to one night last year, when I met a home brewer who said he’d perfected a peanut butter chocolate stout.
I love peanut butter. I’ve walked around all day with it, unbeknownst to me, in my eyebrow. To this day the circumstances are unclear of how the peanut butter got there. I may never know.
So when I catch wind of the fabled existence of a Peanut Butter Chocolate stout, I immediately begin my quest to possess it. It’s a beer I’ve dreamed of, a beer that I never thought could happen. (Irrelevant spoiler: I didn’t give the guy my number. The “I just want you for your beer” conversation is one that’s not easy to bring up.)
It’s an odd combination, no doubt. But regardless, craft beer is the drink of dreamers who say, “WHY NOT!?!?!”, the drink of those with wild ambition and excitement in their veins. It’s the drink for people who have an idea or tastes that don’t make sense, but they press onward anyway. Is it the drink of you? It should be.
The nutty, toastiness of peanut butter means it’s a good compliment for the similar flavors found in barley wort. Additionally, chocolate notes in porters and stouts mirrors that heavenly combination of peanut butter and chocolate. However, the coffee notes in these same beer styles is a challenging match. Certainly Peanut Butter beer won’t please everyone. But it’s a lush, extravagant beverage for those who love things over-the-top.
Peanut butter beer is a fanciful idea already, and craft brewers take the whimsy to the next level. The Belching Beaver Brewery’s Peanut Butter Milk Stout has created a bawdy beer that received an enviable “91/outstanding” on Beeradvocate.com. “Milk” refers to the sweet and unfermentable lactose that thickens and richens the brew. (“Milk stout” is popular type of stout.) The creaminess from the lactose works wonders with the peanut butter. MmmMMMmMmmmMMm!!! Is your mind blown yet? Mine is!
Speaking of exploding minds, the Rogue Brewery is the bad stallion of the craft brewing herd. It takes unexpected flavors and advertises them flagrantly. The craft brewers at Rogue Brewery are rebels, flouters of societal expectations, and they clearly has fun with beer. Take, for example, their extravagant VooDoo Donut Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Ale. Described as a “schizophrenic journey to flavor town” by a rater at Beeradvocate.com, it’s clearly zany. But creatives aren’t interested in pleasing everyone, and such a beer never was going to do that anyway.
Peanut butter is a very diverse product, able to taste good with a variety of flavors. But the most classic combination, other than peanut butter and chocolate, is peanut butter and jelly. According to a recent survey, every American child has approximately 657 sandwiches with these ingredients before the age of 8. (I just made that up, actually). But thanks to Lil’ Gruesome Peanut Butter and Jelly Stout by Spring House Brewing Company, drinkers and beer enthusiasts can stay young a bit longer. It rated a worthy 85 out of 100 (“very good”) on Beeradvocate.com, and one user describes the aroma this way, “The flavor is peanut butter, a quick flash of sweet grape jelly, than a chocolaty malt. It finishes with a raw peanut flavor.” Who wouldn’t want some of that? I’d like to jump in a pool of that beer and drink my way out.
Those of us who hunt the beer aisles for new and exciting beers will see more peanut butter varieties in the near future. Peanut butter is difficult to work with in the brewing process due to the oil in peanut butter. Now, however, Science, that rascal, has perfected the art of dehydrated peanut butter, it’s powder form now much simpler to incorporate into a barley wort.
Will you throw convention and caution to the wind and join the craft brewers of the world on this zany adventure? Craft beer is for the risk takers…brewers are taking risks with creating innovative flavor combinations. They need you to take the risk and experience their dreams, and create dreams of your own. Rescue me from my beer pool, and I’ll join you