The Specs: Mt. Begbie Brewery (Revelstoke, B.C.) Powerhouse Pale Ale
4.8 per cent ABV, 650mL, regular lineup
Had Don Draper not copped ‘It’s Toasted’ for Lucky Strike back in season one of Mad Men, Mt. Begbie Brewery could’ve made a good claim for the slogan for this pale ale.
If the beer has one defining characteristic (beyond it’s decidedly non-pale amber colour), it’s the roasted flavour of its malt. Quite a lot about the beer brewing process still eludes me, but from the first sip those baked notes were impossible to miss.
Beyond that, there’s a bit of sweetness, a nice but not overpowering carbonation, and not otherwise a whole lot to report… unless, like me, you’re a nondairy vegetarian who likes to cook with beer, in which case this is shaping up to be a good standby to keep in the fridge.
The same toasted notes that add a bit of interest in the pint glass seem to do a nice job of rounding out flavours in food, adding a bit of malty depth to dishes where veg stock would only add salt. And, since it’s pretty cheap, you’re not going to feel bad pouring half into the sauce pot and drinking the rest straight out of the bottle over the stove. Actually, having partaken of this one a couple times I can confidently say it tastes best when leaning over a burner set on medium-high heat.
So far, I’ve had best success using it to punch up vegan cheese sauce (this recipe, because sometimes everyone needs nuclear orange goo in their lives regardless of weird allergies, ok?), where it couples nicely with miso and aromatics, but the right sort of chilli would also benefit from some of this, I think.
Chances are pretty good I’ll report back.