THE HOLIDAYS ARE the perfect time to enjoy a beer, especially one with ingredients sourced locally and with care and affection, which is what you will find at Throwback Brewery in North Hampton.
One beer option this holiday season at Throwback Brewery is their El ChupBrewCabra Mexican Chocolate Stout, a rich, full-bodied Mexican Chocolate Porter. Its style is only part of the story, however, as co-founder Nicole Carrier said the beer features several local ingredients.
“We use cocoa husks from Enna Chocolate in Epping and cinnamon sticks that Flag Hill in Lee uses to make their spiced rum along with mix of local peppers like ancho, cayenne and jalapeno,” she said. “It has a lovely cinnamon aroma with rich dark chocolate notes and just a hint of spice.”
Originally made as a one-off beer, its popularity led to a place on the menu as a yearly winter seasonal at the brewery.
For fans of chocolate and peanut butter, their Fat Alberta takes the proverbial cake. A Chocolate Peanut Butter Russian Imperial Stout, Fat Alberta is about “as rich, chocolaty and seductive as a beer can get,” according to Carrier.
“It clocks in at 10 percent ABV, so it is ‘a huge beer,’” she said.
“It’s also a bit dangerous because it’s so smooth that you would never guess it is that high in alcohol,” she said. “It’s perfect for winter because it will warm you up, no matter how cold and snowy it is outside. There is nothing quite like sipping this beer from a goblet for dessert — it’s even better when you do so in front of a crackling fire.”
Since Fat Alberta takes a long time to make — they age it for three-plus months — it is only released once each year. This year, Throwback Brewery is having a beer dinner on Wednesday, Dec. 5, that will feature a vertical flight of Fat Alberta (i.e, batches from 2018, 2017 and 2016). The beer will then be released on Sunday, Dec. 9.
“We are also going to have several food specials designed to pair perfectly with Fat Alberta and several limited edition beers that will be released that day.
“Since folks say that Fat Alberta tastes like a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup, we decided to do a few other candy-inspired beers,” she said.
These beers include an American Stout with coconut and dark chocolate (Mounds), and Fat Alberta with Caramel (Snickers).
For those looking to add an extra bit of warmth on a cold night, Carrier said they like to add a shot of salted caramel vodka to their Mexican Chocolate Porter. Another easy drink to make at home is to take a stout — they use their Stout #3 American stout — and add a shot of rum along with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg.
For Carrier, the holidays are a special time to not only celebrate their success, but the sense of community that has been built in their space in the past three-and-a-half years.
“This space feels like a community space,” she said. “The most exciting part is that we are part of this community and able to contribute to it.”
Some of these contributions include creating one-off beers with proceeds to benefit charity organizations. She said causes that resonate with her and her staff are numerous, although organizations that support land conservation and local foods are of particular interest to them.
The holidays are also a time for giving at Throwback Brewery.
“Nothing says ‘Happy Holidays’ better than a gift certificate,” said Carrier, “especially when our beers and food support many local vendors.”
To learn more about Throwback Brewery, or to purchase a gift certificate, visit throwbackbrewery.com.
Margarita Time with Throwback
2 oz tequila
.5 oz triple sec
.5 oz fresh lime
.25 oz simple syrup
Shake together with ice. Pour into a small margarita glass and top with Cheek Squeezer (our kettle-soured blonde ale) for a nice tart drink, or top with our Spicy Bohemian — jalapeño pilsner.
If you prefer the drink on the rocks, fill up a 16-oz. glass with ice, pour the margarita into the glass, then top with the beer.