Crow Peak Crowcoanut Porter

Crow Peak Brewing: New Year, New Brew

by Ben Lippert of Loud and Clear

A couple months ago, around Halloween, I wrote about the seasonal chili ale calledWICCA. This spicy seasonal, as you might remember, comes and goes very quickly. It is in high demand from the time it’s tapped until the last pint is poured.

Well, WICCA season is over and now Crow Peak is working on a new beer. This rich chocolaty Imperial stout will tickle your taste buds and make even the coldest winter wind sufferable.

“Some people have referred to it as liquid Almond Joy,” said Crow Peak’s vice president, Josh Fritz.

They’re calling the new creation “Crowcoanut Porter.” Fritz describes it as having a rich coconut and chocolate flavor with just a hint of bitterness. The bitterness comes from the dark roasted malts that it’s brewed with, complemented nicely with the sweetness from the coconut.

Fritz said they just began tapping the beer on New Years Eve. He hopes that it will become as popular as their other seasonal beers – and with that kind of flavor, how could it not?

By definition, a porter is “a dark-coloured style of beer.” The deep dark hue is a result of the malts it is brewed with. Porters also have a very distinct taste. They usually contain chocolate, coffee, caramel or nuts and have an overall smoky aroma.

Most people associate a porter with the winter season. As a result, they are widely consumed during the coldest months of the year. In my opinion, a good porter should make you feel warm and cozy. It’s the kind of beer you should sip while curled up in front of a fire – or for a more modern-day example, curled up with a snuggy while watching TV.

Fritz agrees.

“Crowcoanut is a high gravity beer coming in at around 8% alcohol … it gives you a warming sensation in your tummy. I can see enjoying this one in front of the fireplace paired with some nice dark chocolate.”

The Crowcoanut is brewed in the traditional style but with a twist. After fermentation they steep the beer in toasted coconut and cocoa nibs. Fritz says that’s where the beer gets its rich flavor that makes it perfect for pairing with chocolate and other sweet snacks.

Unlike some of their regular beers which are shipped to nearby bars in Rapid City, this seasonal treat is only available at the brewery in Spearfish. Fortunately for you, the Black Hills have been relatively snowless this winter, making for good travel conditions.

Hopefully the nice weather will hold on a little while longer because during my last visit to the brewery, the bartender urged that I come back within the next month, before the Crowcoanut is obsolete. This beer is highly anticipated by the locals and will surely sell out in due time.

Fritz wanted me to thank all the Black Hills beer connoisseurs for their loyalty and excitement about Crow Peak beer. The brewery will continue to produce top-notch quality brews in 2012 with hopes of improving production efficiencies to better meet the high demand for their product.

Although Fritz didn’t specify which one, they will also make another beer available in cans this year.

“Innovation is always a key factor in keeping customers coming back, so we will keep that in the forefront of our decision making.”