Naughty Bits Spiced Dark Brew
Name: Self Care Naughty Bits Dirty Chai Latte
Style: Spiced Dark Brew
ABV: Less than 0.22% ABV
Quantity: 4pack/16oz. cans
Description: It’s dark beer season, and we wanted to be a little original instead of making another smoked porter this, or cake-pop-mocha-s’more that. Instead, let’s make something you never knew you wanted but desperately needed. Anyway, this is the naughtiest edition of Self Care we’ve brewed! Also, it’s the first one to get the mortar and pestle and get a little fancy with spices and whatnot. But you deserve it, you’ve been good all year. Hopefully you love chai. If not, try it anyways!
Brewer’s notes: So aside from wanting to do something different for dark beer season, here’s the origin story: One day early this fall, Nate and Aaron went for a walk to brainstorm and popped into one of our local coffee haunts. Aaron ordered a dirty chai latte, which Nate wasn’t familiar with. (It’s a chai latte with a couple shots added.) Coincidentally, this walk happened the same week that discussions were happening around planning our winter canning runs. There is a lot of dark beer that exists today with adjuncts added. We released a coffee dark last year and enjoyed it but thought we would come back in a different flavor profile. Push our limits a bit. Generally, spiced beers are somewhat synonymous with pumpkin beers or saisons. One initial challenge brewing with tea is that black tea used in chai contains tannins, which can cause astringency in beer. Brewers avoid this by steeping tea in alcohol and adding the alcohol afterwards to the conditioning tank, so that’s out. Well, we can’t do that—this is non-alcoholic beer. Rooibos tea, however, does not contain tannins, so we blended this tea together with all the lovely accoutrements in spiced chai. Huge pillow-sized bags of steeped spices went into our whirlpool after boiling, to saturate those warming chai flavors.
Let’s see, what else?? We know that lactose intolerance sucks so, we threw in flaked oats for the creamy body they can provide. The thought of some lactose intolerant dark beer drinker out there pounding the table with their fists because every release this year sounded like a chocolate milkshake—well, we wanted something for that customer, too. What about those that don’t do coffee? Coffee flavor is substituted within all the dark malts used to give a blonde coffee roast-esque (not a word, we realize) flavor profile without loading in even more caffeine. So, you can drink more of this at night, but it does still have tea, so that counts for something in the caffeine department. Likely the best aroma we’ve ever had in one of our Self Care beers to date. “You mean it smells better than those crazy cool fresh hops you did?” Yes, we are saying it does. (“We” is Aaron.) Hop flavor hides well in the background and the sweetness of the wort is highly balanced by the spices. I mean we threw 5#’s of black peppercorns alone in. Don’t worry, its calculated chaos, and it’s really exciting!