Peanut Butter Porter
Back Forty Beer Co. (Gadsden, Alabama)
We usually prefer our sandwiches with chunky peanut butter, but Back Forty’s super-smooth Peanut Butter Porter has us rethinking that stance. Its creamy flavor kicks off with sweet notes of pecan, Frangelico, waffle cones, cola and dates; smooth roasted peanut (courtesy of crushed peanuts and natural peanut butter extract) is the last to arrive, but its presence obscures the beer's alcohol content heroically. Pair with bread slices and you've got lunch.
Peanut Butter Milk Stout
Belching Beaver Brewery (Vista, California)
Belching Beaver’s top-selling beer is a damn delight, its lactose-heavy milk-stout base combining with sweet, luscious peanut butter and hazelnut coffee creamer for a character like a peanut butter milkshake. You can get it year-round, but you’d do better to time your visit to one of Belching Beaver’s five Cali locations with the spring release of Peanut Butter Latte, a “golden stout” that pops with berrylike coffee and peanut butter before a clean apples-and-crackers finish.
PB & Thursday
The Bruery (Placentia, California)
First there was Black Tuesday, The Bruery’s bourbon-aged imperial stout. Other days of the week soon followed: An addition of hazelnuts brought Grey Monday to life, and infusion of coffee created Mocha Wednesday. PB & Thursday takes us even further into the week by pairing Black Tuesday’s prodigious bourbon character (and alcohol content) with peanut flour. Fans of the base beer should love it; the peanuts are a subtle, oily accent to the stout’s inherent oak, whiskey and fudge flavors.
Absence of Light
4 Hands Brewing Co. (St. Louis, Missouri)
Rebranded from the descriptive yet unexciting Peanut Butter Chocolate Milk Stout in 2015, Absence of Light is about as balanced as peanut butter stouts get. Sweet roasted peanuts, cocoa powder and a hint of blackberry rule the front of the sip, while the finish is all roasty stout. Find it from November to February.
Peanut Butter Jelly Crime
Superstition Meadery (Prescott, Arizona)
Superstition makes this mead (that’s honey wine) with blueberries and peanuts, mingling flavors of blueberry mini-muffins, smoky wildflower honey and peanut dust before a mildly tart grape jelly finish. It's so much like a jar of pre-mixed PB&J that it should be a crime. The most recent batch dropped June 10.
Peanut Butter Jelly Time
Catawba Brewing Co. (Asheville, North Carolina)
Can it be lunchtime, please? Catawba’s annual peanut brown ale gets its PB&J-inside-a-ziplock-bag flavor from weeks of aging raspberries and roasted peanuts. The berries give the beer a hint of tangy tartness that’s balanced by bready malts.
Sweet Baby Jesus!
DuClaw Brewing Co. (Bel Air, Maryland)
If you’re the type of weirdo who likes to nibble the chocolate off a Reese’s peanut butter cup so you can taste the candy’s orange innards on their own, you’re in luck: That’s exactly what Sweet Baby Jesus! tastes like. A hint of bitter roast is the only real "beer" flavor that differentiates this GABF bronze medal winner from an actual PB cup. Also worth a try: For Pete’s Sake!, the imperial version released in December.
Renegade Brewing Co. (Denver, Colorado)
Formerly known as Black Gold, Depravity was first created in 2011 as the result of a post-Halloween candy sale. Each keg contains a pound each of peanut butter cups and dehydrated peanut butter—plenty of PB to play off the rich, dense, definitely-for-dessert stout’s flavors of sticky chocolate syrup, grape, cherry and dark toast. It’s now released annually every New Year’s Eve.
Listermann Brewing Co. (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Concord Grape Nutcase, Blackberry Nutcase, Peach Nutcase, Coffee Nutcase, Bourbon Nutcase; special versions of this porter crafted with dried, de-oiled peanut butter powder abound. We prefer the base beer, though: It has an inherent grape flavor that matches the peanuts for a flavor like PB&J sandwiches with none of the mess.
Empyrean Brewing Co. (Lincoln, Nebraska)
It may not stick to the roof of your mouth, but this year-round porter captures all the nutty smoothness of peanut butter, pairing it with roasted cacao nibs for a Reese’s-like flavor that makes each bottle totally worth scooping up.
Manayunk Brewing Co. (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
To smell Crunch is to peruse the toppings at a well-stocked frozen yogurt shop: Waffle cones, powdered peanuts, hazelnuts and Whoppers all mingle in the year-round chocolate peanut butter porter’s aroma. Sips give up soft vanilla notes to go with the waffle cone crumbles, while milk chocolate and peanut powder are most noticeable in the exhales that come after the dry, slightly ashy finish.
Mother Earth Brew Co. (Vista, California)
The peanut butter flavor in this imperial stout is of the oily, natural variety that you have to stir before serving, while pleasant 12-grain toast, grape jam, cocoa and hazelnut skins do an admirable job evening out the burnt-bread bitterness of the finish. It’s available year-round (and now in cans!).
Avery Brewing Co.
Forty-five beers into Avery’s Barrel-Aged Series, they finally perfected the art of extracting peanut flavor and pairing it with bourbon enough for a national release. It’s been a long time coming: “This beer was actually inspired by a homebrew that I did before I even worked at Avery,” says Travis Rupp, Avery’s Research and Development Manager, resident Beer Archaeologist and a professor at the University of Colorado. “Those initial batches were difficult to produce and there was so much oil from the peanuts that there was no head retention at all. Fast-forward many years, I’m now part of the Special Projects team at Avery and we decided to recreate this beer, but do it right this time. We use finely ground peanut flour instead of just adding peanuts, which will give this beer a blast of peanut flavor, but also will help the head retention due to reduced oil.” Rupp’s influence on the beer goes even deeper than the recipe: That’s his face on the bottle’s label. The beer launches at Avery June 26 and is slated to hit shelves across the brewery’s distribution footprint throughout July.