By Jamie Lyon
Hallo, chilly beer comrades! Jamie here, coming to you live from underneath 1 million blankets. Since we’ve been weathering the coldest of snaps, I’ve been thinking about things that can keep a body warm — hot coals, vigorous calisthenics, nuclear fusion and, of course, beer. Any beer will make you feel warmer, because, well, alcohol, but many beer adherents turn to stouts and porters in cold weather, since they tend to have a higher ABV than pales. Their flavor profiles — coffee, milk, oatmeal, roasted nuts — lend themselves more handily to nippy climes as well.
In my quest for the perfect cold-weather beer, I turned to Moscow’s own Slice and Biscuit, my favorite combination ice cream shop, coffee bar, pizzeria and taproom. Located on the corner of Second and Washington streets, Slice and Biscuit has dozens of rotating taps and is sure to feature something for everybody. There’s usually a bonfire roaring in the courtyard out front, and in the warmer months, children gambol on and around a tree-shaped play structure. By the time Edward, Madison and I arrived this past Wednesday evening, my face was numb and we were all so covered in snow that I half expected someone to come up behind us with a plow and deposit us in a heap on the side of the road. It was then that I was introduced to my new King of Winter Beers: Sin Tax Imperial Peanut Butter Stout from Mother Earth Brew Company in Vista, Calif. (and also Nampa).
If it matters to you, you should know that Slice doesn’t serve this beer on tap; it only comes in cans. Nevertheless, the pour was beautiful, with the rich, dark brown body I love in a stout and a tempting, coffee-colored head. At 8.1 percent ABV, this brew didn’t take long to erase memories of the snowy trek I’d just made. It was like drinking a dessert — thick, sweet and full-bodied. Caramel and toffee dominated the flavor profile, with notes of espresso, brown sugar and molasses. At first, I was worried the sweetness would be my undoing, but it was undercut by a mellow roastiness that finished dry and kept the sweetness from being cloying. The one flavor I didn’t get, oddly enough, was peanut butter, but I wasn’t mad about that — the caramel and toffee more than made up for it. I’ve never tasted anything like it. I should have asked the friendly bartender to scoop some vanilla ice cream into my glass.
It’s worth noting, by the way, that the good people at Slice cook this beer down and turn it into a syrup to flavor coffee drinks. I’ve already notified the Nobel committee.
And so, friends, if you’re looking for a tasty way to stay warm in this polar vortex in which we find ourselves, make a trek to Slice and Biscuit. If a peanut butter stout isn’t your thing, they’ve got plenty of other dark brews to satisfy the discerning snow-person. While you’re there, try some artisanal pizza. Or coffee. Or ice cream. Or have a go at the play structure! There should be plenty of heaped-up snow in the courtyard to cushion your landing.
Flathers is a Moscow resident and University of Idaho alum. She does a killer impression of a corkscrew. She’s a Ravenclaw with Hufflepuff leanings and is usually reading two or three books at a time. Questions or glad tidings can be sent to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.