I was very impressed to see Josiah Moody, former Vino’s head brewer release his first IPA last year, the Half Seas Over under his newly formed Moody Brews. Coming in at 8.5 percent alcohol, the brew is loaded with hops, Amarillo and topaz, and has quite the drinkability factor. That’s why I was waiting with baited breath for the release of his newest creations, Sixes and Sevens, an Imperial Belgian style Chocolate porter of his own creation, as well as the debut of a collaboration with the NWA based brewery, Apple Blossom, for their Earl Grey tea infused Extra Special Bitter.
My introduction took place in Colonial Wines & Spirits alongside another local favorite – Kent Walker Artisan Cheeses. Moody Brews and Kent Walker have taken the time to suggest cheese pairings for you, so you don’t have to do the extra work.
Moody was on hand to talk to interested patrons, as the store filled up at noon. Of the porter he laughing said, “It’s a sipper.” Coming it at 10 percent alcohol, it took over 2 tons of dry grain in a complex malt base fermented by two Belgian yeast strains, aged on Cacao Nibs to create it. To say the least this beer is nothing short of “complex.” Upon tasting it I was surprised at how smooth it was – which Moody chalks up to the Cacao Nibs. Moody said, “As it warms, the chocolate starts to come out and really reaches full flavor.” He’s excited to see what becomes of it even a year down the road, as the flavors have a chance to reach their full potential.
Also new on tap, The Earl Grey Tea infused Extra Special Bitter comes in at 5.1 percent, and is easy to drink. “The collab was super fun, I’ve known the Apple Blossom guys for a way – they’re super nice folks,” he said. Moody mentioned that the idea for basing the taste around the tea was an organic one: “One of the owners is a big earl grey drinker, and I am myself,” he said. Most of the bittering in this beer come from earl grey tea, so the drinker will experience a subtle citrus blast, followed by an earthy dark tea taste. “The more you drink it, the more you’ll experience a nice malt taste,” he added.
Don’t forget the cheese! A fan-favorite could be the Roccina, (Italian for Little Rock), which is Kent Walker’s take on asiago. It pairs impeccably well with the Half-Seas Over – one of Moody’s favorites. Another popular option includes pairing Leicester with Sixes and Sevens. Look for Moody Brews new creations in select liquor stores – including Colonial. If you’re wanting to try the Earl Grey ESB, better get there fast, there are only seven kegs available and it’s in growler form only.