We get inspiration for our beers from many places – farmers, food, friends, family, and, more often than not, a special ingredient that we find so exceptional that we need to brew a beer around it. In the case of our latest Unafraid of the Dark VI beer – Mallow Grande – we were greatly inspired by a sample bag of organic, malted chocolate maize given to us by Valley Malt. When we opened the bag, a rush of aromas delighted our senses – mocha, roast, chocolate, toasted corn, and, most importantly, toasted marshmallow. Ahhh toasted marshmallow!! We challenged ourselves – could we brew a beer that would make this chocolate maize shine? We think we did with Mallow Grande – but you guys should be the judges!

Mallow Grande is a Mexican Dark Lager with a big roasty, sweet nose reminiscent of marshmallows, a light, smooth body, and a roasty & sweet toasted marshmallow finish. For those of you not familiar with Mexican Dark Lagers, they are essentially black lagers, or German-style schwartzbiers (like our Oma’s Tribute), but with added corn. One of my favorite aspects of a Dark Lager is that you get a lighter bodied, easy to drink beer without sacrificing any flavor.

Speaking of flavor, much of the depth of flavors in this beer comes from the corn. The corn was grown by Thor Oechsner of Oechsner Farms in Ithaca, NY. It’s organic, non-GMO hybrid corn, and it takes a lot of care to get to the final product that we can use for brewing. In fact, it is about a year to get the corn planted, dried down, then floor malted, and finally roasted to get those wonderful chocolate, toasty flavors and color.

Chocolate Maize (I was going to put another pun here, but that would be corny)

Looking for more details on Mallow Grande? Here are our tasting notes:
Appearance: Black with some ruby undertones. A tannish, creamy colored head.
Aroma: We get a lot of the toasted corn in the aroma. If you wouldn’t know we used corn, you would probably think its a roasty, sweet nose reminiscent of toasted marshmallows.
Taste & Mouthfeel: The body is light like a toasted, fluffy marshmallow. There are big roast, chocolate, and graham cracker flavors with a sweet finish. As mentioned above, this is very much a full flavored beer. Asked for his opinion on what he thought of this beer, Cellarman Myles stated “It’s one of my favorite %^&*%$ beers we have ever done!”
Pairing: Our entire brew team was eating black bean burritos that Chef Carrie made for us when we were working on what to pair with this beer. As a result, there are many Mexican-inspired dishes on the list – black bean burritos :), chicken mole (enchiladas), fried avocado tacos, and fried ice cream. Also, we think this beer would go great with chili and with many desserts – including our spent-grain chocolate chip cookies.
Serving glass: At the brewery we will be serving this beer in a pub glass.
Stats: ABV is 4.8% and IBU is 17.
Mallow Grande will be available starting Wednesday, February 22nd!

Mallow Grande with a toasted marshmallow? Yes, please!