As I was perusing the local beer aisle, an intriguing new release caught my eye. New Belgium Brewing Co. collaborated with Ben & Jerry's to bring us Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale. Here's New Belgium's description:
"I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream beer. Our newest collaboration with Ben & Jerry’s brings together two different types of pint-makers for one common goal: To help Protect Our Winters combat climate change. When two foodie B Corps join forces for good, delicious ideas are created. Our Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale scoops the lip-smacking fun of dessert from a bowl right into your pint glass. Brewed with specialty ingredients and a healthy sweet tooth, this beer’s rich chocolaty, salted-caramel, vanilla goodness is worth savoring to the last drop. Reward yourself, and dig in! — New Belgium Brewing Co.
The brown ale is underrated, in my opinion. I can't think of many in regular wide release. Angelo from Brewpublic wrote a nice piece on Brown Ales a few years ago. I'm a fan of because the brown ale provides a great backdrop for other flavors—especially fruit (think raspberry or cherry). Chocolate, as you might expect, also melds nicely with the style. Since brownies are my favorite dessert, I had to give this beer a try...
Tasting notes: Brownish-red in color with a tan head that dissipates very slowly. I noticed some chocolate and light vanilla notes in aroma. In taste, chocolate and caramel were both present. It's light bodied and softly carbonated. A touch of alcohol was present in the middle, and hop bitterness was not noticeable. It finished with chocolate and vanilla. Overall, it left me a bit disappointed as I didn't notice the salt and I expected a touch of sweetness. After all, they did mention BROWNIE, didn't they?
Even though the tantalizing brownie that appeared in my mind never found its way to the glass, it's a nice brown ale. Give it a try if available in your area. It's a limited release, so it won't be around too long. I do appreciate New Belgium making this beer available at their regular six-pack price point (as opposed to their Lips of Faith series). I've tended to avoid the Rogue / Voodoo Doughnut beer series due to its high price.
In closing, since we're talking about brown ales, I highly recommend New Belgium's Frambozen. I haven't had it in a few years, and hope to find some this holiday season!
Have you tasted New Belgium's Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale? How did you like it?