Name: Andean Brewing Company (KUKA)
Location: Blauvelt, NY
Type: Production brewery
Available in DC Market: No
What you need to know: Andean is a bit of a mystery – there’s not much info on their site (or elsewhere on the webz) about their provenance, but their mission statement lays things out: “Our mission is to unite ancient Andean ingredients with our premium hand-crafted beers; while respecting the traditions of antiquity. We search the world looking for super plants that can be brewed for their unique characteristics.”
Beer #1: Banana Nut Brown Ale (5.5% ABV, Brown Ale)
In Their Own Words: A brown ale brewed “with Maca Root, Real Bananas and Natural Banana Flavor added” “We are sure you will appreciate this unique brew with a familiar flavor. This smooth and tasty English style ale is brewed with real banana flavors. We worked hard to keep the flavor profile balanced so that you will recognize the classic nutty and light roasty flavors of a brown ale along with the banana overtones. Like we said – we didn’t monkey around on this one!”
Food Pairing: Rice pudding (Classic rice pudding crowned with raisins and a crisp ginger tuile)
Our Thoughts: It will be intriguing to see how the Banana Nut Brown stacks up against Wells Banana Bread Beer, the only fair comparison I know of in the market. When it comes to the pairing, imagine banana pudding and rice pudding had a weird pudding baby. If you’re looking for something that will stand out from the crowd, Andean might be just what you’re looking for.
Beer #2: Belgian Blonde (6.5% ABV, Belgian style ale)
In Their Own Words: Also brewed with maca root. “You will no doubt enjoy this versatile, yet distinct Belgian Blonde Ale. Fermented with yeast from the Abbeys of Belgium, it possesses a strong malt foundation with a distinct Belgian fruitiness and the right amount of hops adding to its flavor and aroma. So go on – see how the Blonde side lives!”
Food Pairing: Pork belly brioche (Toasted brioche topped with pork belly braised in orange and cinnamon. Served with cabbage, radish and apple slaw)
Our Thoughts: These guys definitely know how to commit to an idea. While I can’t begin to speculate what maca root does for the flavor of beer, I must admit that the novelty alone piques my interest. Belgian blonde isn’t my first thought for a pork belly pairing, so it’ll be intriguing to see how they match up.
This profile is a part of the DCBeer.com SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2014 SAVOR participants.