This Father’s Day we took Dad to the Taft Ale House after a great tour of the ancient lagering tunnels under Over-the-Rhine. I think the beers at Taft Ale house are some of the best of our local craft brewers. They’re not trying new flavors of beer just to be weird. They actually put a lot of thought into their flavors and produce well balanced, unique brews. Some of their beers even compliment each other.
This visit was the first for my brother and his family so they decided to order a flight to get a variety of tasting in. My sister was deciding between Maverick Chocolate Porter, made with local Maverick Chocolate cocoa nibs, and the Culebra Cut coconut -infused American Brown Ale. The waitress said, “Well why don’t you just order both – we can mix them. It tastes just like an almond joy candy bar.” And amazingly it did – my sister was sold. So were the rest of us.
The Black & Tan is probably the oldest of these mixed beer cocktails. It’s the mix of a stout and a pale ale that gives a two colored, layered beer, because of the differing viscosities. These are not shandys or radlers, which are the mixture of a beer with a non-beer liquid like lemonade or grapefruit juice. And, to my knowledge, there are not beer on beer mixtures that are designed to taste like a candy bar. I think Taft has something unique here for the craft brewing industry.
So the next time my sister went to the Taft, they were out of the chocolate porter, so the waitress recommended she mix the Nellie Key Lime Caribbean Ale with the coconut ale. Again with an open mind, she took the reco and loved it. This would be similar to the taste of a coconut haystack candy or the white chocolate birds nest candies that Graeter’s makes for Easter.
One of my favorite brews Taft’s makes it their Louisa Kriek -a sour beer made with tart cherries, around Christmas time. All this beer mixing got me to think – if I mixed that with the Maverick Chocolate Porter, would it taste like a cherry cordial? Well, I can’t wait till Christmas to find out.