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Small Batch: Session Three


Inspiration can be a funny, elusive thing: there are times when, the harder you search for it, the more difficult it can be to grab a hold of. And, there are other times when it finds you right when you’re least expecting it like, for example, while purchasing an obscene amount of Girl Scout Cookies from a six year old (and her dad). This was the moment when Pete decided to make These Caramel Delights Have Caramel Ends, the pastry stout none of us knew we needed, but definitely the one we deserve. Small Batch Session Three kicks off today, with a bang, in support of the Boys and Girls Club of America, which serves over 2800 children and teens a year.

The Brewer

Name: Pete Bissell

What does your ideal Sunday look like? My Sundays are ideally spent with a slow start at home with my family, cooking a full breakfast, followed by an outing to Fort Williams or the Green Belt to walk it off.

In the afternoon, I will usually grab a few hours to myself to work on home projects or go grab a drink somewhere, before settling back in with the family for the evening to relax and begin planning my workweek. If only every Sunday could be like that….

Top three Office moments?: The Deposition (Michael at his best); Niagara Falls (Jim & Pam at their best); Stress Relief (Dwight at his best)

Beat food eaten while abroad?: Very tough! Proper pretzels and schnitzel in Germany was memorable, as is the haute cuisine of Copenhagen. Overall, I would say eating at Bundobust in Leeds, UK has been the overall best experience. Totally revelatory to me (Indian vegetarian street food, NEVER would have thought a category like that would have captivated me) and packaged in such an amazing way, it really opened my eyes to the possibility of being part of a food business myself one day.

Charity of choice: The Boys and Girls Club of South Portland

Charity Contact Info: Karen McDonald, [email protected]

The Beer

These Caramel De-Lites Have Caramel Ends is our most ridiculous Session Beer to date. It’s our take on a Pastry Stout. Pete got the idea when a friend of the brewery’s daughter was selling Girl Scout Cookies. He bought 20 boxes of Caramel Delights and proclaimed that we would brew the pastry-est of Pastry Stouts! The idea was to not only make it sweet and decadent but to mimic the baking of an actual cookie so we started with a complicated combination of malts to deliver as much of a cookie like character as we could. Golden Promise, flaked oats, a blend of chocolate, roasted & caramel malts along with biscuit malt, brown sugar and lactose too! And, of course, cookies: more than two pounds per bbl split between the mash and the cookie (dry) hop. Since the Caramel Delight (or Samoa as it is also known), is a vanilla cookie coated in caramel, sprinkled with toasted coconut and laced with chocolatey stripes, we had a lot of options for adjuncts. We decided to accentuate the caramel and chocolate aspects of the cookie because we had just released a coconut beer in Sigil 5. We did this by adding over 1.5lbs per bbl of home toasted cacao nibs with a lot of caramel syrup to the fermenter. We hope you have as much fun drinking this beer as we did making it.

The Deets

O.G 1.115

F.G 1.045

ABV 9.2%

SRM 50

IBU 45

Grist Golden Promise, Flaked Oats, Pale Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate Rye, Biscuit, Crystal 40, Crystal 55, Midnight Wheat, Flaked Barley, Roasted Barley, Brown Sugar, Lactose

Hops Apollo

Other Caramel Delight Girl Scout Cookies, Toasted Cacao Nibs, Caramel Syrup.

Yeast American Ale II

The Interview

What was the inspiration behind this beer?

Beer styles such as Lactose-NEIPA, fruited kettle sours, and pastry stouts are very divisive in the beer world. There is a tension in beer between subjective idealism on what beer *should* be, mixed with what the market *actually* wants, and the realities that need to be faced in order to run a successful business in an ultra-saturated market. I think this tension is very dynamic and exciting. As someone whose personal DNA is geared towards sales and marketing, I try very hard to see the world as it is, and not subjectively, so these “new” beer styles that gain momentum are naturally very interesting to me. Making a beer that tasted like a cookie became apparent when I was having a beer with Patty (the actual architect of this beer, I just had the idea, which isn’t worth much without execution!) and his good friend Andrew came in with his daughter Penelope, selling girl scout cookies. I told Patty, who had just launched the Small Batch Sessions program, “I’m buying 20 boxes, let’s make something with them.”

Any other notable cookie stouts in your life?

These beers are definitely sweatpants-on-the-couch-on-Saturday-night fare for me, and I love drinking them when I can get them. I love Barreled Souls Stay Puft (technically a marshmallow stout!) Off Color Dino Smores, and Horus Aged Ales’ variety of pastry stouts. While technically not a “cookie” stout, I absolutely adored our own Sigil 4 as well!

Tell us a little about your charity and why you chose it?

The Boys and Girls Clubs of America is a well-vetted institution that is consistently ranked as one of the top nonprofits nationwide, in any category. They provide a wide variety of after-school programs to teens and pre-teens across the country, and their services are especially important to at-risk youth, and those that may not have a parental presence at home after school gets out. I chose my local chapter of BGCA, located right around the corner from my house, because I want to bring some of Bissell Brothers’ powerful philanthropic efforts to my immediate community.

What part of the brewing process do you enjoy most?

On the occasions that I get to assist with brewing, I try very hard to make measurements and temperature adjustments as precise as possible. Most brew days look the same at face value, it is only through these very small adjustments that we get wildly different beers, so if I am helping, it’s very important to me to get everything perfect and not let our brewers down. If a beer I touched finishes fit to serve in the tap room under the Bissell Brothers name, I view that as a win (and cause for a sigh of relief, haha)

Any tips for how this brew should be enjoyed?

Since this beer is limited to the tap room, I would say…….post-shift Friday for staff, and Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY for our customers! #treatyoself

These Caramel De-Lites Have Caramel Ends will be pouring exclusively in our tasting room, starting on Friday May 24th! Get it while it’s here!