Chicagoist's Beer of the Week: 4 Hands Cast Iron
By Jason Baldacci in Food on Oct 31, 2014 9:30PM
If it's going to snow on Halloween, even only for a few minutes, there's nothing left we can do but find something to warm us up.
Cast Iron is a brown ale brewed with oatmeal that comes to us from 4 Hands Brewing Co. of St. Louis, Missouri. As expected, it pours a deep brown color in the glass, but there's a slight touch of ruby in the hue, underneath some pillowy light tan foam. The oatmeal is present on the aroma and accented nicely with a hint of cocoa powder. On the palate, we're hit with flavors of dark roasted coffee up front and the chocolate malt in the grain bill lays in heavier on the backend. The oatmeal keeps the mouthfeel relatively soft and lends a nice, creamy sweetness to balance the bitterness of the darker malts. At 5.5 percent alcohol content, Cast Iron is packed with flavor and a really nice take on a classic style.
We don't really see too many brown ales out and about these days, which is too bad since there are a lot of food pairing opportunities with the style that are hard to match. The char of grilled red meat coupled with the roastiness of a brown ale almost always works whether you're dealing with steak, burgers or lamb. If you're making a beef stew or a batch of chili, you could probably just add a bottle of a beer like Cast Iron right into the pot right before you simmer. The chocolate and coffee tones in the beer will even play well with most desserts, as long as you're not having key lime or lemon meringue pie.
Cast Iron is available on draft and in 12-ounce bottles, check beermenus.com to see where you can pick some up this weekend.