To celebrate the Winter Solstice, Staves put on an event designed to show off their dark side by way of turning all their taps over to dark beers, most of which were their own, a couple of which were brand new.
The first new one was a coconut brown ale that was not strictly theirs, as much as they’d like to claim the credit upon tasting the result. It was the winner of a home brew competition run through the venue that saw the victorious entry scaled up (in as much as the tiny brewpub does scale) and launched at the Solstice. The recipe, devised by Zac Pauling, called for ten kilograms of shaved and toasted coconut to be added to a base of brown malt and Golden Naked Oats and led to what has been described as “coconut rough”. (As an aside, the creation of the beer also led to calls for toasted coconut to be added as a bar snack).
Beer two is a bigger one: a nine percent ABV imperial stout. With a nod to the UK as opposed to the US interpretation of the style, it was designed to lean on the UK ale yeast with the intent of providing fruit characters plus rolled oats and roast barley (“and lots of it”) to temper the booze without losing the richness.