When I used to work for a local seafood restaurant we used to have a funny saying around this time of year: the maple is running and so is our salmon. Every spring we’d get portions of fresh salmon and marinate them in syrup as a special for a few weeks. This might sound strange, Avid Reader, but trust me that it tasted amazing when the syrup would crystallize on the fish. Enough of that reminiscing, I’m telling you this week about beer that is perfect for this time of year in New Hampshire. A friend of mine living up north is getting his trees ready for maple season so I’m toasting this brew to him.
You have to hand to the folks at Peak Organic, because when they want to do something local they stick to their guns. This brew combines organic oats from Maine’s Grandy Oats and maple syrup from Vermont’s own Butternut Mountain Farm. I’ve had real Vermont maple syrup, not the stuff from the girl with pigtails in the store, and it is delicious, so I was pretty excited for this beer. I didn’t waste much time getting it ready to sample.
Taking off the cap I found the aroma I was looking for: sweet maple sugar, and let me tell you, there was plenty of that to savor. It poured out a nice copper color and had a smooth taste. I could smell the maple more than I could taste it, and that could be due to my cold, but I was able to pick up on the subtle flavors that kept me coming back. The beer was great cold and more maple flavor seemed to break out as it arrived at room temperature.
Weighing it at 6.2%, this wasn’t a very strong beer and I was almost surprised it wasn’t closer to an 8% or more, since special projects like this are often a way for brewers to flex and make something that will knock you off your feet. This turned out to be a smooth drink that went well with some breaded chicken, although I would have much preferred maple salmon you have to take what you can get at times. I’m not sure how long this brew is going to be running on the shelves, so grab some when you see it. Beers like this are pretty special and if it intrigues you a little bit, then go with your instinct and pick one up, because you never know when it will be out again. Also I think this is much safer to drink than straight maple syrup.