We often get the opportunity to introduce new beers. Heck, we do it every month now. But it’s not often we get to introduce a new beer style.
But that’s what we’re doing on Black Friday this week.
To fully understand how this style was born, you must first understand the nature of meetings around here.
Like most companies, we frequently gather for meetings, for distinct reasons and with specific agendas on hand. There, however, the similarity with other businesses ends.
Once assembled, the ensuing group conversation will invariably drift from random topic to random topic before the business at hand actually gets addressed. One recent meeting contained, I kid you not, references to Peter the Great, medical ethics, Native American tribes indigenous to North Carolina, the comet landing (with accompanying confessions that some of us can’t even parallel park), and a detailed discussion on the merits and drawbacks of colored and/or blinking Christmas lights. All within a span of 15 minutes. Recently we adjourned a meeting with no decision made on the topic at hand, but with a great deal of newly acquired information on 70’s reggae bands (courtesy of our brewmaster and resident reggae enthusiast Jamie. He says check out The Heptones).
It is from that unorderly and chaotic process that greatness implausibly springs. At least around here. And so it was that, during a debate on who invented the process for vulcanizing rubber (it was B.F. Goodrich, not Charles Goodyear), the subject of holiday beers came up. Logical segue.
We’ve never really done a holiday beer per say; but as we approach our tenth anniversary next year, we’ve begun to wax nostalgic about our Winston-Salem home, and all that makes the Triad a truly great place to live. A big part of that is the Moravian heritage of this area. Winston-Salem and Bethlehem PA are, to this day, home to the two largest Moravian communities in the United States.
Quick background: the Moravians are the oldest Protestant denomination, and purchased close to 100,000 acres of land here in NC in the 1760s. They subsequently named the region Wachovia and settled here, bringing their unobtrusive lifestyle and simple ways to our part of the country.
And cookies. They brought killer cookies.
If you’ve never had them (you poor soul), Moravian Spice Cookies are a paper-thin mix of molasses and spices seemingly sent straight from heaven. They’re as integral to a Triad Christmas as Moravian Star ornaments and gridlock traffic on Hanes Mall Boulevard.
So back to the holiday beer thing. We talked about our area’s shared Moravian legacy, and decided it should be honored with a brew inspired by the simplicity and fellowship central to the Moravian way of life. And one that uses their cookie stuff as well.
So our head brewer T.L. got busy brewing, using People’s Porter as a base and adding nutmeg, cinnamon sticks and fresh ginger in the same proportionate amounts that are used in traditional Moravian cookie recipes. For a little Foothills twist, he also added blood orange and mandarin orange essence. The result is a dark, rich, robust porter with spices and citrus in the nose, and a full complement of cookie-ness in the taste.
Let us know how you like it. If you need us we’ll be in a meeting.
NOTE: this beer is a draft-only, pub-only release.