So our latest adventure in brewing takes us down a somewhat risky road. A couple months ago the brew team at Rogue Ales released a rather odd concoction that definitely caught our eyes. Perhaps it was the eerily Pepto-Bismol colored bottle, or maybe the fact that we rarely see bacon on a beer label, but regardless, we were curious. Now as Rogue claims Portland as its birthplace, they often offer homage to local cultural destinations, and in this case the folks at Voodoo Doughnut were the lucky recipients of praise. Going against all things pure and holy (in this case the German purity laws) Rogue gave birth to the creature that is the Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale. Needless to say, the team here at Sticky Icky was genuinely intrigued. Without a moments notice we jumped up from our seats and ran out to purchase the first bottle we could find. With much luck the local Oliver’s Grocery had just received a shipment and after an hour or so of chilling, we set about dissecting this far from kosher libation. What we found was sadly a bit disappointing.
As we found out, bacon and beer are not exactly friendly bed fellows. The savory flavor that most foodies associate with bacon is known as umami. It is one of the 5 main flavor components, and in bacon’s case, closely associated with its fatty nature. The problem is that fat can be a brewers worst nightmare. Just as oil does not blend with vinegar, neither do beer and fat create a homogenous product. So the question is how do you extract the deliciously addictive flavor of bacon from its fatty center, without compromising taste. Well as it ends up, Rogue decided to use liquid smoke, a flavor that becomes very accentuated when sampling their new ale. Rather than being caressed by the sensuous flavor of swine, we are instead bombarded by a hickory burning fireplace that tends to overpower the more subtle maple accents. Needless to say, we decided we could up the anty and concoct a beer fitting for the likes of Ms. Piggy herself (dark we know), so stay tuned to see what we come up with.