Cinnamon Horchata Ale and other Latin-inspired brews
Blue Moon, the brewer of the No. 1 craft beer in the nation, Blue Moon Belgian-Style Wheat Ale is at it again. Its founder and master brewer, Keith Villa, has searched his family history to come up with the company’s most recent beer exploration. The brewery has successfully brought to life a Cinnamon Horchata Ale that is reminiscent of the Mexican drink Villa enjoyed as a kid. Backed with years of experience and a Ph.D. in brewing from the University of Brussels in Belgium, this brewmaster is a talented leader for Blue Moon Brewery.
When unveiling the beer at a premier party dinner, Villa served up some food items that many students of culinary arts programs online would envy. In combination with the Cinnamon Horchata Ale, Villa served a Mexican salmon carpaccio that was cured with brown sugar, cracked pepper, lemon and orange zest. This was topped with an arugula salad that was then tossed in a vinaigrette made from a concentration of the Cinnamon Horchata beer. The flavors paired with the salmon were chosen specifically because they mimic the spice and Belgian dark candy sugar that are used to brew this new beer.
Villa founded Blue Moon Brewery, but his Horchata Ale is the first that incorporates his Latin heritage. Horchata, for those who may not know, is a traditional beverage made from ground almonds, sesame seeds, rice or barley. It is often described as a cinnamon rice-milk. Making a milky beer may not sound like the best idea, but those who have had the chance to taste the offering find it to be subtly sweet and smooth with a creamy finish.
“I wanted to develop a brew for adults that combined the refreshing and creamy attributes of the traditional horchata, so I’m beyond pleased that we finally made it a reality,” Villa told Brewbound. “It brings me great pride to introduce this brew into the market.”
Though this beer will be a first for the large national craft market, it is not the first time a brewery in America has attempted the horchata ale. Pacific Place Brewing Company has attempted to tackle the Latin brewing market by creating inventive craft brews with Latin ingredients. Their first line of beers included Horchata Stout, Agave Wheat, Mango IPA, Cardamom Ginger Saison and Copa de Oro. The company is located in Los Angeles, and as of now it does not distribute widely, but if the Blue Moon Horchata Ale is a success, it may have a national market to fill.