Field Brewing Taps Twelve Christmas Variants of Their Black Friday Stout

Field Brewing Taps Twelve Christmas Variants of Their Black Friday Stout

by Mark E. Lasbury for Indiana On Tap

Field Brewing has been brewing and serving beer for a few short months now. The brewing community and central Indiana drinkers have taken to Field with enthusiasm; a recent Fall Harvest Ale was drunk to the tune of 10 bbls in just a over a couple of weeks.

Now head brewer Rian Umbach has an American stout called Black Friday that is also selling well. Black Friday isn’t one of those heavy stouts that finishes you off after a single pint. This is a 5.9% stout that has a lighter mouthfeel, not unlike a good Guinness. A good amount of chocolate malt gives Black Friday a great color and flavor, and the complexity and flavor of the beer is enhanced with additions of honey, some wheat malt, and cocoa nibs in both the mash and the kettle.

Not content to rest on one good beer, Rian has concocted a series of very small batch variants (one sixtel each) on the Black Friday that he is calling the 12 Stouts of Christmas. The variants are going on draft one at a time, with each lasting about two days. The Black Friday base beer is being infused with real, local when possible, ingredients. No syrups or flavorings, only the real things are good enough for these variants, including fruits, spices, and even a vegetable or two.

Head brewer Rian Umbach at Field Brewing. image credit: Field Brewing

The variant parade is underway, with the house-made cold drip coffee version of Black Friday having already gone the way of the dodo. Yesterday I tried the cherry cordial version, with a mess of dark cherries whole vanilla beans and cocoa nibs. The vanilla and cherry are definitely there, just not overpowering. A solid beer – but you’d better there (note – it blew last night, now moving on to the thin mint). Get out your calendar and your prodigious math skills and figure out when the ones you’re most interested might be on tap…maybe you’d better just call to see. Here are the rest that are in the works:

Thin Mint – with mint sprigs, whole vanilla beans, and cocoa nibs. On as of Friday the 7th.

Mole inspired – using a blend of Mexican chiles, fruit, spices, and cocoa nibs bought from the local tienda just a block from the brewery. Smokey, spicy, and sweet.

Buckeye – a personal nod to Rian’s home state. Cocoa nibs and peanut butter.

Plum Fairy – three types of plums give a stone fruit compliment to the dark roast.

Black Forest – with unsweetened toasted cocoanut, real dark cherries, and cocoa nibs!

Figgy (pudding) – the combination of figs, apricots, whole vanilla beans, cinnamon, and a dash of clove add flavor and aroma.

I know this is a beer article, but the food at Field is worth investigating as well. image credit: Field Brewing

Ginger Snap – with cinnamon, ginger, and whole vanilla beans.

Chocolate Orange – the natural orange peel of this variant compliments the cocoa nibs so well.

Root Beer – real sassafras, sarsaparilla, burdock, dandelion, licorice, and ginger roots are combined with natural root beer spices and herbs.

Yule Log – this last variant is a Christmas miracle – fresh apples, persimmons, cinnamon, and bourbon barrel chips. Get there early or Walter and I will chug it all straight from the tap.

Both before and after Christmas the new beers will continue to come from Field. A Black IPA dry hopped with Simcoe and Ekuanot will be followed by an amber lager to get us through the cold months. Take the time to get to downtown Westfield and celebrate the holiday season with a great beer or two, and then add some ricotta gnocchi, some roasted salmon, or a honey pastrami chicken sandwich. The twelve stouts of Christmas could easily be paired with the twelve entrees and sandwiches from Field’s in house kitchen and executive chef Alan Sternberg.

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