It seems hard to believe anyone could accomplish this, much less do so in a manner so impressive that the resulting beer would be good enough to beat out hop-heavy IPAs, strong ales, robust stouts and other more mainstream, universally adored styles. Yet, that’s just what Goldenberg did. To the extent where our judging panel was eager to find out just how she did it; concoct an ale that brings in the vegetal, spicy, confectionery essence of such a classic dessert. She started with two key ingredients—20 pounds of whole, grated carrots and golden raisins. The latter were puréed with the wort and both were added to the boil. Though a less obvious specialty additive, beet juice was also included in the recipe to help bolster the eventual orange color of the finished beer. Cinnamon was also added, post-fermentation, to round out the cake flavors, but Goldenberg didn’t stop there. She also wanted to tackle carrot cake’s iconic cream cheese icing. To do that, she incorporated milk sugar (lactose) in the boil and vanilla beans post-fermentation, resulting in a semi-creamy mouthfeel with a flavor reminiscent of fluffy, decadent frosting. When the beer is brewed for real here at Stone, there’s one other special ingredient she’ll draw on, which wasn’t a part of her original recipe—the brewing knowledge and might of downtown San Diego’s Monkey Paw Pub & Brewery, the brewpub she selected as the third collaborator for this strange but sultry beer.
Look for Juli Goldenberg/Monkey Paw/Stone 24 Carrot Golden Ale (see what we did there?) to start hitting shelves across the country in places Stone beer is sold in September. Until then, enjoy a sneak peek at the conceptual artwork for this award-winner and maybe let it inspire you to explore uncharted territory on the homebrewing front from the comfort of your abode.