Sunday, December 11, 2016

Belching Beaver Brewery - ¡Viva La Beaver!

Leave it to Beaver...
I'm a firm believer that less is more, especially when it comes to beer. Reinheitsgebot, the German Beer Purity Law, has been around for more than 500 years. Water, barley, hops: that's it. No other ingredients are allowed--and it's hard to argue with such a winner of a formula.

Of course, I might as well go all in with the hackneyed idioms and remind you, dear reader, that variety is indeed the spice of life. Thus, I will, on occasion, sample a beer that goes a tad beyond those three legendary ingredients. Today, I'm drinking a peanut butter, Mexican chocolate, milk stout from Oceanside, California's Belching Beaver Brewery called ¡Viva La Beaver! Yup, that's really the name of the brewery and that's really the name of the beer.

I've been enjoying milk stouts lately. They're a good beer for the holidays: sweet, a little festive; like the hot cocoa you leave out for ol' Sandy Claws.

This milk stout comes with an ABV of 7.5% and the label says that it's made with water, grain, lactose, hops, yeast, Mexican chocolate (sugar, chocolate, soy lecithin, vegetable oil), natural and artificial flavors. Not very Reinheitsgebot-y there, am I right? Well, let's get this show on the road and see how ¡Viva La Beaver! stacks up on the Crushed Can Scale...

The beer poured into my glass a solid black color with a light mocha head. The head rose up to two fingers thick, presented some large, Swiss cheese-like bubbles, and dissipated at a moderate rate. A thin ring of foam was left behind, along with a few spots of thin lace on the glass.

Aroma was peanut butter and milk chocolate up front. Sweet malt. Hints of filberts in there, too.

Taste followed the nose. Big on the peanut butter--Nutter Butters--with the filbert flavor that the nose foretold. (Filberts are hazelnuts, for those outside of Oregon.) Dark roast coffee and milk chocolate. Malted milk balls. Is this a beer or a dessert? That's not a slam. This is a very tasty beer that would go well with a chocolate-y dessert--or a handful of Peanut M&M's.

Medium body but with a thinner mouthfeel than I expected. Smooth finish that left that peanut butter and milk chocolate flavor behind. Appropriate carbonation.  Not at all boozy.

Overall, this is a delightful, sweet treat that I very much enjoyed. I would absolutely have to be in the mood for ¡Viva La Beaver!, though, and there's no way I'd ever be up for finishing an entire bomber by myself. Hey, Belching Beaver Brewery, may I suggest 12 oz bottles? In any case, this one gets a very respectable BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 1/2 crushed cans out of 4.


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