Apr 3 2009

Coconut Curry Hefeweizen

So this is the strangest beer I’ve schemed up this year. It will either be pretty remarkable or completely undrinkable.

I’ve been slightly obsessed with Indian and Thai cuisine for a while. I’ve made my share of curries and kormas in the last year, but I definitely would not say that I have mad skillz at this type of food.

Beer, usually a good IPA, is a nice complement to these types of dishes. So, since I have brewed an oyster stout (with raw oysters) and a milk stout spiced with chai, it was only a matter of time before I took this to the next absurd level. A coconut curry hefeweizen.

I remembered a reference to a curry beer in Papazian’s The Homebrewer’s Companion and I used that as the basis for recipe formulation. The interesting part was tracking down the curry ingredients. I already had cinnamon sticks, coriander, and cayenne. I could get ginger root from almost any grocery store, and it was simply a matter of stopping by Whole Foods for the hippyfied unsweetened coconut.

The fenugreek required me stopping by the local Indian Bazar (yep, just two As) in town, but that was easy. The hardest part was the kaffir leaves. I might have had hit up a local restaurant for some, but a friend of mine, in an act that will be rewarded, is over in Thailand right now and he sent me the leaves in the mail. These things smell amazing and walk the sensory line between lime and basil.

Coconut Curry Ingrediants

Coconut Curry Ingredients

I’m going to put all that goodness into a pot this weekend and turn a hefeweizen (which is a German Wheat beer) recipe into a coconut curry hefeweizen. Since it is one of my experimental batches, it will only be ~3 gallons just in case things go insanely awry, or limit the riots in the streets when it becomes the most amazing beer ever. Updates will follow.

So this is the strangest beer I’ve schemed up this year. But the year is still young.