At Stanley Park Brewing in chilly Vancouver, we love the holiday season. There’s something special about taking time to slow down, relax at home, spend time with family and friends cooking and enjoying a few beers. So, we decided it was the perfect time to launch our newest year-round beer – Shadow Play Dark Ale.
Our goal was to shake up impressions of what a dark beer could offer and create a brew that features the delicious roasted flavours and dark colour that we gravitate to in the fall and winter, with a crisp dry finish that you expect in a summer session beer. At 5.0% ABV and 30 IBU we think we’ve hit the mark.
The beer is meant to play (pun intended) between different categories of malt-forward beers, embodying some of their best features. A blend of dark specialty malt imparts a roasted, slightly nutty flavour reminiscent of a brown ale or porter. While the addition of Chinook hops and a blend of crystal malt create a smooth, deceptively easy-drinking beer with subtle aromas of pine, dark fruit and chocolate.
Using these flavour cues can make pairing Shadow Play Dark Ale with your favourite dishes easy. The medley of flavors presented in this brew offer something for everyone. When it comes to party fare—charcuterie boards reign supreme. Shadow Play Dark Ale will emphasize the flavours of smoked goudas, nutty gruyeres, and spicy clove capicolas while scrubbing the palate with a clean, dry finish.
If you’re looking for a creative way to elevate the beer and food experience—adding depth to the flavours in a dish—try incorporating beer into the cooking process. The combinations of different hops and malts in beer can draw forward sweet/caramelized notes in baked goods or emphasize capsaicin heat in spicy foods.
For this recipe Chef Nate has put a brewpub spin on one of his Mom’s holiday staples, chicken pot pie. Speaking on his inspiration for the dish, Chef Nate recalled the long list of friends hoping to have a seat at the dinner table for what was considered “the best chicken pot pie in the world, hands down.”
In the recipe Chef Nate has graciously shared with us, the new addition of Shadow Play Dark Ale adds an earthy, umami component to the roux and highlights the savory sauteed chicken. Pairing Shadow Play Dark Ale alongside the dish creates a harmonious flavour experience while the dry finish of the beer cleanses your palate and ready’s you for the next bite.