5985 Santa Fe Street, Pacific Beach
A brew that made a big splash during last year’s San Diego Beer Week has resurfaced and, fittingly, is grabbing top honors as this week’s sudsy offering from yours truly. Enter, Karl Strauss Peanut Butter Cup Porter.
The first time I tasted a beer incorporating the family flavor of jelly’s favorite counterpart was at the Great American Beer Festival six years ago. Of all the unlikely companies to push the beer envelope, it was macro-beer company-owned Blue Moon Brewing Company that debuted its PB treat. As much as this devout crafthead enjoys knocking on Blue Moon, I had to admit, it was rather delicious and really delivered the essence of peanut butter in the finished product.
Like most commodity brewers, this enchanting product was merely a tasty gimmick to pique interest. Brewery representatives explained to me that beer was for festivals only. For years after experiencing that taste experience, I searched for a similar brew, but the closest I was able to get was hazelnut-infused brown ales. Until last year, when Karl Strauss debuted this beer as a Beer Week specialty and instantly won raves from the craft beer intelligentsia.
With such a solid response, it’s no wonder they’ve brought the Peanut Butter Cup Porter back. I was pleased to see it on tap in North County last week, and even happier that the flavor remains consistent with the original. Brewed with peanut powder and cacao nibs, it's light in body and alcohol content at 5.7% ABV. It’s highly drinkable, but delivers plenty of JIF-like roasted peanut flavor. From the color, one might expect a Reese’s peanut butter cup experience, but it’s really all about the nuts.
Don’t let another Beer Week pass without getting a taste of this brew, which is available in pints and for growler fills at Uncle Karl’s numerous locations while supplies last. Side note—that brewery-restaurant empire will expand the first week of November when Karl Strauss opens its eighth location at 40868 Winchester Road in Temecula.