Chocolate-Covered Pineapple Porter
Fruit is awesome. It’s sweet and healthy and delicious. No one could possibly improve upon fruit.
“Hold our beer,” says chocolate.
If we get in our time machine, speed it up to 88 mph, flux all the capacitors that need to flux, get back to the autumn of 2018, and… somehow also become Jeff Goldblum in The Fly and turn into a fly on the wall of the conference room at 409 Breakwater, you’d witness our Beer Fantasy Draft: each department came to the table with a list of beers we wanted to produce in 2019.
Social Media and Design Alchemist Courtney Rosenberg fought hard for this beer.
“This is my baby,” she said.
It had been on the schedule several times over the course of the year, but it kept getting bumped for one reason or another.
“The last bump moved it off the schedule entirely, unfortunately,” Innovation Director Brian Hink recalls. “Running concurrently to that timeline, we had a chocolate-covered some-kind-of-fruit-beer penciled in as a Tasting Room-only release in early February, and since we already had a beer concept and name decided for Chocolate-Covered Pineapple Porter we shifted this concept over to the Tasting Room-only schedule.”
So, Courtney gets to see her “baby” on the schedule, and you wonderful people get to bring it home in cans.
“So, it all worked out in the end,” Brian said.
Thankfully. Because chocolate-covered anything is perfect in ways that perfection aspires to become.
“I’m glad that we didn’t opt for a chocolate-covered strawberry porter because that would have been a little too cliché for me,” says Lab Manager Lauren Appleman. “I had been hesitant to try chocolate-covered pineapple in the past because I wasn’t sure how it would work, but that stuff is delicious, especially frozen.”
Oh, ye of little faith!
“Porters by nature can have a chocolaty finish to them,” Brian says, “and with the lighter body of a porter instead of a stout, you get more of the fruit and chocolate flavor to come through without being potentially overpowered by a stout.”
If this were an IPA, or a saison, or a Belgian, or a pilsner, pineapple could work really well in any of them, but when you attempt to drown it in chocolate, the whole thing falls apart.
“We could add chocolate to a brown ale, but that malt profile would clash with the pineapple flavor,” Brian explains. “It really needed to be a porter or stout, and a porter just made more sense.”
While the chocolate flavors in this beer are certainly front-and-center, there actually isn’t any chocolate or cocoa in the beer: all of that chocolatey goodness comes directly from chocolate rye and chocolate wheat malts.
“It’s rye and wheat malt, just kilned to a degree that would darken the grains without roasting them, lending a nice bitter and dark cocoa note to the grains,” Brian explains.
We added the pineapple juice both during fermentation and after fermentation.
“When we ferment out the fruit, it yields a much softer, more well-rounded fruit flavor,” Lauren says.
However, with such a robust base beer, we knew that we’d need a lot of pineapple to make it come through.
“But we didn’t want to go too heavy-handed with it post-fermentation because that could lead to excessive sweetness and body,” Brian explains, “so we opted to both ferment out the juice and add it for flavoring post-fermentation.”
The result is a terribly well-balanced brew, sweet, but not too sweet, tart, but not too tart: chocolatey and pineappley and perfect as we near Valentine’s Day.
“Everything’s in balance and everything you’d expect to find is there,” Brian says. “The base porter was very smooth and easy-drinking as a good porter should be, but had a really nice malt complexity that helped it stand out a little more. The chocolate is there, front and center, but quickly fades to the background. The pineapple is there, providing a hint of tartness, a touch of sweetness, and that distinctive Dole pineapple juice aroma.”
Lauren’s excited for this one, too.
“I’ll probably be sharing this one with my husband,” she says. “I think he will enjoy this one — even though our beer preferences are pretty different.”
Chocolate-Covered Pineapple Porter releases only in our Tasting Room on Saturday. Be sure to stock up before Valentine’s Day!