In the realm of desserts, pie is about as humble as it gets. There are no towers made of pie, like bakers craft out of macarons, none of those shocking flavor combinations — wasabi, curry — that come scooped on a cone. Today is National Coconut Cream Pie Day, which so happens to be our favorite pie flavor. The coconut cream pie is filled with down-home goodness with a hand-crimped crust and a thick layer of custard amped up with shredded coconut for a more intense flavor. Topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with toasted coconut, the pie deserves the spotlight that’s long been given to the gingerbread. Peaks and Pints doesn’t serve pie, but we do serve many coconut-flavored craft beers. In honor of National Coconut Cream Pie Day we present Craft Beer Crosscut 5.8.18: A Flight of Coconut.
6.5% ABV, 22 IBU
Icicle Brewing Co. sits in the Bavarian theme park known as the city of Leavenworth, which seems perhaps the most appropriate place for a brewery. Owner Oliver Brulotte, who has deep family roots in Washington’s hop farming history, basically launch the Wenatchee Valley’s craft-beer boom. The brewery draws their water from nearby Icicle Creek, a run-off from surrounded by numerous mountain ranges including the Stuart Range and Wenatchee Mountains. And, Icicle Brewing makes a liquid German chocolate cake, Dark Persuasion. Seriously, this stout tastes exactly like German chocolate brownie, with strong chocolate and coconut notes, a touch of vanilla and a smooth finish.
6.2% ABV, 24 IBU
Caldera Brewing tosses in 300 pounds of hand-toasted organic coconut and lots of natural chocolate to create this dessert in a pint — smooth and velvety with a pronounced coconut-chocolate aroma and a waft of vanilla. The coconuts provide an oiliness to the soft body, causing the drizzles of chocolate syrup and wet coconut shavings that arrive at the swallow to linger long after each sip.
6% ABV, 30 IBU
Brewed with hand-toasted coconut and six varieties of malted barley, Maui Brewing‘s Coconut Hiwa Porter is a very dark, almost impenetrable, black coffee color. The aroma recalls baked coconut macaroons or, on the other end of the spectrum, coconut suntan lotion. The coconut flavor is present, but not overwhelming in the mouth, along with other roasted earthy lactose flavors.
5.6% ABV, 38 IBU
This beer has a storied history at Black Raven. It was first brewed back in 2009 as a variant of the Redmond, Washington brewery’s Tamerlane Brown Porter, infused with toasted coconut. When customers went cuckoo for Coco, Black Raven decided to enter it in the World Beer Cup where it won a gold medal (category: herb/spiced beer) in 2010, as well as the 2017 Washington Beer Awards in the same category. It wasn’t a surprise when the public voted Coco Jones a number one seed in the Tournament of Beer: Northwest Porters‘ Seattle/King County region. Coco Jones had raven sharp vision set on the trophy with a ton of coconut, cacao and molasses to back it up.
Harmon Brewing’s Imperial Coconut Porter is a strong porter with lots of chocolate malt. However, the sweetness of coconut and coffee is the draw. Coconut and coffee blend so well with the toffee and caramel of the roasted malts. The coconut is most evident early on in the aroma, while the malts and coffee provide a solid flavor. Most will find there’s as much coconut as there is coffee, just in different waves of aroma and flavor. It’s full-bodied, rich and flavorful with lingering warmth. This is a love letter in a bottle for anyone who enjoys bold, robust sweet beers.