Style: Fruited Amber Expat
Grain: Pilsner, Munich, Special B
Extra: loads of real cherries
Hops: virtually absent
Fermented with an ale yeast peer pressured into doing some things its not comfortable with.
Tasting notes: Buttery graham cracker crust, sweet dark cherries, blended with a decidedly "Belgian" beer
Pair with: Itself after a meal. This is a dessert beer. Ice cream would be a nice addition.
I love a good brewing challenge. Through the homebrew club I've belonged to for over 10 years (MUGZ), we've done many of them, such as ingredient challenges (ala Chopped) or attempts at cloning a commercial beer. Cherry Pylon started off as a personal challenge of both of these types. There's a popular regional brewery that makes an excellent beer featuring cherries. When I set out to clone that beer, the first challenge was finding which type of cherry they used. And then how much. Not to mention grains, hops, yeast, water, etc. Eventually, I figured it out.
Tasting it blind, it was indistinguishable from the commercial example. I hunted down the brewer at a beer festival and told him what I had done and how. He just smiled and said "Yep. You got it." But I don't want to clone his beer. You can buy it yourself. I want to make something different with the tricks I've learned dialing in that clone. That's when I decided on my next personal challenge – can I make a beer that tastes like cherry pie?
Just to be clear, I didn't shove a cherry pie into the kettle. This is not beer brewed with cherry pie, but you'd be forgiven for thinking it was. There are real cherries here – a lot of them. And that pie crust flavor was not an accident. This is a beer that hopefully makes you not only think "cherry pie" but also "really tasty beer".