It’s a confounding moment in craft beer. The industry is still growing rapidly — 7,000 breweries operating in the United States — and the race is on for differentiation. The problem is that some craft beers have become side shows, such as pastry stouts, or dessert stouts — an excuse to dazzle, titillate or even revolt on social media; look at brewer wearing a funny chef hat with chocolate all over his face! Some brewers talk of processes and of pitfalls of using certain ingredients and wonder at times whether pastry stouts are akin to a dog chasing its tail. However, all of them come back to the central point that no matter the flavoring, the dessert homage, or the sugar content, the final product must still resemble beer.
That’s all fine and dandy, but this is the latest installment of Fancy Pants Sunday, a column that champions high ABV, complex and delicious craft beers — and Avery Brewing’s Raspberry Truffale (13.8%) fits the bill. Pastry stouts, schmastry stout. This chocolate meets red raspberries meets bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout tastes exactly like a fancy, dark chocolate, raspberry truffle. EXACTLY. So much raspberry. All the raspberry. OK, chocolate for sure, and just a tad bourbon to warm things up. The alcohol is almost unnoticed at 13.8 percent!
You fancy Avery Raspberry Truffale!