This winter, we want you to drink your beer warm. Hear us out.
A pint of beer meets the business end of a fire poker; at Indeed, we call that a Beer Brûlée. Equal parts delicious and mystifying, it’s the only way you’ll want to drink a beer in freezing temperatures ever again.
While the exact origin of plunging a red-hot poker into a beer is unknown, it was a common cold-weather practice in the Colonial era. When tending to fires was one of the only ways to pass the long winter nights (sound familiar?), those crafty Colonials (mixologists by today’s standards), drank a combination of ale, sugar or molasses, and rum or brandy; the final ingredient to this concoction, called a flip, was heat.
What happens when you let a flaming iron rod rest in your beer for 10 seconds? The result is a transformed beverage, both visually and chemically. A thick, frothy head forms while the liquid bubbles and the malt caramelizes. Slightly sweeter and most certainly warmer, Beer Brûlées have a creamier mouthfeel and the power to thaw you out.
Like magic, but really it’s science. The flavor change that occurs in a Beer Brûlée is thanks to the Maillard reaction—think of that distinctive taste that comes from browning a food, like a roasted marshmallow or seared steak. The compounds formed during this chemical reaction are what make bread crust taste toasty and coffee dark and roasty.
At Indeed, we recommend beers brewed with darker and sweeter malts or ones with very little bitterness. Suggestions are noted on menus with a fire icon and have included Loretta's Dark Lager, Mexican Honey, Stir Crazy, and Pistachio Cream Ale (a surprisingly delicious choice that our staff swears by). Take a few gulps of your pint to make room for the foamy eruption and let our resident fire tender toast your beer to perfection.
Beer Brûlée is available at both taprooms (weather permitting) during the following times during winter 2021-22: