Drink your dessert with Stone Brewing’s new carrot cake beer
A beer inspired by carrot cake? Gimmicky maybe, but Stone Brewing Co.’s newest collaboration release captures the essence of the dessert without leaving the beer behind. It is more of a nod to the sweet and spicy cake than an attempt to faithfully recreate it as a beer, and it works surprisingly well.
The Belgian-style ale was the winning entry in this year’s Stone Homebrew Competition, and the recipe from San Diego homebrewer Juli Goldenberg called for raisins, vanilla, cinnamon and, of course, lots of carrots to create a rich and spicy brew.
Goldenberg was the first female brewer to win the annual competition, joining the ranks of fan-favorite beers such as 2014’s Xocoveza Stout and the Mint Chocolate Imperial Stout released a few years ago. She chose San Diego’s Monkey Paw Brewing as the final collaborator for the commercial beer. 24 Carrot Golden Ale will be distributed across the country in bottles and kegs beginning this week.
Instead of using the five tons of shredded carrots that the scaled-up recipe called for, the team used locally produced carrot juice concentrate for the full-sized production batch.
The beer could have ended up a sweet and spicy mess, but the strain of Belgian yeast used to ferment the golden ale rounded out the flavor with a pungent dose of fruity and spicy esters.
The ale is moderately strong (8.5% alcohol) and medium bodied, and it doesn’t taste like a slice of carrot cake so much as a beer that reminds you of carrot cake. It’s a small but important distinction that means the difference between a cute stunt beer and something that’s actually enjoyable for a whole glass.
This beer is a natural accompaniment to the fast-approaching Thanksgiving feast. Unlike the ever-popular pumpkin ales, which are more dessert than beer, 24 Carrot Golden Ale is a spice-forward autumnal brew that remains subtle and drinkable.
The Juli Goldenberg/Monkey Paw/Stone 24 Carrot Golden Ale is widely available wherever Stone beers are sold. Try BevMo, Whole Foods or your local craft beer bottle shop.
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