The Only Thing Better Than One Cobbler…
We’re back with another deep dive into an upcoming release we’re really excited about: Cobbled Together. If you’ve been around for a while, you know we have a history with decadent pastry stouts— a history full of delicious beers, yes, but also a friendly-not-friendly argument we’ve dubbed the Pastry Wars. That’s right, March is pie month here at The Bruery, and Cobbled Together is the cherry on top of this pie— er, cobbler… or maybe turnover?
With past favorites like 2021’s Piearesquare and Conner’s Cobbler, and further back to 2019’s Thee Cobbler, we love a good pastry-inspired imperial stout. Our inspiration with Cobbled Together, as described verbatim on the product brief for our production team, was “the best cobbler is a cobbler that is not just a single cobbler, but a cobbler that is cobbled to another cobbler,” with a link to a very specific black-and-blueberry cobbler recipe. (We could do a whole other blog post about our product brief builds and the many sources of inspiration, jokes, and opinions that are shared for each beer.)
As much as we love drawing inspiration from the pastry world, there’s been some anonymity among our team when it comes to what’s what. No one knows what exactly went down, but our Director of Production, Jeremy, and our Senior Manager of E-Commerce, Conner, have had many a row about what makes a pie a pie and not a cobbler, where turnovers and tarts come into play, and how important is crust really? All vitally important questions, obviously, and with no clear answers nor victors, the infamous Pastry Wars continue to this day.
It’s not all bad, though— you get this delicious beer out of it.
No matter how silly and fun our concepts can get, we do take the beer part very seriously. Cobbled Together is a rich melange of four fan-favorite barrel-aged imperial stouts, blended to taste for the perfect base for the addition of blackberries, blueberries, and Tahitian vanilla beans for optimal cobbler flavor. After much tasting, blending, and planning, Jeremy and the production team chose Monster Stout, Black Tuesday, Chronology, and One & Dunn to serve as the base beers for this cobbler delight.
Choosing beers to create a blend is harder than it seems. Our Bruers have to keep in mind a multitude of factors, such as flavor compatibility; for example, looking for hints of blueberry that will lend well to the fruit additions later, or notes of marshmallow to lean into the vanilla and baking spice flavor in the final liquid. Here’s Jeremy’s description of how we select our blends:
“When we’re building a blend, we start by looking at all our beers and consider what they are, how they’re developing in the cellar, and how we project they’ll continue to develop over time once blended. This results in time spent in the lab, sampling different combinations of beers until we find one that’s just right. Sometimes the answer is obvious and it doesn’t take long, but sometimes it takes more time to sort through all the options and choose what’s really going to stand out.”
Once the perfect blend of base stouts is decided, we add insane amounts of blackberries and blueberries and over 10 pounds of hand-processed Tahitian vanilla beans. From there it’s a waiting game; once the flavors are balanced and presenting nicely in the beer, it’s ready to prepare for packaging!
We’ve developed the concept, we’ve selected our blend and added our adjuncts— now it’s time to enjoy the final product! And enjoy it you will; Cobbled Together is bursting with fruity, jammy flavors. Pouring thick with a deep purple hue, this viscous imperial stout has rich aromas of sweet fruit, with a perception of sweetness from vanilla. Deep fruit is present on the palate as well; bursts of flavor from blueberries and blackberries blend smoothly with barrel character. To quote our VP of Marketing, Daniel: “It’s a big-ass stout with fruit in it. Just enjoy it.”
The War Rages On
While this beer is decidedly cobbler-inspired, there is still much debate among our Bruers— meaning Jeremy, Conner, and others who have started to take sides— about the apparently loose definitions of pastries across the board. While this may appease both sides for a time, I’d expect you’ll see more explorations into this war in the months and years to come… I suppose you’ll just have to try them all and decide for yourself what’s a pie, what’s a cobbler, and what’s just plain delicious.