Special to 1812Blockhouse
Arguably one of the most popular beers in the Phoenix Brewing Company craft portfolio is the Krampus Kandy White Stout. First-time imbibers are surprised to see that Krampus is not a dark beer, but rather a clear golden ale. So where do the stout notes come from? Coffee beans.
The Mansfield brewery first brewed the Krampus Kandy in 2016 as a small holiday batch. It was infused with peppermint and chocolate, and dry beaned with a medium roast coffee. When the beer ran out, people began asking if it would make an appearance again for the Phoenix’s annual Christmas in July event. So, the brewers gave it a seasonally appropriate makeover. They didn’t want to have a peppermint beer linger through the summer after the event. The altered recipe used Highlander Grog coffee because of its caramel and butterscotch notes. In-house, they referred to the summer version as Coffee XL.
“It was just this small change that was supposed to make it more approachable during summer. We didn’t expect such a strong public response. It quickly became one of our most inquired-about and requested beers. We were still viewing it as a seasonal when everyone else was jockeying for a flagship spot for the Krampus.” said creative and marketing chair, Carmone Macfarlane
The recipe changed, but the name remained Krampus Kandy White Stout. They were no longer adding peppermint candy, but the caramel and butterscotch notes from the coffee still gave candy vibes.
“We had been tossing the idea around to offer a revival of the original mint and chocolate for a while, so after Scott (Cardwell), our head of Sales, was approached by a Columbus restaurant about offering Krampus Kandy on Nitro, it sparked a bigger conversation about a variety pack,” noted Head Brewer Duncan Macfarlane. “We already could can a Krampus as a Nitro version. Why not offer a couple of variants at once.”
In addition to canning their own beers, the Phoenix also packages Cove Tea canned products using special equipment and Nitrogen gas. They just had to figure out the logistics of brewing 4 separate batches, creating labels, and packaging them all.
The Krampus Kandy Variety pack contains four Krampus Kandy cans.
The first two are Krampus Kandy which consumers already love, infused with Highlander Grog Coffee, and that same recipe tweaked by packaging using Nitrogen. “Beers served using Nitrogen gas result in tinier bubbles and a creamier mouthfeel. We ran a few test cans last year on Nitro and liked the QC results. We were just waiting for the right beer.” Said Duncan.
The last two beers in the variety pack are a Crème de Menthe and a Snickerdoodle Krampus Kandy.
The Crème de Menthe is reminiscent of that very first batch, but the recipe isn’t exactly the same. It is smoother. The chocolate and mint are well-balanced and there is just a kiss of coffee.
The Snickerdoodle Krampus has layers of cinnamon, a hint of vanilla and hazelnut, and light coffee notes. It is complex yet really approachable.
The variety pack and individual four packs of each brand will be released at Noon on February 10 exclusively at the Phoenix Brewing Company in Mansfield.
Founded by local beer enthusiasts looking to bring a craft beer revival to Mansfield, The Phoenix Brewing Company took flight in April 2014 in a restored 1914 mortuary and funeral home near the original pre-prohibition brewery district. The partners have combined their love of craft beer and over 30 years of brewing experience to create an authentic pub experience filled with quality craft beer and live music. The beers are inspired by the history of the building itself and local legends from the Mansfield area. The Phoenix Brewing Company is located at 131 N. Diamond Street.