Inspired by a bacon feast at their 2014 fall company meeting, Newport Storm Brewery brewers to capture the food’s savory flavors, sans swine, employing vast amounts of specialty malts and barley. This led to the Annual Release ‘15 beer.
Test batches for the ‘15 spanned nearly 2 years as brewers experimented with hardwood smoked barley to get the “bacon effect,” the company said. But a key ingredient was still missing.
Brew Master Derek Luke recalls the day he found the malt that would round out this limited brew: “Much like a wild boar searching for truffles, I stumbled across a dry sample of a certain kilned malt in the brewery forest that smelled just like milk chocolate.”
The discovery of Baird’s chocolate malt made the theme of this beer clear: chocolate covered bacon. Though hops are used to balance, they take a back seat to the flavors and aromas that only smoked barley can produce. This velvety black brew is 11% ABV.
The suggested retail price is $12 for a 750-ml. bottle.
The Annual Release brews are known by their unique flavors, extreme qualities and higher ABV. As with the previous 14 annual brews before it, the ‘15 is a limited release, or single batch. Roughly 3,000 bottles were produced. Distribution spans across RI, CT, PA and ME.