Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Smuttynose Short Batch #13: Satchmo

"Satchmo," is a collaboration between Smuttynose and Portsmouth's Black Trumpet Bistro.  It's also a collaboration between two fungi, brewer's yeast (sacchromyces cerevisiae) and black trumpet mushrooms (craterellus cornucopioides).  Why on earth would you put mushrooms in a batch of beer?  The answer is simple...

Dave is so skilled at sacking the 'shrooms, he doesn't even need to look while Chef Mallet holds the sack.

The Black Trumpet's Head Chef/Co-owner Evan Mallet approached us about collaborating on a beer.  Being big fans of his award-winning food, it was a no-brainer.  Chef Mallet is an avid mushroom forager (he once showed up for a meeting with mushroom he'd found in our parking lot), so deciding on an angle was incredibly easy; we would make a mushroom beer!  That sounds simple enough but black trumpets can't be cultivated.  After leading his staff on a few foraging expeditions into the woods of Maine, we were well short of the 35 dried pounds that we needed for the 775 gallons of beer.  We were forced to buy the remainder.

Sometimes, you find yourself with a Scarface-like abundance of something.

Best described as a brown porter, Satchmo's base beer doesn't exhibit the roasty notes and black color of our Robust Porter, nor does it have the rich caramelly sweetness of Old Brown Dog; it falls somewhere between the two, but lacks the common taste signifiers of the two styles.  The mushrooms heroically fill that flavor gap with a subtle earthiness and mouthfeel that can only be described as "umami-licious."  

35 pounds of  mushrooms just waiting to infuse their earthiness.

Satchmo also has the distinction of being our first Short Batch beer to be bottled for retail sale.  A limited number of 750ml, caged and corked bottles will be sold exclusively from the brewery's retail nook.  While we don't yet have a sell date or a bottle count, we will be announcing the release through our Facebook page and our email list when it's time to roll them out.

Satchmo Stat Box:    
4.75% abv 
25 IBU
OG 12.5° Plato 
FG: 3.8° Plato 

Malts: North American 2-Row, Munich 10L, C-60, Brown, Chocolate  
Hops: Willamette 
Yeast: WLP-001 California Ale 
Mojo: 35 Dried Pounds of Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Sherry-soaked oak chips  
Batch Size: 25 barrels (775 gallons)