Beer Preview 2-fer: Schlafly Coconut Crème Ale & Rye IPA

Beer Preview 2-fer: Schlafly Coconut Crème Ale & Rye IPA
A Schalfy summer seasonal brewed with coconut & pineapple.

I actually accomplished something this Sunday, fueled by extra coffee in the morning. The extra coffee was because the kitchen faucet was dripping, and I using the empty coffee pot to catch the drips filled it up overnight, and it being the weekend of Earth Day, I tried to save what little water I could. What I actually accomplished was being able to finally take that leaky faucet apart, replace the parts inside and successfully reassemble without a drip! Time to put another Tri-Tip roast on to sear, and crack a craft beer that’s been sent to me by the brewer’s reps for my comment.

From the St. Louis Brewery, better known as Schlafly, I have their seasonal Coconut Crème Ale. They describe it as “our tropical twist on an American style wheat ale. Starting with Europils malt and unmalted wheat, plus a bit of corn and oats, it’s brewed with coconut and pineapple, then aged on toasted coconut. A dose of Magnum hops offers a light 17 IBU to the 5.5% abv beer.

The beer pours a foamy body, with some staying power, over a cloudy pilsener type head. The nose is very lightly fruity, with just a whiff of coconut, probably a good thing, since some thing I’ve tried with lots of coconut aroma remind me of suntan lotion. But the coconut does come up in the taste, with the toasty part definitely adding a bit of surprise to the overall impression. In fact, I’d say it’s the pineapple that loses out on this round. I’ve never been a big fan of the texture of shredded coconut in, say Mounds or Almond Joy, and I’m suspicious of TV infomercial doctors pitching the alleged benefits of overpriced coconut water. But in beer form, it’s very pleasant. Not an every-occasion beer, but one that works well with desserts, or as dessert.

Oh yes, the Tri-Tip was from Trader Joe’s, packaged in Santa Maria marinade. As I should have known, it worked better when I followed the directions: Sear the outsides,  then set it on medium heat for 30 minutes, then turn off the heat and let it continue to cook inside for 15 minutes to soften up the sinew. Pinkness on the inner parts of this big chunk o’steak are to be expected.


Schlafly Rye IPA & glass

A pale IPA with rye in the malt.

Schlalfy also sent their Rye IPA, another limited edition release. This is a release in their Hop Allocation series, brewed with Simcoe and Galaxy hops at the beginning of the boil, then dry-hopped with the same varietals. It’s also made a little strong, at 7.2% abv.

The beer pours a hazy yellow; I’m guessing their house style is light filtering. The head is a bit more sudsy, and pale white. The smell has a full nose of pine resin with a slight bit of tropical fruit, maybe mango, behind. 65 IBUs may not seem overly bitter, and this is not a tongue-burner, but bitterness does work well with the hops’ aromatic qualities. Taste seems pretty light, and is not sticky, but the main aftertaste is malty, with a bit of rye spice. The alcohol doesn’t come in very strong, leaving this as a beer balanced between bitter and sweet.

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    Mark McDermott

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