Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Espresso Amber – Peak Organic Brewing Company

                I’ve been slacking on updates for a while, and was hoping to find the perfect beer to lead in to more posts.  Fortunately I was able to find a beer from what I believe is one of the better breweries in the country, Peak Organic.  I spoke with Jon Cadoux, one of the founders of Peak Organic last year, and I was impressed by his strong desire to foster the local economy quickly became apparent.  As a foodie and localvore, he has a strong commitment to find high quality, local ingredients for all of his beers.  Espresso Amber is no exception, utilizing organic, fair-trade coffee beans that are locally roasted coffee beans from Coffee By Design.

                I have had a few Peak Organic beers so far, and have come to associate Peak Organic with high quality craft beer but I haven’t had many coffee Amber ales prior to this, so  I was a curious to find out how Peak Organic Espresso Amber Ale would stack up.  The bottle mentions that “substantial amounts of Munich Malt” were used (Munich malt contributes a rich malty flavor), which should stand up well with the addition of espresso.  With that said, on to the review

                Over at Beeradvocate, Peak Organic Espresso Amber Ale has a score of 85.  Over at ratebeer, it has a score of 91 overall with a 98 for style.

They Say:

                A robust amber ale brewed with locally roasted, organic fair trade espresso with help from our friends down the street at Coffee by Design. This malty amber ale is brewed with substantial amounts of Munich Malt, providing a perfect backbone for the rich, roasty flavor imparted by the espresso. 

Our Espresso Amber Ale is a celebration of tasty, local ingredients and organic, fair trade practices,” said Jon Cadoux from Peak, a passionate craft beer brewer. “As foodies, we’ve always appreciated hand-crafted coffee roasters, so we jumped at the opportunity to work with our friends down the street at Coffee By Design, who craft amazing coffee. We feel like this is more than just a delicious craft beer, but also a positive experience from start to finish, farm to glass” said Geoff Masland from Peak.

The Espresso Amber Ale is brewed with Maine-roasted, organic fair trade espresso in collaboration with Coffee ByDesign. The beer is in partnership with Transfair, a non-profit that works to ensure that farmers and farm workers behind Fair TradeCertified™ goods are paid fair, above-market prices, helping to support a better life for farming families, community development and environmental stewardship. Peak Organic Espresso Amber Ale is the first Fair Trade Certified™ beer brewed in the United States.

ABV: 7%
IBUs: 22

                Suggested Food Pairing: Brunch items, BBQ, vanilla ice cream, chocolate cake

I Say:

                Peak Organic Espresso Amber Ale pours a moderately clear reddish amber with a 1-inch thick creamy tan head that holds good retention, lasting about 3 minutes before fading into the glass.  Coffee is dominant in the aroma, and it is very apparent that high quality espresso beans were used in this beer rather than just your average run of the mill espresso bean.  The coffee is supported with an ample amount caramel, sweet malts, and a hint of chocolate.

                Much like the aroma, the espresso takes center stage in the flavor, hitting the palate early.  Caramel, toasted nutty notes, and hints of toffee balance the espresso character.  There is a moderate level of perceived bitterness, some from the hops and undoubtedly a little from the coffee addition as well.  There is also a slight bit of coffee astringency, but for the most part the Espresso Amber Ale is very smooth and refreshing.  It is medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation.

               Over all, the Peak Organic Espresso Amber Ale is a very good beer.  As an espresso beer, I went into it expecting the coffee notes to shine and they definitely did.  I would highly recommend this beer to any coffee drinkers out there, or anyone looking or a good beer to pair with either breakfast or dessert.

                To read my earlier posts on Peak Organic Brewing Company, check out the tag at the bottom of this post.

                That’s all for tonight, have a great night and check back soon for another post!

                Happy Drinking!