Eastern Ontario craft brewery Beau’s All Natural will release a spicy new ale called Channel Ocho this Thursday, April 3. The extra-strong (8.9% alc./vol.) beer is being billed as a Mexican Spiced Ale – not a standard beer style, but an apt description of the recipe and its components. Channel Ocho has been judiciously spiced with chipotle peppers, real cinnamon sticks, and whole cloves for a mild heat that tickles the palate, and a warming effect that lingers.
Beau’s brewer Brian O’Donnell conceived the beer recipe, which he says was born of nostalgia for Mexican home cooking. The ingredients, which include cocoa nibs and cocoa powder, were inspired by a recipe for Mexican hot chocolate. The mahogany-coloured unfiltered brew incorporates abbey ale yeast, imparting a natural peppery, spicy character, subtle earthiness, and some banana esters, which mingle with hints of stone fruit. Brian recommends pairing this creation with chicken mole, tacos al pastor, chili-spiced cheeses, or flan.
Channel Ocho will be available on tap at select restaurants and pubs throughout the province, as well as in 600 ml bottles direct from the Vankleek Hill craft brewery, and in Ottawa through BYBO (www.bybo.ca), Operation Come Home’s home beer delivery service. The limited-edition Wild Oats release will retail for $7.85.