980 Park Center Drive, Suite A, Vista
4223 30th Street, North Park
As I set out to figure out which San Diego County-brewed beer I would feature this week, I looked back on the past several months’ worth of ales and lagers I’ve spotlighted, and realized there were two that were all about incorporating the flavor of peanut butter. They were solid brews, but in my humble opinion, the best peanut butter beer being made in San Diego County comes from Vista’s Belching Beaver Brewery. Throw in the fact the base for the beer is what I consider the best milk stout currently being made in SD and it only seems right to give Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Milk Stout its due, albeit a bit late.
Dark, sweet, and nutty, the brew comes in at 5.3% alcohol-by-volume. It has a creamy mouthfeel brought on by the addition of rolled oats as well as lactose. The latter is where the milk stout style gets its name. Roasted malts impart a nice cocoa flavor that creates a chocolate milk profile. Throw in peanut powder — a substance made by pressing the oils from peanuts, then dehydrating and pulverizing the remaining solids — and you’re left with something that’s very much akin to a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.
Encapsulating the taste elements of one of America’s favorite confections makes this not only the perfect beer for pairing with sweet items, but also an ideal ingredient for dessert dishes. That said, it’s pretty filling and quite satisfying as a dessert all by itself. Recently, Belching Beaver starting bottling its beers and wisely included this stout in the packaged line-up. Often, it makes for one of the few vacancies on the bottle shop or grocery store shelves due to rising consumer demand. With such an immense, familiar, and delectable flavor profile, it’s no wonder.