Jackalope Brewing Company - Bear Walker
Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs):32
Serving Temperature:47-52º F
Suggested Glassware:Pint Glass or Mug
Malts:2-Row, Caramel 60L, Caramel 120L, Chocolate, Honey
Hops:Perle, Cluster, Cascade
Bear Walker takes inspiration from Jackalope founder and brewmaster Bailey Spaulding’s roots in Vermont, as real, pure maple syrup is added during the beer’s conditioning to add a unique element to this brown ale. Pouring a deep brownish-red color with a head of khaki foam, this brew presents immediate aromas of rich caramel bolstered by impressions of cocoa powder, and we picked up flashes of dried fruits popping up here and there, too. The maple contribution is fairly subtle, but noticeable, deftly woven into the other aromatic elements, which also include notes of honey, citrus zest, and some woody hints. On the palate, look for caramel and honey malts to create a central round character with a dollop of residual sweetness, while moderate hop bitterness does a good job of creating perfect balance. For us, that maple syrup addition comes through with a bit more prominence in the flavor than the aroma, but the brewers restrained themselves here, avoiding the trap that other brewers fall into when their special addition overpowers the beer and becomes a gimmick. With Bear Walker, that maple note feels right at home among touches of caramel, hints of molasses or brown sugar, some earthiness, and a little roasty chocolate. For pairing options, grilled meats and veggies should be your best option, although if you were to pair this with a breakfast of pancakes, pork sausages, bacon, or ham, no one would blame you. Cheers!
The story of Nashville’s Jackalope Brewing Company begins when Bailey Spaulding and Robyn Virball met in Scotland while Bailey was taking a semester abroad and Robyn was finishing her undergrad degree. The young ladies remained friends as Robyn entered the working world and Bailey finished her Harvard degree and went on to Vanderbilt to study law. It was there, in 2006, that Bailey began homebrewing – eventually realizing her passion for brewing was greater than her passion for the law. Robyn, too, felt as though something was missing in her life, and the duo began the planning for Jackalope Brewing Company in 2009. It was at that time that Bailey met Steve Wright, who had recently moved to Nashville with his wife, Lindsay. Steve eagerly joined the Jackalope project in 2010.
In May of 2011, Jackalope opened its doors to a thirsty public, and the company grew and expanded over the next few years. Robyn left in 2014 to pursue new opportunities, but Bailey remains CEO and Steve serves as president. In 2018, they opened a second, larger location about a mile from their original spot. Known as The Ranch, it boasts increased brewing space and a larger taproom.
Jackalope is committed to sustainable operations, and pursues this goal through more ways than we can mention here. Examples include the capturing of CO2 from fermentation for use in carbonation of their finished beers, donating spent grain to local free-range cattle and hog farmers, extensive use of LED lighting, composting at their zero-waste taprooms, the use of “plastic” cups which are made from plants and are fully biodegradable, and partnerships with several non-profit projects. Additionally, in 2013 they became the first craft brewery in Nashville to can their beer, to better protect it while improving recyclability. Currently, Jackalope produces five year-round brews, two seasonals, and a multitude of other limited production beers on an ongoing basis. For more info, visit them at jackalopebrew.com.
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