When you think of beer and nuts, we tend to think of separate but complementary treats. But there's a whole family of beers out there that incorporates adjuncts like peanuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and more.
Some, like the classic British nut brown style, evoke nutty flavors if not fully using them in their creation. Others, like peanut butter milk stouts, throw loads of actual nuts into their vats and barrels, making for delicious beers with an earthy edge. They may not be as popular as, say, IPAs or amber ales or pilsners, but nut beers deserve your attention. Like the smoothie sour or Cold IPA, it's a smaller category but one full of interesting and satisfying options.
It's a fusion of heavenly results when done right, as the nut ale reminds a bit of a beer somewhere between an amber and a stout. You get some of those barrel-aged elements like vanilla and toffee and brewers often tinker heavily with the malt bill, much like an expert IPA maker would experiment with his hop bill while brewing. That kind of attention to detail can lead to a lot of character in your favorite frosty mug or pint glass.
So sure, keep enjoying a cold one alongside a bowl of salted peanuts or cashews. But if you want to have your cake and eat it too (or drink it in this instance), try for one of these fetching ales. Here are the best nut beers to look out for as you reach for a cold one, or two, in 2022.
Peanut Butter Stout
This peanut butter beer from Belching Beaver Brewery shows that greatness can be achieved when we pair up an iconic condiment with the malty backbone of a stout. It's a pleasure-inducing beer full of chocolate and caramel notes.
Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar Ale
It's only fitting that an Oregon brewery would turn out a standup hazelnut beer, as the state is responsible for the vast majority of the country's hazelnut crop. This beer is balanced, mixing up a hop and malt bill that tastes just like the Willamette Valley's most famous nut.
Shiner Candied Pecan Porter
This Texas nut beer is brewed with local pecans and offers some whiskey-like flavors of brown sugar, vanilla, and candied nuts. It's definitely candied, so expect some sweetness and let it simmer down in the glass for a bit before enjoying. Try it with some pretzels or a scoop of vanilla ice cream (or both).
AleSmith Nut Brown Ale
AleSmith is one of many outstanding producers out of beer-centric San Diego. This nutty brown is full of biscuity goodness, with a baked cacao flavor that's great solo or paired with a nice mole dish.
Newcastle Brown Ale
A beer almost a century old, Newcastle is not actually brewed with nuts but the malt inclusion and style produce decidedly nutty flavors. It's never been quite as good since the Heineken takeover, but it remains a surprisingly thirst-quenching version of the style, almost session-like at below 5% ABV.
Miyazaki Hideji Kuri Kuro
This Japanese beer is made with chestnuts and pours a beautiful brown hue. It's rich and full-bodied, with a bit more heat at 9% ABV. Get out your favorite snifter or tulip glass, pour this puppy out, and let the good times roll. It's like a stout, with some espresso and herbal notes that really offer extra depth. Rumor has it, it's only brewed for the North American market.
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