Belikin adds cacao to special batch of stout
Bowen and Bowen is the bottler of Belikin Beer and Stout. In 2011, the brew master made a commemorative Christmas edition of Sorrel Stout. The local beer company has whipped up a new formula that has a chocolate flavor. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.
The contents of the cacao pod, which, in the past, has been exploited for its many uses, from common currency throughout Mesoamerica before the Spanish conquest to cocoa butter, is a precious resource for the indigenous community of southern Belize. Just when it was thought that there was nothing else that can be yielded from this leguminous plant the chemists at the Belikin Brewery have formulated yet another means through which the chocolate byproduct can be appreciated. The launch of the Cacao Stout will coincide with this year’s Cacao Fest activities in Punta Gorda Town over the weekend.
Nolan Michael, Brew Master, Belikin Beer
“For some time now we have been talking about doing something special for the Cacao Festival and we actually, this year, organized ourselves, [we] did some taste sampling and tried to come up with a special product for Cacao Festival. The result is our new chocolate stout which will be launched at the Cacao Festival on Saturday.”
The distillation of this seasonal brew, according to Michael, is a deviation from the existing formulae used to prepare the company’s flagship beer and stout. The combination of Cyrila’s powdered chocolate along with the natural ingredients used during the fermentation process has presented the brew master his toughest challenge yet.
“We’re dealing with basically a solid cacao powder initially and translating that into a finished liquid product. What you’d do necessarily in the lab [or] what you did necessarily in the lab to come up with the flavor profile does not necessarily translate to taking it through your equipment, your brewing equipment and so forth to come up with a flavor that is dead on that we know the customer would appreciate.”
That characteristic taste is contained within this gold foiled bottle. The thin leaf wrapped around its neck is somewhat reminiscent of that which surrounds a bottle of Krug Rosé; nonetheless, the symbolic packaging smacks of Lindt confectionery. This, by Nolan’s own confession, is his best mixture to date, a sophisticated blend which surpasses others on the local market.
“It’s definitely creamier. It’ll have a lot less foam or head retention on any pour because of the natural oils and flavors of the chocolate that’s in it but we still expect that everybody will really enjoy it.”