The peanut butter beer phenomenon that began a few years back was hardly the flavor of the week, but more and more peanut butter beers continue to hit the market, and brewers are using a variety of methods to add this beloved flavor to stouts, porters, and even IPAs. In observance of National Peanut Day (January 24), we asked five craft brewers how they add peanut butter and peanut butter flavors to their beers.
Liquid Mechanics Peanut Butter Porter
“Peanut butter beers (and any adjunct beer for that matter) are only as good as the starting base beer,” says Liquid Mechanics Brewing Cofounder and Brewer Seth Townsend. The Liquid Mechanics Peanut Butter Porter begins as the company’s award-winning Imperial Porter that uses malts that impart mild roast and subtle chocolate characteristics. That beer is fermented at 68°F (20°C) with a California ale yeast strain. Post fermentation, Townsend drops the yeast and adds defatted peanut product, sourced from Justin’s Nut Butter, an organic peanut butter product company in Boulder, Colorado. He adds the product through the dry-hopping port and manually breaks up any clumps, as the product is highly hydrophobic. He then allows the peanut product to mix with the Imperial Porter for about 30 hours before cold crashing to 32°F (0°C). After a 12- to 24-hour rest, the beer is ready to transfer to a serving tank for carbonation. “We carbonate to 1.9–2.1 psi and serve,” says Townsend. “Then we spend the next day scrubbing and cleaning the fermentor.”