There can only be one undistributed beer of the week. The competition is fierce in San Diego's beer community, but someone has to take the title. This week's best undistributed beer is...
Pure Project Brewing: Monch
Style: Belgian Quadrupel
Pair with: dark chocolate
The story: Monch is a coconut-heavy quad that is sweet, smooth and dangerously drinkable. The coconut flavors are not detectable in the nose of the beer but are heavy on the back of the tongue. There are also notes of dark fruit that come through to hang out beside the light, Belgian flavor.
This beer comes to us from Winslow Sawyer, head brewer at Pure Project. This Belgian brew was inspired by the ingredients, rather than focusing on the style of the brew and going from there.
"We start with ingredients here first. So in this beer's case, it was coconut nectar. When I was starting the pilot batches at the brewery, I was looking for some different kind of sugar to use for our double IPA and one of the ideas was coconut nectar," he said.
From there, Sawyer (who is Pure Project's only brewer) gets to thinking. He takes a special ingredient and then seeks to find a style to match it.
"The whole idea behind this beer was how to use this cool ingredient, because I've never heard of a beer with coconut nectar in it before. Coconut nectar has this dark, aged-fruit quality to it. So I thought, what can this go well with? A lot of the darker beers like this use dark sugars, so Monch has no dark malt in it. It's only sugar that creates all the characteristics. It was perfect for this style of beer."
Beyond the coconut nectar, there is also date palm sugar, beet sugar and toasted coconut added in to this pure brew. The result? A beer with 15-percent sugar and a high ABV.
"It adds this different type of complexity that you wouldn't get from a normal Belgian, which is what I like. This beer is kind of light in body for being a big dessert beer"
That big taste, albeit really fruity and sweet, isn't super thick or boozy for being over 10-percent, and acts as a main course versus a beer that you would pair with a full meal. Although, Sawyer does recommend pairing it with either a bit of rum cake or dark chocolate to balance the sweet flavor.
This beer is currently available on tap to try at Pure Project Brewing. Get it while it's cold!
Pure Project Brewing, 9030 Kenamar Drive, Miramar. purebrewing.org