When Stone’s 24 Carrot showed up at my local bottle shop, I was intrigued. I like carrot cake, and I love beer (obviously), but putting the two together is honestly something that would have never crossed my mind. Carrots in beer? Could that be good?
The beer is the creation of Juli Goldenberg, the winner of Stone’s 2015 Homebrew Competition. In its 7th year, the winning homebrewer gets to have a beer made and distributed by the brewery. Goldenberg was the first female brewer to win the competition (woot!). Working with brewers from Stone and Monkey Paw, Goldenberg added carrots, raisins, cinnamon and other secret ingredients to a Belgian-style golden strong ale to make 24 Carrot.
So, could carrot cake me good in liquid form?
Turns out, yes. While you might expect a sweet, carroty mess (I did), the carrot flavor in the beer is actually a bit subtle. You don’t really get any of the carrot cake on the nose, and you’d be forgiven for not realizing it was a carrot beer until taking a sip. That carrot flavor is there, but it’s not overwhelming. You don’t feel like you’re drinking your cake, you’re just sipping on something inspired by it.
If you’re going in hoping for a liquid dessert, you’re going to be disappointed. That said, I’m fairly certain if the beer was actually a liquid version of the cake, it would be down right undrinkable. The Belgian yeast balances out the carrot, cinnamon and raisin flavor, ending in a nice, drinkable golden ale. Just like a slice of the dessert, you’re left with a hint of vanilla, reminiscent of the cream cheese icing found in the cake version.
It’s a delightful brew that incorporates some interesting flavors without hitting you in the face with them.
Brewery: Stone Brewing
City: San Diego, Calif.
Style: Belgian-Style Ale
Availability: Limited 22 ounce bottles and draft