With winter in full swing throughout the Deep South, Back Forty Beer Co. announces the limited release of Scotch Ale, the latest offering in their seasonal series of craft beers. Having previously released specialty beers for spring, summer and fall, Back Forty’s Winter Scotch Ale will complete a year-round lineup of small batch craft beers that were inspired by the Alabama seasons.
The first Scotch Ale was brewed in Scotland more than 5,000 years ago. Showcasing a sweet malt backbone and hints of spice, this full-bodied ancient ale is smooth and complex in flavor. East Kent hops provide a floral aroma and the traditional English malts deliver well balanced notes of toasted caramel.
“Our winter seasonal Scotch Ale was created for those cold Southern nights. The full body and unique blend of spices does a great job of keeping you warm.” said Jason Wilson, founder and president of Back Forty Beer Co. “It’s also a great compliment to hearty winter meals.”
As part of their commitment to using beer as a unique culinary ingredient, Back Forty has partnered with Chef Chris McDonald of Huntsville’s The Bottle to create a one-of-a-kind mussels recipe featuring the Scotch Ale.
Blue Hill Bay Mussels with Back Forty Beer Co.’s seasonal Scotch Ale
1 pint Back Forty Scotch Ale
2 pounds Blue Hill Bay mussels
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot — minced
2 cloves of garlic — peeled and chopped
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 fresh bay leaves
1 orange — juice and zest
2 tablespoons soft butter
Pinch of sea salt and crushed red pepper to taste
Over medium heat add the olive oil, shallots, garlic, bay leaves and thyme to the sauce pan and sauté until translucent. Add the mussels and stir to coat well. Add in the Back Forty Scotch Ale, orange juice and zest and cook covered for 5 to 7 minutes. When the mussels have opened, transfer them to a serving bowl with a slotted spoon. Add in butter and allow the cooking liquid to reduce for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the reduced liquid back over the mussels and serve with toasted pretzel bread.
The Scotch Ale is also ideal for pairing with grilled meats, including lamb and pork. The toasted notes are designed to complement the smoky flavors of the meat.