A brand new concept beer for Short's Brewing Company, this latest creation comes to us from the mind of one of our Elk Rapids brewers, Aaron Smith (Rye Not?, You're My Boy Blue). Prior to working at Short's, Aaron was an avid home brewer, and even still finds time to occasionally brew at home to this day. In fact, both Rye Not? and You're My Boy Blue were done first as home brews, before attempting them on a much larger system in Bellaire. It's not uncommon for brewers to test new ideas out on a relatively small scale (5-15 gallons) prior to brewing them on more commercial sized systems. Especially when the latest idea involves the incorporation of adjuncts that could significantly change what it would cost to make the beer. If the beer didn't turn out exactly how the brewer envisioned it on the smallest scale, then adjustments could be made accordingly or the entire plan could be scratched all together, before a much larger investment into the new beer was made. Unlike Aaron's previous individual Short's brew features, Sweet Taters was never done as a home brew. He did get the idea to brew the beer while at home and it came to him as he was considering ingredients that could contain fermentable sugars to use for brewing in lieu of cereal grains. The time of the year happened to be in the fall, right around Thanksgiving, as all the different seasonal vegetables and dishes were being created. Aaron noticed that a common staple at practically all festive holiday gatherings were sweet potatoes and that these root vegetables could easily lend residual sugars that could be used in brewing. What intrigued him even further was whether or not some of the starchy qualities of the potatoes would come through if used in a beer. Taking some more inspiration from the culinary dishes of the season, Aaron drafted up two different recipes for a beer made with sweet potatoes, one that would also have molasses added to it and another that would have brown sugar. Not sure when he would have the time to make this beer at home, Aaron found himself talking to Tony about his latest idea and before he knew it, Sweet Taters had made it's way to the R&D brew schedule. Liking the sound of both recipes Tony decided that they should just draft up one that utilized both specialty ingredients. The end result was a tasty Brown Ale brewed with sweet potatoes, molasses, and brown sugar.
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