At the Blue Ribbon Bacon Tour in Pittsburgh last month, John Ciroli of the Three Rivers Underground Brewers, shared a beer with us that goes perfectly with bacon. He called it the Maple ESB.
John told me after the event “I knew the Maple ESB was going to be either a big hit or a big bust”.
Well, John I am happy to tell you that it was a big hit. Just about everyone I talked to said they loved it and when paired it with a strip of bacon it was heaven.
When I asked John why he came up with this beer, he replied “I was tired of the smoked beer and bacon or the thick stout and bacon clichés”.
I couldn’t agree more. I, too, have grown tired of the smoked bacon beers. Most of them are never as good as you think they will be.
John told me the inspiration for the beer was when his wife made French toast and bacon one morning. It reminded him that beer is kind of like liquid bread (and can taste bready). He thought that if he could add some maple to the mix he would create a beer that tasted like breakfast.
For the base of the beer he found a recipe for a clone brew of Fuller’s ESB. He found that beer captured the sweet bready flavor he was looking for. He then did something only a crazy man would do:
To ferment the beer I choose to go crazy and toss in regular bread yeast instead of actual brewer’s yeast. I wanted to try to pronounce the bready flavors.
Well that crazy idea turned out to be a great idea. I am not sure what it did but the beer did have a bready flavor to it.
When I asked him where the Maple Flavor came from he told me it was an organic flavoring he picked up. He didn’t use real maple syrup because it would ferment away and leave a beer that was 10% alcohol. Not sure what the problem would be with that, but I guess it would also ferment away the flavor.
All I know is John created a beer that was the perfect combination for a bacon event. If he would bottle this he would be a rich man. Bacon Lovers everywhere would want to try this one.
Rumor has it if you live in the Pittsburgh area you might be able to get your hands on the last of the Maple ESB. The members of The Three Rivers Underground Brewer’s (TRUB) and TruClose Financials (glass sponsor) will be providing their Third Annual “Brewing Up A Cure” for Cystic Fibrosis on Saturday, October 17th at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association (PAA) on Fifth Avenue in Oakland from 7 to 10PM.
John told me there will be a very limited supply of the brew at the event, so you better buy your tickets and get there quick.
Tickets are now available online for general admission for $30. The VIP Session has officially SOLD OUT!! Get them online today! Tickets price at the door, if available, will be $40 (general admission).