Unrepentant beer drinkers, rejoice! Each week, Clean Plate Charlie
will select one craft or import beer and give you the lowdown on it:
How does it taste? What should you drink it with? Where can you find
it? But mostly, it's all about the love of the brew. If you have a beer
you'd like featured in Beer of the Week, let us know via a comment.
For those who don't know, Big Bear Brewing Co. is Broward's only independently owned and operated brewpub, a place where inventive beers are handcrafted in house by Brewmaster Matt Cox. Well, just this past week, Cox unveiled his latest creation, a Mocha Stout he'd been working on for more than a month.
So what makes this pint of black so special? To start with, Cox used
some roasty chocolate malts to build a rich base. He went light on the
hops (but at 30 IBUs, not too light) so that they wouldn't interfere
with the bitter flavors of chocolate and coffee. Then, after
fermentation, he let the beer sit on 30 pounds of dark chocolate nibs
for a week, soaking up all that wonderfully deep cocoa. About ten pots
of Jamaican Blue Mountain espresso later, the mocha stout was born.
Now, I frequently preach about the bad-assitude of Big Bear's beers.
But, my God, this stout is special. It pours like a vat of molten
chocolate syrup. Thick clouds of burnished bronze swirl and bubble up
as it sets into a head as thick as whipped cream. The body too is
creamy thanks to a dose of lactose in the brew. It's not overly oily or
syrupy; rather, the coffee provides just enough slickness to make it
drinkable without weighing it down.
What it tastes like is something resembling a piece of molten chocolate
cake made potable, only here there's so much more backbone instead of
just unrelenting sweetness. And at 7 percent alcohol, it's big
enough to let you know it's not a kid's beer without knocking you from
The only thing I can say is run out to Big Bear and get a taste of this bad boy while it's on. You don't want to miss it.