Glassware: As with other Belgian styled ales, the aroma is paramount and the ability for the beer to warm slowly plays a major part. Stemware of some variety is the best choice for this beer whether it is a snifter, tulip or an oversized wine glass. Find one that inhabits direct contact between the hand and glass and traps the luscious aroma.
Description: 24 Carrot Golden Ale pours a hazy golden orange hue with creamy white head that leaves a thin layer of lacing on the glass. The aroma checks all the appropriate boxes for decadent carrot cake with cinnamon, vanilla, light touches of carrots and raisin with hints of banana and spice from the Belgian yeast. The cinnamon and vanilla hit the palate up front followed by the spice from the yeast followed by a surprising sweet creamy quality that really imparts the flavors of cream cheese driving home the carrot cake vibe of this beer. The medium body and moderate carbonation are perfect for the beer and help to deliver the smooth creamy body and taste. While the idea of a carrot cake beer may leave some scratching their heads as to whether we really need it the best advice is to drink it first, that question will be answered with a resounding yes!
Food Pairing: While a carrot cake beer could arguably be a dessert unto itself, it does offer a great flavor profile that will enhance a number of dishes. If you are looking for something a little lighter but with a great flavor profile that adds to the beer, try pairing with coconut shrimp. The sweet coconut will melt into the beer while the natural sweetness of the shrimp will gravitate toward the hops to enhance the citrus leaning of the hops within the beer. Any hearty soups or stews are a great choice such as turkey chili, New England clam chowder or potato and cheese soup. The dream pairing with this beer is with Thanksgiving dinner. 24 Carrot Golden Ale is one of the best beers to have sitting alongside your overfilled plate of turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, cranberries and any number of hearty choices. The natural spicy, sweet quality of the beer is perfect for Thanksgiving, so stock up on this one for the holiday.
The Final Word: Stone Brewing Co. needs no introduction to craft beer lovers. They are the brewery that got many of us into craft beer. However, the brewery is not happy to rest on their craft beer laurels. Instead they are continually expanding and pushing the boundaries for craft beer with stunning results. 24 Carrot Golden Ale takes a wide variety of flavors that encompass the ingredients of carrot cake and meld them perfectly into a decadent beer for a unique and delicious experience. While many breweries have come into existence since Stone Brewing Co. first opened its doors, the brewery proves it won’t stop pushing the boundaries on craft beer anytime soon. If you are a fan of Belgian beers in any style, or a fan of carrot cake, do yourself a favor and seek this one out!
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.
Brewer: Stone Brewing Co. in collaboration with Juli Goldenberg and Monkey Paw Brewing
Beer: 24 Carrot Golden Ale
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale