Description: Toaster Pastry pours an amber hue with a rocky off white head that leaves a thick layer of lacing on the glass. The aroma is sweet, in a strawberry jam sort of way, with backing notes of spicy hops and hints of tropical fruit. The taste follows the nose with perfect balance. The sweet malts cascade over the palate first with notes of sweet biscuits and strawberry jam that is quickly followed by spicy and tropical hops creating perfect balance for the sweetness. The dry finish makes this a surprisingly refreshing beer. The medium body and moderate carbonation make this sticky sweet beer perfect with enough heft to deliver the rich flavors and enough carbonation to scrub the palate clean. The idea of a beer inspired by toaster pastries may impart the idea of overly sweet flavors but this beer is balanced. It is a must try for craft beer fans!
Food pairing: The sweet malts and kick of hops makes Toaster Pastry a beer with a strong flavor presence but one that can pair with a variety of foods. This is a great beer with brunch foods. Try pairing Toaster Pastry with huevos rancheros, the spices will gravitate toward the hops while the sweet malts keep the spices in check for a wonderful late morning pairing, especially on a lazy weekend day. This is also a perfect beer to have at a barbecue and goes perfectly with chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, and spare ribs. The sweetness of the sauce melt into this beer with the spices combining for a wonderful experience. Try pairing with a fruit based dessert such as a fruit tart, strawberry rhubarb pie, blueberry cobbler, or simply drink it with a side of vanilla bean ice cream!
Glassware: The sweet hop filled aroma is great with this beer and the fresher the can the more true this statement becomes. This is a beer best enjoyed at cooler temperatures and should be warmed slowly. The Spiegelau IPA glass is a wonderful choice as is a snifter or nonic pint glass. This is a beer from a can and it is always a joy to experience full flavored beer straight from a can.
The final word: This beer falls more closely into the IPA category then ale, however the Red IPA category does not officially exist. The balance between hops and sweetness is incredible and seemingly has something for everyone. The name is not just a kitschy play on words to describe the beer. It is brewed as an homage to the newly opened brewery for 21st Amendment, who had long been contracting its beers before obtaining its own facility. The brewery’s location is housed in a warehouse that used to produce the popular breakfast Toaster Pastries. They decided to brew a beer as a nod to the building’s history. Any hophead must seek out this brew. It’s also a great beer to introduce to those looking to get into IPAs but find them too aggressive.
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: 21st Amendment Brewery
Beer: Toaster Pastry
Style: American Amber/ Red Ale