Illinois Beer Review: 4204 Main St. Assalted Caramel Pecan Brown

Illinois Beer Review: 4204 Main St. Assalted Caramel Pecan Brown
A beer with roasted pecans, salt & caramel from downstate Bellville. Photo: Mark McDermott

I'm getting a chance to pop a beer that I've bought just for the chance to review it here. Come along, won't you?

Main Street Brewing Co. was established in 2014 in Belleville, Illinois, a suburb of St. Louis which was once the home of Stag Beer before it was bought out by Stroh's/Pabst and closed in the 1980s. Within a few years, founder Tom Kennedy had expanded from a brewpub to a production facility which had put cans of their beer in stores all the way out to the Chicago market. To distinguish from what are likely many other "Main Street Breweries" out their, the packaged product is labeled based on their address: 4204 Main Street Brewing Co.

The beer I spotted on my local shelf is their AsSALTed Caramel Pecan Brown Ale. This is a seasonal beer based on a regular Pecan Brown Ale, "made with real roasted pecans and paired with salted caramel." 5.5% abv, 20 IBU.

I've not been much on nut-flavored stuff; ever since some nasty nut-flavored Gloria Jean's Coffee. But I'm up for anything if it's in a beer.

And the first thing I found when I popped the tab and poured out is a distinct nose of praline, or of gooey caramel and pecan cinnamon rolls. The color is a rich brown ale, under a brief head.

The taste does deliver on its promise of pecans and caramel as well. It does not get sugary, but lets the malt work with the  "burnt" sugar of caramel for a unique sweetness component. Again, pecans work into a nice praline or sticky cinnamon roll component. I know there are a lot of "slated caramel" beers going on in the world, and here, the salt kind of works more into a Bohemian water profile.

I'm pleased to find this has a lot of flavors working well together. Even at "regular" strength, it offers a slight buzz, and the low hopping levels keep the bitterness from being a distraction.

I found this at the Binny's in Oak Brook. I don't remember other 4204 Main beers there, but I'll want to watch for more.

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