Heavy Seas Beer - Peg Leg
- ABV: 8.0%
- Bottle Size: 12-oz
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 48
- Serving Temperature: 50-55º F
- Suggested Glassware: Tulip or Snifter
- Malts: Pale, Munich, Roasted Barley, Chocolate, Crystal
- Hops: Fuggle, East Kent Golding, Target
Much like India pale ale, imperial stout evolved as an English-produced beer style that found favor in a distant export market. In the case of imperial stout, it was a favorite among those in the 18th and 19th century imperial court of Russia, hence the "imperial" designation as well as the more specific moniker, "Russian imperial stout." Like IPA, imperial stouts are big, amped-up beers designed to survive the long sea voyage to their destination. This month's featured brew, Peg Leg, pours virtually black with a rich, brown head of foam, and a prominent aroma of big roasty notes like dark-roasted coffee and touches of chocolate. Hops contribute some underlying herbal hints along with wisps of woodiness, earth, and even a little mint. In the flavor, there's just a ton of richness from this brew's array of dark specialty malts. Dark chocolate and coffee flavors decorate the bold roasted character, which joins the ample hop bitterness to easily counter the beer's residual malty sweetness. Smooth, creamy, and luxuriously drinkable, we'd gladly drink this on its own as a nightcap (or a weekend breakfast!), but suitable food pairings abound too. Grilled meats of all kinds, especially a BBQ bacon burger or smoked beef brisket, make good accompaniments, along with sharp, aged cheeses such as a mature (1 to 2-year-old) cheddar. Of course, sweeter pairings that play off the beer's flavors are a possibility too. Chocolate cake a la mode is a favorite of ours, and an imperial stout float would be fun, as well. Cheers!
The history of Heavy Seas goes back to the mid-1980s when Hugh Sisson, proprietor of Sisson's, a local restaurant and bar, first recognized the potential for a small brewery in Baltimore. Upon attempting to get a license to brew beer at his restaurant, he quickly discovered that legislation prevented brewpubs in Maryland. So, he began working with Senator George Della, Jr. to lobby the Maryland General Assembly to pass new legislation, which it did on the first attempt. In August 1989, Hugh began brewing at Sisson's, Maryland's first brewpub.
The move helped usher in the wave of craft brewing in Baltimore, and Hugh engrossed himself in the development and market recognition of both Sisson's brewpub and its beers, while simultaneously serving as this pioneering facility's first brewmaster. After five years of brewpub brewing, Hugh went through another round of legal wrangling in order to expand into a full-scale microbrewery. In early 1996, Clipper City Brewing, borrowing a Baltimore sobriquet as its name, officially began brewing on the scale Hugh was going for. In 2010 the brewery placed all of its beers under the Heavy Seas name, a brand they began in 2003. In addition to their bottled beers, Heavy Seas is also one of the largest, if not the largest, producer of British-style cask-conditioned beer in the U.S., and they've been recognized for their contribution to the craft beer scene with awards including Beer Connoisseur magazine's 2017 Brewery of the Year. For more information about the brewery, check out their website at www.hsbeer.com.
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