Beer Nuts Roasting on an Open Fire
A Review of Roasted Peanut Brown Ale by Flying Dog Brewing Co.
Posted on 11/24/2014 by Chops
                   
Great
Beer-food pairings have become all the rage these days and many beer fans have taken notice. It has become relatively commonplace to find restaurants and brewpubs that host pairing events. Usually the pairings are pretty simple, mostly tried-and-true marriages like spicy food with IPAs and creamy desserts with stouts. It's a savory side-interest of craft beer that can be really fun and engaging.

But like with any trend that catches fire, there are always those who elevate the bar. The Flying Dog Brewing Company out of Frederick, Maryland has done just that this holiday season. They had the brilliant idea of teaming up with the Baltimore-based Otterbein's Bakery to craft holiday-themed brews that pair with artisan cookies. There are four beers (and cookies) in the series, of which I have sampled two. Up next is Flying Dog's Roasted Peanut Brown Ale, paired with Otterbein's chocolate chip cookies.

Apparently there is a specific combination of malt and yeast that creates a brown ale that tastes like roasted peanuts. That is as far as Flying Dog elaborated on the concept, which had me quite intrigued. Couple that with chocolate chip cookies and it's hard not to imagine Reese's Peanut Butter Cups dancing in your head.

In the glass, this beer had a rich brown coloration. It came with a frothy tan head that had good retention. On the nose, I was greeted by candied malts, sweet caramel, and roasted nuts. To be honest, there wasn't much else to the introduction. It was just a solid brown ale with a roasted nutty character. So, I didn't expect any surprises going into that first sip.

Yup, the flavor ended up closely mirroring the aroma. The nutty character was definitely more peanut-specific to the taste buds, which was a really neat trick. Rounding out the mix were notes of caramel and a hint of toffee. The hops profile was on the lighter side and gave the beer a mild earthy mossy vibe. The beer had a light-to-medium body and felt generally smooth on the palate. The finish was clean, dry, and exited with a malty sweet aftertaste.

The Roasted Peanut Brown Ale was certainly good on its own, but it was great with the cookie pairing. The brew by itself was simple and straightforward, but the chocolate chip cookies added a much needed punch of richness and sweetness. Again, it's hard to go wrong with a chocolate and peanut pairing.

Overall, I found Flying Dog's Roasted Peanut Brown Ale to be a solid baseline brown ale. I can easily recommend it to fans of sweeter maltier brews. Plus, the roasted peanut flavor is a lot fun to study. It's a really interesting example of how yeast and malt combine to create unique flavors. The cookie pairing was also very enjoyable as a sweet and familiar comfort. I doubt many of us could turn down the concept of a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup in beer form. So, I must give props to Flying Dog for catering to the all-powerful sweet tooth.

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Roasted Peanut Brown Ale by Flying Dog Brewing Co.
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