Half Acre finally bottles Chocolate Camaro | Bleader

Half Acre finally bottles Chocolate Camaro

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Half Acre has brewed its chocolate milk stout, Chocolate Camaro, since 2011. It's a once-a-year beer, available in winter or early spring, but till now it's been tap only. "This is the first time we've put the CoCo Camaro, as it's also affectionately called, in bomber bottles," says Half Acre founder Gabriel Magliaro. "We were hoping for at least a cease-and-desist letter from Chevy, but nothing."

Magliaro has the following to say about the recipe for this tasty stout: "Camaro is defined by cacao nibs and by its chocolate and roast malts, but given its silkiness from lactose and balance from the Fuggle hop." You may care to know that Fuggles get their hilarious name from Englishman Richard Fuggle, who developed the variety in 1861 and began selling it in 1875. Highly prized by brewers of traditional English ales, these hops are described as having a woody, herbal aroma.

Chocolate Camaro has a modest, frothy, cappuccino-colored head that leaves a persistent ring of foam and a bit of lacing. The beer is nearly opaque, its deep, rich brown so dark it's almost black. The alcohol content is an entirely manageable 6 percent.

It smells of cocoa, unsurprisingly, as well as sweet milky coffee, molasses cookies, toasted black bread, and freshly cut wet wood.

Everything is better when its sunny out, even a tulip of chocolate stout.
  • Everything is better when it's sunny out, even a tulip of chocolate stout.

The lactose (otherwise known as milk sugar) gives the beer a velvety texture, as promised. Its body is light and clean but pleasantly full, despite the low alcohol content. Chocolate Camaro tastes a lot like it smells, with plenty of cocoa and creamy coffee—except this time with a warm hazelnut flavor that combines roastiness and sweetness, reminding me of a similar note in Deschutes Black Butte Porter. Some burnt, biscuity malts arrive late, and I can pick up some vanilla and spice, a little like Dr. Pepper. The quick finish leaves behind baker's chocolate, a bit of oaky astringency, and a bitterness that might be from the hops, the cacao nibs, or both.

Much like the Left Hand Milk Stout, this would be heavenly on nitro. I've heard that the folks at Half Acre sometimes serve it that way in their tap room.

For the musical portion of this post, I'll be handing off to Clutch, with the fond hope that nobody will try to argue with me about whether they're metal. On Friday the band played the House of Blues in support of the brand-new Earth Rocker. They opened with the one-two punch of "The Mob Goes Wild" and "Profits of Doom" and even played my favorite song of theirs, "Burning Beard"—I had a damn fine time, despite the fact that they never got around to "The Incomparable Mr. Flannery," from 2005's Robot Hive/Exodus.

The 7/4 verses demonstrate Clutch's ability to rock the bejesus out of an odd time signature, and the choruses connect the tune to the beer under discussion: "Stole my Camaro, primer gray. / Took my suitcase, all my pay. / Ain’t got no taillights, grill full of fur. / How could you do this to a man so close to being cured?"

I also feel compelled to post the Dead Milkmen's "Bitchin' Camaro," from 1985's Big Lizard in My Backyard, though it's incontrovertibly not metal. The skit that takes up the first two minutes of the track hasn't aged terribly well, but the fictitious cover band called "Crystal Shit" is funny all over again thanks to the likes of Crystal Fighters, Crystal Castles, Crystal Stilts, and Crystal Antlers.

Philip Montoro writes about beer and metal, singly or in combination, every Monday.

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