Friday, October 14, 2011
Beer Review: The Bruery Autumn Maple
I really like success stories like The Bruery. This California brewery been around for about 2 years and already they are in 21 states including Florida where I was fortunate enough to pick up the beer on review. It's your typical homebrewer turned commercial brewer story but The Bruery is anything but typical. They are a brewery that enjoys pushing the boundary of what is possible and are constantly pumping out new and inventive brews to the craft beer drinking public.
I took a little vacation to Ocean Springs, Mississippi about 3 weeks ago and the wife let me take her along on a quick run into Pensacola which is two hours away. Hell, Mississippi didn't have anything so why not?
We first stopped in at Four Winds which based on Beeradvocate.com reviews was supposed to be the "BEST" beer store in the Panhandle. Let me stop here and say I was seriously offended after having walked into this place. Look, I worked at Chans Wine World in Destin and Destin IS part of the Panhandle. Chan's puts this store to SHAME. And I'm not saying that because I worked there but just in general. Unorganized, unsanitary and numerous health code violations. And the beer selection was pathetic. One of the things I cannot stand in a beer selection is it not being organized. It drives me wild.
My wife and I just up and left and walked over to Richies East which was a little better but not much. At least I could find what I was looking for. Perhaps I should move to Pensacola and open a beer store. Hmmmm.
Anyway, enough of that. I picked up The Bruery Autumn Maple and cracked this bad boy open today. It says they used yams but I'm from the South. What's a yam? They're called sweet potatoes. Below is my review. And as a bonus I also posted a Sweet Potato Pie Recipe from the Queen of Soul Leah Chase from Dookie Chase restaurant. Enjoy!
Brewery: The Bruery
Beer: Autumn Maple
Style: Belgian Style Brown Ale
Louisiana Availability: No
Price Range: $8-10
Appearance: Amazing rich, rust colored brew. Nice frothy head with nice sticky lacing.
Smell: Immediately hit with the smell of SWEET POTATO(I am from the South). Smells so much like a sweet potato pie. Hints of clove, cinnamon and nutmeg with a dominant hint of sweet molasses.
Taste: This is like a sweet potato pie in the bottle. All the attributes are there. Like in the nose: sweet potato, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses and vanilla. VERY sweet beer. Flavors are very pronounced when beer warms up.
Mouthfeel: Medium full body with low to medium carbonation.
Overall: This is definitely a beer to serve during Thanksgiving. Perhaps as a dessert beer. Extremely sweet almost too much so. I would like to try the oak aged one. i bet that must balance out that sweetness a bit with a nice boozy bourbon kick.
Score: 3.5 out of 5 Buddhas
And now here is the recipe!
Sweet Potato Pie- Leah Chase's Recipe
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup finely-chopped pecans
1/2 cup cold butter (the original recipe calls for vegetable shortening)
1/4 cups ice-cold water, or as needed
In a food processor, pulse together all the dry ingredients and the butter into short bursts until the mixture forms pea-sized lumps. Add the water through the feed chute as you pulse until the mixture forms a stiff dough and pulls away from the sides of the food processor bowl. Form the dough into a 6-inch disk and wrap it in plastic; chill for one hour. The dough can be made in advance. It can be kept refrigerated for several days and even frozen.
2 large sweet potatoes (about 1.5 lbs total), peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon melted butter
Pecan halves for decoration
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Roll the chilled pie dough into a 12-inch round and press into a 9-inch pie pan. Flute the edges. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the crust is set and beginning to brown slightly. Remove the pie pan from the oven and let it cool.
3. Put the sweet potatoes into a medium pot and cover them with water by an inch. Bring to a boil. Boil slowly until the potatoes are tender with no absolutely no resistance at the center when pieced with a fork.
4. Drain off the water and mash the potatoes with a potato masher. Do not use a potato ricer or food processor.
5. As you mash the potatoes, add the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg; then whisk in the eggs, milk, and vanilla. The butter goes in last.
6. Once the filling is well-mixed, pour it into the baked pie crust. Arrange pecan halves around the outside edges and sprinkle the top of the pie with more ground cinnamon. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the filling is set and the edges of the crust have browned.
7. Serve the pie warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
The Beer Buddha