Why AleSmith Pushed Speedway Stout Variants Nationwide

​It used to be easy for AleSmith to get a series of one-off varietals out to consumers in its home market. The ongoing pandemic changed this, but also presented the San Diego brewery with an opportunity. Instead of releasing these small-batch versions to a dedicated fan base, the San Diego brewery has found a way to reach more consumers across the nation.

So starting this year, the brewery has split up the best versions of the popular Stout and expand the platform, starting with Speedway Stout Special Variant #1​: Espresso and Madagascar Vanilla.

“With the current travel restrictions, we wanted to bring our varietal offerings to those who are not able to visit our Tasting Room right now,” explained Head Brewer and Director of Brewery Operations, Ryan Crisp. “Speedway Stout is a versatile beer that we wanted to showcase the different variations of it.”

​Crisp said that AleSmith designed ​four types of variants based on years of experimentation and seeing what customers enjoyed over time.

​”​We’ve worked closely with the ratios, extraction rates, and the impact based on ingredient origin​,” Crisp said. ​”​So what you’re seeing is our refined compilation of new​,​ yet familiar​,​ Speedway variations now being offered nationwide.

​”​Our second-quarter release will be exciting because we’ll be working again with our friends at Mostra.​”​

​These limited quarterly releases allow out-of-staters to have what would normally just be shared by consumers just in the home market. ​

​The brewery explains that the original Speedway Stout​ ​is best characterized by dominant chocolate and roasted malts supported by notes of dark fruit, toffee, and caramel. A healthy dose of locally roasted coffee added to each batch brings out the beer’s dark chocolate flavors and enhances its drinkability.

Despite its intensity, Speedway Stout’s fine carbonation and creamy mouthfeel make it very smooth and surprisingly easy to drink, yielding the perfect canvas for Crisp and his team of creatives to produce unique blends and variants that exemplify what makes their imperial stout so beloved, while incorporating complexities that rev up the tasting experience.

​”Speedway Stout’s base imperial stout recipe provides a balanced foundation that allows us to work in any direction from chocolate to roast to dark fruit​,” Crisp said​. ​”​Having a versatile flavor scheme, we can choose blends and varietals of coffee that complement Speedway naturally without having to compromise our creativity.​”

The secret for balance is in the process​, he added​.

​”​Each time we work with coffee, we take extensive notes from sensory evaluation to composition metrics to decide which route and methods to go by​,” Crisp said. ​”​Having made Speedway Stout with coffees from almost every region globally, we felt this espresso blend was the most appropriate and complementary to the superior flavor and aromatic qualities of Madagascar vanilla.”

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