I don’t get to Richmond much, even though I have family living just above I-295. With kids in tow it’s just a hard day, prone to traffic jams and bad tempers. We’ve gotten the whole family unit to Legend and Triple Crossing before (because they have food), but the others are a bit harder. Scott’s Addition is just plain daunting. So when my wife issued me a pass to go see the Killthrax Tour (Killswitch Engage + Anthrax), it was game on for a Sunday afternoon of beer and heavy metal. Isley ended up being our last stop. All I’d ever had from them before that was our Hops of Fame awardee Choosy Mother, and we picked a good day to attend. A paper football tournament meant for some great laughs, too. But it was towards the end of our (drinking) day, after business cards were exchanged and action shots of flying paper footballs were posted, that an Isley regular asked if we’d tried the “PB&J” before. Why no, good friend, it’s not on the menu. A swirled pour of Choosy Mother and Blueberry Plain Jane later, I notched an arced eyebrow and asked for a full pour. Then I asked, to several laughs, if they could do a crowler. What a fun beer.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Beer Union, Isley Brewing Co. (Richmond, VA)
Peanut Butter Porter + Blueberry Witbier
Presentation: Crowler pour into nonic pint glass.
Appearance: The color skews molasses but with an auburn base and red flecks. A moderate head dissipates quickly without any lattice.
Taste: The nose totally makes this combination. Roasted peanuts and fatty oils are balanced by a rocking punch of blueberries. It rolls right onto the tongue, too. It really is PB&J on whole grain bread, malty more than sweet. The grain bill finally takes over in the finish, with hints of late coriander.
Mouth Feel: Some witty zest, but all puns aside, this is very much on the tip of the tongue. Sweet sensors abound, but also some bitterness on the roof of the mouth.
Overall: Sunday afternoons. Kids taking a nap. Nagging. Dirty briefs on the floor. These are some of the reasons you’ll give for wanting a sweeter beer. It works in its homogenous heterogeneity. No layers, just is. Really though, what sane person thought, “let me pour two adjunct heavy beers from the opposite end of the spectrum together!” It’s a lot of sweetness that somehow works, and not in an “oh, that’s cool but one taster is enough for me” kind of way. I enjoyed the crap out of this beer, and it was the last one before the horns came out, our ears got shredded, and our faces got melted right off. #sometal