History of Black Ale
Q&A with Director of Brewing Operations John Stewart
Q: How did the recipe come about?
A: "We were looking to create a beer with some malt flavor that was still easy drinking so we focused on malt that would create some complex flavors while making sure it wasn't overly roasted or too extreme in one direction. When we were building the recipe we wanted to create a sort of hybrid version of a Schwarz bier and a Black Ale. The result was a very approachable malt beer."
Q: How long has the brand been around?
A: "The Black Ale was one of our original beers and has since then become one of our flagships, which was one we didn't necessarily plan on being a flagship. Usually beers like IPAs are the flagships for most breweries and I think that kind of speaks to our uniqueness here at Perrin."
Q: How did it quickly become a flagship beer?
A: "I think it’s the approachability. It’s a beer that people enjoy in both summer and winter seasons with it not being too high gravity or having too big of a body. Typically, when you think of malty beer you think of cold weather but the thing with Black is that it’s good all year. It was able to please craft beer enthusiasts of both spectrums. Next thing we knew it became our number one ordered and number one draft handle."
Q: What makes the beer so unique?
A: "It's a great introduction beer for the macro-drinker into craft beer. It's a beer that has a smooth dark malt character so when you see it you may think of a stout, roasted coffee or chocolate and while there are subtle hints of that, it’s not over-the-top. You get the complex flavors but with a light crisp body so when it finishes it’s easy drinking. Black is often confused as a Lager by a lot of people because it drinks so smoothly."
Q: Good food pairings with this beer?
A: "Black is a really good one because anytime you’re grilling or roasting food, it has that roasted malt flavor with a body light enough for more delicate food, where the beer doesn’t overpower it. It’s always great for burgers, steaks, and some people have even used it to make brownies."