This week’s Canada’s Craft Beer post comes from our Atlantic Canada craft beer guy, Todd Beal. This week Todd checks out how Meander River Farm and Brewery and Garrison Brewery are spicing things up with peppers.
Many people think of beer as a being crisp, clean and refreshing, but the beer revolution that's happening has brought an explosion of flavours to the beverage. Now, rather than being something to "wash" things down at a meal, beer can enhance any dish or even stand on its own for that matter.
I'm a fan of spicy and barbecue, so beers with peppers fit nicely with these meals or even just a cheese tray. These beers also can be a secret weapon in meal creations, from chili to casseroles to stews and marinades. Cocktails can even be created — next taco Tuesday whip up some micheladas for your guests for a nice change of pace.
The two Nova Scotia beers I highlight this month add peppers to their ales but are very different styles.
Meander River Farm & Brewery — Smokey Chipotle Porter
Meander River is one of two breweries in the province that reside on a farm and is nestled just north of Halifax.
In brewing this beer they use cherry-smoked malt and infuse it with chipotle peppers. The porter is dark brown in colour with a tan head that persists. On the nose there's chocolate, a little sweetness and smoke. On sipping there are dark chocolate notes and smokey flavour with a subtle bit of heat on the finish. The Smokey Chipotle Porter has a nice creamy full body mouth feel and is nicely carbonated. The flavours linger on. The brewery suggests serving with cheese and hors d'oeuvres, red meat, or as a night cap.
Garrison Brewing — Jalapeño Ale
Garrison is one of the oldest craft breweries in Nova Scotia and has grown to have some of its beer in almost every province in Canada.
This light ale is loaded with jalapeño, habanero, Scotch bonnet, & Jamaican hot peppers to create a spicy brew. The brewery says this brew will cool you down and warm you up at the same time.
It pours clear and dark gold in colour with a white head that dissipates fairly quickly. The aroma is overwhelming with peppers. This beer is extremely flavorful with loads of taste from the peppers and finishes with some heat, but not a crazy amount — just right. The mouthfeel is light and the carbonation is about medium with the spice lingering on. A very flavourful beer.
5% ABV | 50 IBU | Available NS
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Todd Beal follows the craft beer scene closely in the Canadian Maritimes and reports on it weekly on his blog, Maritime Beer Report. He's frequently asked to comment on television, newspapers and magazines as a craft beer expert. He can be heard Friday afternoons on News 95.7 commenting on beer. Visit his blog and follow him on Twitter @MaritimeBeerRpt.