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Spiced Ale Recipe with Goofy Foot Taproom & Brewery

Pumpkin Spice Ale beer recipe

The Brewer: Jeff and Tiffany Thompson 

Hi, my name’s Jeff. Several years ago, my wife, Tiffany, and I were sitting at one of our favorite breweries in Asheville, North Carolina, watching it rain and enjoying a few pints. She turned to me and asked the age-old question, “If money was no object and you could do anything, what would you do?” I had to think on it for a minute and decided it would be pretty cool to open a small brewery in our hometown of High Point, North Carolina.

Spiced Ale Recipe with Goofy Foot Taproom & Brewery

Goofy Foot is not your typical taproom. We feature beers from some amazing breweries and keep a few of our own on tap as well. We encourage people to embrace their differences and to “Be Different. Drink Right." 

The Beer: Spiced Ale

This pumpkin spice ale is a perfect fall beer. Originating from a local homebrew shop’s recipe with some modifications, it’s basically a mild Amber Ale with pumpkin spice added for a little holiday kick.



You can add some roasted, seasoned pumpkin “meat" to the mash if desired. I found it doesn’t really add much to the beer and I really like the spice profile as it is.

Pop Shuvit Pumpkin Spice Ale

    

The Recipe: Pop Shuvit Pumpkin Spice Ale 


INGREDIENTS


GRAIN

  • 10 lbs Great Western 2 Row
  • 1 lbs Crystal 60L
  • 0.75 lbs Aromatic Malt
  • 0.5 lbs Crystal 120L

HOPS

  • Boil hops: 0.5 oz Willamette - First Wort
  • Boil hops: 0.5 oz Willamette - Steep/Whirlpool - 15 minutes

YEAST

  • West Yorkshire Ale/Wyeast Labs #1469


INSTRUCTIONS

BATCH SIZE: 5 gal

OG: 1.056

FG: 1.016

IBU: 18

ABV: 5.3%

EFFICIENCY: 76%

MASH TEMP: 150ºF

BOIL: 60 min

FERMENTATION:
 69ºF - 12 days

SYSTEM: Spike Trio

 

Trio Kettles

Cheers,



Jeff and Tiffany - Goofy Foot Taproom & Brewery

 

Spike Summarizes: All Things Spiced Ale

What is a Spiced Ale? 

Spiced Ale is a beer style that incorporates a variety of spices into the brewing process, adding unique flavors and aromas to the beer. It is a creative and versatile style that allows brewers to experiment with different spice combinations, resulting in a wide range of flavor profiles. Spiced Ales can vary from light and subtly spiced to bold and intensely flavorful brews.

What distinguishes Spiced Ale from other beers? 

Spiced Ale stands out from other beer styles due to the addition of spices during the brewing process. While many beer styles focus on malt, hops, and yeast for flavor, Spiced Ales take it a step further by incorporating a diverse array of spices. This infusion of spices adds complexity, depth, and a distinct flavor profile to the beer, setting it apart from more traditional styles. 

What's the history of Spiced Ale?

Spiced Ales have a long history, dating back centuries to ancient times when spices were valued for their medicinal properties and as flavor enhancers. In medieval Europe, the use of spices in brewing was common, as they helped mask off-flavors and acted as preservatives. Over time, as brewing practices evolved and ingredients became more accessible, Spiced Ales continued to be brewed, showcasing regional spice blends and cultural traditions. 

What does a Spiced Ale taste like? 

The taste of a Spiced Ale can vary widely depending on the spices used and their proportion in the recipe. However, some common flavor characteristics include: 

Spice-forward Flavors 

As the name suggests, Spiced Ales are known for their prominent spice flavors. The specific spices used can range from classic choices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove, to more unique or exotic options such as cardamom, allspice, or coriander. The spices contribute a warm, herbal, and sometimes peppery character to the beer. 

Complexity and Balance 

When well-crafted, Spiced Ales strike a balance between the spice flavors and the underlying beer's malt and hop characteristics. The spices should complement, rather than overpower, the base beer, allowing for a harmonious blend of flavors. The complexity and balance of a Spiced Ale can make each sip an intriguing and multi-dimensional experience. 

Aromatics 

Spices not only influence the flavor of a Spiced Ale but also contribute to its aroma. Depending on the spices used, the beer may exhibit enticing aromas of baking spices, citrus, floral notes, or even subtle earthiness. The aromatic qualities of a Spiced Ale can enhance the overall drinking experience. 

How is Spiced Ale made? 

The brewing process for Spiced Ale follows the general principles of beer production, with the addition of spices during specific stages. Here's an overview of the brewing process for Spiced Ale: 

Mashing and Malting 

The brewing process begins with malting, where barley or other malted grains are germinated, kilned, and sometimes roasted to develop flavors and convert starches into fermentable sugars. The malted grains are then milled and mixed with hot water in a process called mashing, extracting sugars and enzymes. The resulting liquid, known as wort, serves as the base for the beer. 

Boiling and Hops 

The wort is transferred to a brew kettle and brought to a boil. During the boil, hops are typically added to provide bitterness, balance the sweetness of the malt, and act as a natural preservative. The hops also contribute to the overall flavor and aroma profile of the beer. The specific hop varieties and timings can vary depending on the desired beer style and recipe.

Spices and Flavoring Additions 

For Spiced Ales, the spices are added at different points in the brewing process. Some brewers choose to add spices directly to the boil, extracting their flavors and aromas during the heating process. Others prefer adding spices during fermentation or aging to achieve a more subtle or complex spice profile. The timing and quantity of spice additions depend on the desired intensity of flavors and the specific spices chosen. 

Fermentation and Conditioning 

After the boiling process, the wort is cooled and transferred to a fermentation vessel. Yeast is added to initiate fermentation, where sugars are converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The fermentation process can take several days to weeks, depending on the desired beer style and yeast strain. Once fermentation is complete, the beer may undergo conditioning, a period of maturation that allows flavors to develop and the beer to become more refined. 

Carbonation and Packaging 

After conditioning, Spiced Ales are typically carbonated, either through natural carbonation in bottles or kegs or by force carbonation using carbon dioxide. The carbonation level can vary depending on the beer style and personal preference. Finally, the beer is packaged in bottles, cans, or kegs, ready to be enjoyed by beer enthusiasts. 

What are some popular spices used in Spiced Ales? 

The choice of spices in Spiced Ales is vast, and brewers often experiment with unique combinations. Here are some popular spices frequently used in Spiced Ales: 

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a versatile spice that adds warmth, sweetness, and a touch of spiciness to the beer. Its aroma and flavor evoke thoughts of baked goods and winter spices. 

Ginger 

Ginger contributes a zesty, slightly peppery, and refreshing character to Spiced Ales. It adds a pleasant kick and can enhance the overall complexity of the beer. 

Nutmeg 

Nutmeg is known for its warm, nutty, and subtly sweet flavors. When used in moderation, it can provide depth and complexity to Spiced Ales.

Clove 

Clove imparts a distinctive spicy, aromatic, and slightly floral character to the beer. It is often used in combination with other spices to create a well-rounded flavor profile. 

Allspice 

Allspice offers a complex blend of flavors reminiscent of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. It can contribute warmth, sweetness, and a hint of peppery notes to Spiced Ales.


These are just a few examples, and brewers continue to experiment with various spices to create unique and intriguing flavor combinations in Spiced Ales. 

What foods go best with Spiced Ales?

Spiced Ales can be incredibly versatile when it comes to food pairings. The spice-forward flavors and complexity of these beers make them an excellent companion for a range of dishes. Here are some food pairing ideas: 

Roasted Meats 

The warm, aromatic spices in Spiced Ales pair well with roasted meats like roasted chicken, pork tenderloin, or braised beef. The spices can complement the rich flavors of the meat and add depth to the overall experience. 

Savory Dishes with Exotic Spices 

Spiced Ales can harmonize with savory dishes that feature exotic spices, such as Indian or Moroccan cuisine. The spice-forward nature of the beer can enhance the flavors of dishes like curry, tagine, or tikka masala. 

Comfort Foods 

Spiced Ales can be a great accompaniment to comfort foods, especially those with warming spices. Think dishes like mac and cheese with a hint of nutmeg, spicy chili, or even a hearty pumpkin soup with cinnamon and ginger. 

Desserts 

Pairing Spiced Ales with desserts can create a delightful symphony of flavors. Consider pairing them with desserts that feature similar spices, such as gingerbread, apple pie, carrot cake, or spiced cookies. The spices in the beer can mirror and complement the flavors in the dessert, creating a harmonious combination. 

Is Spiced Ale a year-round beer? 

Spiced Ale can be enjoyed year-round, but its popularity often peaks during the colder months. The warming and comforting qualities of the spices make it an excellent choice for cozying up in front of a fireplace or embracing the festive spirit during the holiday season. However, many Spiced Ales are brewed and available throughout the year, allowing enthusiasts to indulge in their favorite spiced brews regardless of the season.

How strong is a typical Spiced Ale? 

The strength of a Spiced Ale can vary widely depending on the specific beer and brewery. Spiced Ales can range from light and sessionable to stronger and more robust brews. The alcohol by volume (ABV) of a typical Spiced Ale can fall anywhere between 4% and 10% or even higher for certain styles like Winter Warmers. It's important to check the label or consult with the brewery to determine the alcohol content of a particular Spiced Ale.

Are there different types of Spiced Ales?

Yes, there are different types and variations of Spiced Ales, each with its own unique characteristics. Some popular types include:

Winter Warmers 

Winter Warmers are often considered a subcategory of Spiced Ales. They are typically stronger, full-bodied beers brewed with a variety of spices. These beers are known for their rich malt profiles, warming alcohol content, and an array of spices that evoke feelings of the holiday season.

Pumpkin Ales

Pumpkin Ales are a specific type of Spiced Ale that incorporates pumpkin puree and a blend of spices associated with pumpkin pie, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. These beers are often released during the fall and have become synonymous with autumnal flavors.

Belgian Christmas Ales 

Belgian Christmas Ales, or Belgian Strong Dark Ales, are often brewed with a combination of spices and exhibit rich malt profiles. These beers are usually higher in alcohol content and can feature flavors of dark fruits, caramel, spices like coriander or star anise, and sometimes even hints of chocolate or coffee. 

Herb and Spice Ales 

Herb and Spice Ales are a broad category that encompasses a variety of beers brewed with herbs and spices. These can include unique combinations of ingredients like rosemary, basil, chamomile, or even more exotic additions like hibiscus or lemongrass.


These are just a few examples, and the world of Spiced Ales offers endless possibilities for brewers to experiment with different spice combinations and brewing techniques. 

 What's the correct temperature for serving Spiced Ale?

The ideal serving temperature for Spiced Ale can vary depending on personal preference and the specific beer style. As a general guideline, most Spiced Ales are best enjoyed between 45°F (7°C) and 55°F (13°C). This temperature range allows the flavors and aromas of the spices to be prominent without being overwhelmed or muted.  

It's worth noting that some stronger and more complex Spiced Ales, such as Winter Warmers or Belgian Christmas Ales, may benefit from slightly warmer serving temperatures to allow the flavors to fully develop. In such cases, serving around 50°F (10°C) to 55°F (13°C) can enhance the complexity and richness of the beer.

What are some popular brands of Spiced Ales?

The world of Spiced Ales offers a wide variety of brands and breweries that produce exceptional examples of the style. Here are a few popular and well-regarded brands known for their Spiced Ales: 

Anchor Brewing - Christmas Ale 

Anchor Brewing's Christmas Ale is a highly anticipated annual release that features a different recipe each year. It showcases a blend of spices, creating a rich and complex brew with hints of dark fruit, caramel, and spices. 

Great Lakes Brewing Company - Christmas Ale

Great Lakes Brewing Company's Christmas Ale is a beloved holiday tradition. This beer is brewed with honey, cinnamon, and ginger, resulting in a smooth, warming ale with a perfect balance of spices. 

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery - Punkin Ale 

Dogfish Head's Punkin Ale is a popular pumpkin-spiced beer brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. It delivers a delicious blend of pumpkin flavors and warming spices.

The Bruery - 12 Days of Christmas Series 

The Bruery's 12 Days of Christmas series offers a unique and decadent Spiced Ale experience. Each beer in the series represents one of the 12 days, and they are brewed with different spices, fruits, and barrel-aging techniques, creating a range of complex and celebratory ales.

Why do Spiced Ales have a wide range of colors? 

The color of a Spiced Ale can vary depending on the base beer style and the specific spices used. Spiced Ales can display a wide range of colors, from pale gold to deep amber or even dark brown. The color variations arise from a combination of factors, including the malt bill, brewing techniques, and spice additions. 

Base Beer Style 

The base beer style chosen by the brewer can greatly influence the color of the Spiced Ale. For example, if the base beer is a lighter style like a Blonde Ale or a Witbier, the resulting Spiced Ale may have a pale gold or light amber hue. On the other hand, if the base beer is a darker style like a Brown Ale or a Stout, the Spiced Ale might exhibit a deeper amber or dark brown color. 

Malt Bill 

The selection and proportion of malts used in the brewing process can impact the color of the beer. A higher proportion of lighter malts, such as Pilsner or Pale malt, will result in a lighter-colored beer. In contrast, the use of darker malts like Munich, Vienna, or roasted malts can contribute to a deeper and richer color in the final product. 

Spice Additions 

Some spices used in Spiced Ales can also affect the beer's color. For example, spices like cinnamon or nutmeg may impart a slight reddish or brownish hue, while spices like ginger or cardamom might have a more subtle influence on the beer's color. The combination and quantity of spices used can contribute to the overall color profile of the Spiced Ale. 

Specialty Ingredients 

In addition to spices, brewers may incorporate specialty ingredients like fruits, herbs, or even caramelized sugars into their Spiced Ales. These ingredients can introduce additional colors and contribute to the overall complexity and character of the beer. 

It's important to note that while the color can provide some insights into the flavor and character of a Spiced Ale, it's not a definitive indicator. The true taste experience lies in the combination of spices, malt flavors, and aromas that create a unique and enjoyable drinking experience.

Why do Spiced Ales often have higher carbonation levels? 

Spiced Ales often exhibit higher carbonation levels, which can enhance the overall drinking experience. There are a few reasons behind this characteristic: 

Flavor Balance 

The spices used in Spiced Ales can sometimes have a warming or even slightly sweet character. Higher carbonation levels help to counterbalance these flavors by providing a refreshing and effervescent mouthfeel. The carbonation helps to cleanse the palate between sips, preventing the spices from becoming overwhelming or cloying. 

Aromatics

Carbonation also contributes to the release and perception of aromatics in Spiced Ales. The effervescence helps to lift and carry the aromatic compounds from the beer to your nose, intensifying the experience and allowing you to fully appreciate the spices' fragrant qualities.

Improved Digestibility

The higher carbonation levels in Spiced Ales can contribute to a lighter and more refreshing drinking experience. The effervescence can aid in digestion, making the beer feel less heavy on the palate, even when it possesses a rich and complex flavor profile.  

It's worth noting that the carbonation level can vary among different Spiced Ales and individual brewery practices. Some may opt for a higher carbonation to create a lively and crisp mouthfeel, while others may prefer a more moderate or even lower carbonation level to emphasize other aspects of the beer's character. 

Are Spiced Ales suitable for aging? 

Some Spiced Ales can benefit from aging, while others are best enjoyed fresh. Aging can mellow out certain flavors, allowing the spices to integrate more seamlessly with the other beer components. However, it's important to consider a few factors before deciding to age a Spiced Ale:

Beer Style and ABV 

The beer style and alcohol content of a Spiced Ale can influence its aging potential. Beers with higher ABV and robust malt profiles tend to fare better with aging as they have more stability and can withstand the aging process without losing their character. Winter Warmers and Belgian Christmas Ales are examples of Spiced Ales that can develop intriguing flavors and complexities over time. 

Spice Intensity 

The intensity of the spices used in a Spiced Ale should also be considered. Some spices may mellow out and become more integrated with the beer flavors during aging, while others may fade or lose their distinctiveness. If the spices are a prominent feature in the beer, aging may cause them to become less pronounced. 

Brewer's Recommendation 

The brewer's recommendation is a valuable guide when deciding whether to age a Spiced Ale. Some breweries may release specific Spiced Ales designed for aging and provide suggestions for how long to cellar the beer. If aging is recommended, it's essential to follow the brewery's guidance to achieve the desired results.  

If you decide to age a Spiced Ale, proper storage conditions are crucial. Keep the beer in a cool, dark place, away from temperature fluctuations and direct sunlight. Aging times can vary depending on the beer style, ABV, and spice composition, so it's always a good idea to sample the beer periodically to monitor its development. 

Are Spiced Ales more bitter than other beers? 

Spiced Ales are not inherently more bitter than other beers. The bitterness of a beer is primarily determined by the hops used during the brewing process. While some Spiced Ales may have a noticeable hop bitterness, it is not a defining characteristic of the style. Instead, the emphasis in Spiced Ales is typically on the flavors and aromas derived from the spices rather than the bitterness from hops.  

However, it's important to note that the perception of bitterness can be influenced by the interaction between the spices and other beer components. Some spices, such as ginger or certain citrus peels, can contribute a perceived bitterness or a spicy kick to the overall flavor profile. This perceived bitterness is different from the bitterness derived from hops and can vary depending on the specific spices used and their quantities. 

Overall, the level of bitterness in a Spiced Ale will depend on the recipe and brewing techniques employed by the brewery. Brewers have the freedom to balance the spice additions with the desired level of hop bitterness to create a well-rounded and enjoyable beer. 

Why are Spiced Ales often served in a specific type of glass? 

The choice of glassware for serving Spiced Ales is often influenced by several factors, including aesthetics, aroma enhancement, and temperature control. While there is no hard and fast rule, here are some glassware options commonly used for serving Spiced Ales: 

Tulip Glass 

The tulip glass is a popular choice for Spiced Ales and other aromatic beers. It features a bulbous shape that tapers toward the rim, allowing aromas to concentrate while capturing and retaining the beer's head. The wide base provides stability and ample space for the beer to breathe, enhancing the overall sensory experience. 

Snifter 

Snifter glasses are often associated with strong, complex beers like Spiced Ales. They have a short stem, a wide bowl, and a narrow rim. The shape helps to concentrate aromas, making it easier to detect and appreciate the intricate spice and malt notes of the beer. The short stem allows the drinker to hold the glass comfortably while the beer warms in their hands. 

Goblet/Chalice 

Goblets and chalices are larger, bowl-shaped glasses with stems. They are often used for beers with higher ABV and complex flavor profiles, including Spiced Ales. The wide bowl provides ample room for swirling, releasing aromas, and capturing the beer's head. The stem helps to prevent the drinker's hands from warming the beer too quickly. 

Nonic Pint Glass 

The nonic pint glass, with its slight bulge near the top, is a versatile glassware option that can accommodate a wide range of beer styles, including Spiced Ales. It allows for a good grip and showcases the beer's color and carbonation. While it may not concentrate aromas as effectively as the tulip or snifter, it still provides a satisfying drinking experience. 

It's important to note that glassware choice ultimately comes down to personal preference. The suggested glassware options can enhance the sensory experience by showcasing the beer's aromas, flavors, and appearance, but you can enjoy a Spiced Ale in any glass that allows you to fully appreciate its characteristics.

 

 

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