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Give Peace a Chance

The BC Small Batch series encourages our brewers to experiment with unexpected flavors and collaborate with our fellow independent craft brewers. November’s selection fulfills these expectations with a vengeance.

Introducing Magic Formula for Peace, an imperial oatmeal stout with espresso and citrus, courtesy of Surly, Chicago’s Mikerphone Brewing, and Modist Brewing in the North Loop.

The flavor profile suggestion comes courtesy of Mikerphone founder Mike Pallen, who was introduced to the unlikely combination of espresso and tonic on a recent trip to Brazil.

“The tonic brings out these crazy citrus notes in the espresso and cuts against the bitterness,” says Surly Head Brewer Ben Smith. “Recreating that flavor with coffee, citrus, and malt seemed like a nice little challenge.”

Espresso from Chicagoland’s Tugboat Coffee and sweet orange peel provide the first two parts of the equation. The quest for sweetness led to Modist, the beer’s third collaborator. Surly and Mikerphone chose to use oat milk, and Modist’s unique brewery equipment allowed them to finish the collaboration.

“(Modist) implements a mash filter instead of a traditional lauter tun,” Smith told Porch Drinking Chicago. “It opened up the option of a large-scale cold extraction of oat milk. They’d never done anything like it and we didn’t know what to expect. The result was awesome—creamy white oat milk that tasted incredible.”

The result is roasty and rich with a pleasing pop of citrus on the finish, and unlike just about anything else on the shelf right now. Magic Formula for Peace hits stores and tap lines beginning the week of November 11, and will be available in MN, IL, WI, IA, ND, SD, NE, and CO.

About the name: Mikerphone uses music references for all their beer names and Surly wanted to honor that naming convention. Given the Brazilian influence of the beer, we looked to hip-hop outfit Racionais MC’s, one of the most influential musical groups in Brazil. Referred to as the Brazilian N.W.A., they’re Portuguese-language MCs noted for songs about class inequality, race relations, and the changing demographics in Brazil. The name Magic Formula for Peace is the English translation of their song “Formula Magica da Paz.”

The Particulars:

ABV: 10.1%

Pour: Black

Hops: Warrior

Malt: Golden Promise, Munich, Caramel, Chocolate, Melanoidin, Flaked Oats

Other Ingredients: Espresso, Oat Milk, Sweet Orange Peel

Bitterness: Low

 

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