Embedded in Beer Week: our collaboration brew due

This evening we’ll get to try the finished beer Steve and I made with Cerveceria de Mateveza, the tiny commercial brewery with the long brewery name.

We’re calling the beer Carob Calloway, an inspired suggestion by one of the talented beertender-brewers at Cerveceria. That’s right. Carob. You may think that will translate to chocolate, but in this case I think other flavors will be as interesting.

The beer was inspired by my home brewing experiment with a lovely ingredient I discovered in the first days of my home brewing hobby, when I imagined that I’d have plenty of time to try making every possible style. I would go into ethnic groceries, walk around, and ask myself, “will it ferment?” Meanwhile, I quickly got interested in making sour beers, and I just let all the other styles be. So I had shelf full of unused jars that I felt belonged in a dark beer. I made a dark mild and split it into five one-gallon batches. Among the additions I checked out was Carob Molasses from Lebanon. Yep, Lebanon. Curiously enough, there is a similar product from Chile that is used in some South American cooking, but this was the one I found, and it’s wonderful in a beer.

To me it seems more figgy and dark-fruit than chocolate. Yum! Several brands are available — I chose the one that smelled best and had less iron, perhaps from the water used in preparing it.

We learned that this “molasses” is more like pomegranate molasses than it is like the classic byproduct of sugar refinement. It’s called “dibs” in Arabic, and is often mixed with tahini to make something slightly akin to a peanut butter and jelly spread. But more exotic, and slightly earthy in its sweetness.

I also read that it may be that such syrups reduced from carob pods or dates in water were called “honey” in early translations from bible texts. See if visions of the “land of milk and honey” comes to mind when you sip this special release beer from our friends, the brewing adventurers at Cerveceria de Mateveza.

It’s a big beer, a tasty brown ale designed to showcase this special ingredient. Stop by tonight for a sample of this beer and a slate of other adventurous and delicious 20-gallon batch brews. We’ll be there from 5 to 7, and the festivities will continue until at least 9, so put this onto the early side of your SF Beer Week Thursday rounds.

The nano brewpub is right on the J Church line at the corner of Dolores Park, an easy walk from BART at 16th and Mission, and can easily be combined with visits to destinations on the Haight Street corridor, too.

Meanwhile, SF Beer Week continues with many great memorable events ahead. How lucky we are to be here! -Gail

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