Before kiln drying dominated malted grain, all malts were dried by sun or open wood flame or a combination of the two. The open flame from would impart a rich smoky flavor to the beer.
Beginning in the 18th century, kiln drying of malt became progressively more common and, by the mid-19th century, had become the near-universal method for drying malted grain. Since the kiln method shunts the smoke away from the wet malt, a smoky flavor is not imparted to the grain, nor to the subsequent beer. Thus, smoke flavor in beer became less and less common, and eventually disappeared almost entirely from the brewing world.
Certain breweries, however, maintained the smoked beer tradition by continuing to use malt that had been dried over open flames. Two brewpubs in Bamberg, Germany- Schlenkerla and Spezial—have continued smoked beer production for nearly two centuries. As craft beer has grown in the United States, so has interest in rauch (smoked) malt, and it wasn’t long before American brewers began experimenting. Thus, the American Smoked Porter was born. A distant relative to their German counterparts, these beers often balance smoke with a subtle sweetness and flavors of dark chocolate and are often barrel aged. In this case, we’ve used a barrel that was first used for bourbon, then for maple syrup, and finally for our Smoked Porter. The result is a cozy delight to the senses, like eating pancakes in a Vermont cabin, while coffee brews on the wood fired stove.
Pours an elegant black walnut topped with a toasted almond crown. Opulent aromas of vanilla, candied walnuts, bourbon-spiked coffee and maple cookies entice investigation. Flavors of pecan pie baking atop a wood burning stove, rich toffee and dark chocolate delight the palate before giving way to a warming, decadent finish.
Oysters, mussels, lobster, crab, cams, scallops, and calamari. Ham, prosciutto, pancetta, and bacon. Hearty beef stews, short ribs, root vegetables, potatoes, stuffing. Chocolate based desserts, such as truffles, crème brûlée, raspberry or strawberry tart. And of course, pancakes!