What’s that you say, a taco beer? Surely, you have lost your mind! There is no way! Well, you’d be wrong. Yes, Virginia there is a taco beer. And though we probably do have some mental instability, this beer was born the best way a beer can be born—by inspiration! And don’t call us Shirley. Now, let’s taco’bout it…
Not long ago, Stubby and MikeyB were working at the shop and chose to pick up a delicious street taco lunch from one of our favorite local places. You know the type. These places have sprung up everywhere in Texas and across the nation, whether it’s in a building or a traveling food truck. They’re literally everywhere. And for good reason because people absolutely go nuts for the wonder and glory that is a good taco. If you think about it, they are an incredibly simplistic and delicious food that can be enjoyed in almost any situation, but especially one that includes good friends and beer.
So, while delighting in the flavors of their tacos and thinking about the almost universal love people have for them, an idea was born for using those flavor elements to create a light and refreshing beer that captures all that is good about a street taco, but which can also amplify the flavors of a taco meal or be enjoyed on its own as a refreshing beverage. What’s the worst that could happen from trying?
Lightning in a bottle. That’s the kind of beer that can be born of sudden inspiration and out-of-the-box thinking about ingredients. We talk about it often on our podcast Come and Brew It Radio. Listen to your creative thoughts—even if they seem crazy. Write them down. Make a recipe and brew the beer. Just like cooking. It’s the only way to know. That is exactly what Stubby and Mikey did as soon as they decided they would take a shot at the recipe. So, they identified the ingredients that produce the flavor range necessary to capture that “essence de taco.”
First, cumin as an almost universal seasoning for any taco meat. Then, add in a hint of heat with ancho chili powder and a touch of savory saltiness with a pinch of sea salt. Both of which add a nice accent to an addition of lime peel for that citrus burst you get from a squeeze of lime. And round it all out using coriander (the seed of cilantro). That covers the usual seasoning flavors, but what about the malt bill? They started with our popular White Tail Wit ingredient kit, knowing that it is already a great base for ingredients like coriander and citrus peel. Yet it also has the perfect body for refreshment and enough malt character to stand in for the tortilla. But to round it all out and hit a missing element, they added mesquite smoked malt to come closer to that grilled character of the seasoned meat. Finally, they finished it by using restraint in spice additions and fermenting with a clean American ale yeast like US-05 in place of the usual witbier yeast.
That day they made a recipe, gathered their spices, milled their grain, fired up the shop Grainfather, and Tacohol was born! The final finished version of the recipe came out with a cumin-forward aroma and flavor character, with just a hint of heat and all the right balances of the other spices and smoked malt, but still giving that needed lime finish—just like the last bite of a taco.
We field tested it by serving it to staff and a handful of our more adventurous customers with great success, only to find that it didn’t take an adventurous spirit to love the beer. You just have to taste it and it’ll grab you! Our first keg of it was emptied in a week and the second went even faster. So, if you love tacos and you love beer, then you need to try the marriage of both. We have the kits! Get’ya a pull of Tacohol!