Nutty Chimp: the anti-craft beer has landed!
As a beer drinker who hates the general run of the mill creamy shit, you might wonder why I am against so-called ‘Craft’ beer. I’m not; well, not all of them. Just most of them. I like a few. However, every time I sample a so-called ‘Craft’ beer I am ready to be disappointed, and I’m usually not let down. For me, there’s way too much emphasis on sticking things in that simply don’t belong in beer. Maybe some of the ‘Craft’ beer makers might like to think for a moment why – in all the thousands of years that beer has been made – that Avocado Pale Ale, or Pine Needle Porter, or Pomegranate Weiss Bier, or Fanny Stout haven’t become established and class-leading ales. That’s why I prefer homebrew!
That said, there are a few combinations that do work. These aren’t off-the-wall recipes that have been dreamed up by the ‘Craft’ brigade. No; these are established combinations such as coffee and stout. One combination that I do like is Stout and Hazelnut. It seems that some of the ‘Craft’ crowd think they’ve invented it, and there are plenty of options out there.
I’ve tried a fair few variants of Hazelnut Stout. Whichever way I go, I end up with a sweet sickly bland pint of sugary piss, albeit dark sugary piss. This is because they use Hazelnut syrup. If I wanted a sugar overload, I’d eat a bloody bag of Tate and Lyle’s best.
So, I decided to make one myself. Nutty Chimp! Now, if I said it was based upon Dirty Chimp, my oatmeal stout, that wouldn’t be an exaggeration! It IS Dirty Chimp, with an addition in the secondary!
All I did was to peel and toast a bunch of whole hazelnuts, and when they were hot and the oils bubbling I chucked them in a jar, and poured in a generous slug of vodka. Once cooled, that went into the fridge for two months! It only needed a month, but I didn’t get around to making a batch of stout for another few weeks.
The outcome is simply an oatmeal stout with a slight back-note of hazelnut. It has the right level of bitterness and body; it’s every inch a stout, but with that background hint of nuttiness.
So why is it, to me, the epitome of anti-craft beer? Because it’s simple, straightforward, and doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not! It’s not crafty, revolutionary or punk brewing, it’s not anarchic or iconoclastic, and it certainly isn’t a post-modern statement on corporate brewing.
It’s a home brewed stout with a nut after-taste.
That is all!