Some people may find dark beers cloyingly sweet or lacking in crispness. Recently, this hop head here has discovered enjoyable beers from multiple ends of the spectrum. The brown ale I find myself infatuated with this week is the Dirty Little Freak by DuClaw Brewing Company.
This week, I’m sipping on the Dirty Little Freak, an American Brown Ale with a name as bold as its flavor. On the nose I get one of my favorite desserts, chocolate covered strawberries. The sweet fruitiness of the beer is spiced by nutmeg and a hint of marshmallow. The palate brings a dark chocolate flavor along with coffee and toasted coconut, reminding me of one of my favorite candy bars, Mounds. The roasted malts DuClaw Brewing Company uses for this brew give it a strong backbone with just the slightest bitter bite. The finish is short, sweet and to the point, bringing to mind gingerbread cookies and tapioca. Clocking in at a satisfying but not overwhelming 5.9% ABV, this brown ale is tame enough to be enjoyed for a sweet digestif.
DuClaw Brewing Company is one craft brewery that has stood the test of time during the craft beer swell. This brewery first opened its doors in 1996 in Bel Air. Legend has it that the mastermind behind this pillar of delicious beer, Dave Benfield, began home brewing in college as a way to woo the ladies. Along with DuClaw Brewing Company’s brewmaster Jim Wagner, Benfield continues to create interesting brews ranging from a pumpkin spice lager to a chocolate chipotle stout. With innovative thinking, original ideas and intelligent collaborations, I think it’s safe to say DuClaw Brewing Company will be around for a long time to come.
Top image via Beer Infinity