CHOC Brewing Company “Miner Mishap”

November 29, 2011

Black Friday has come and gone which means winter is around the corner in earnest. Rest your tired bodies bruised from the woman in the lime green felt tracksuit that roller derby slammed you out of the way for the last “Tickle Me, President Obama.” Kick up your blistered tootsies, wrap yourself in the Snuggie your little one got you for Christmas last year and try to forget, at least for now, the checkbook still whimpering like a roughly-scolded puppy.

Rest, ye merry gentlemen – and women – for the fruits of your endeavors shall be rewarded soon… usually in a way-too-fast flash of shredded wrapping paper. Is it just me or is the amount of man-hours spent pounding the aisles of shopping malls, department stores and Hallmark outlets reflect proportionally opposite of the actual amount of time spent enjoying Christmas morning?

While the kids come down off their adrenaline-and-sugar high and the adults suffer their second near-fatal dose of tryptophan in as many months, treat yourself to a gift and pour a glass of Choc Brewing Miner Mishap.

Yes, it’s spelled “Miner” as in ones who dig around under the ground hunting for things men cherish or use for fuel. And “Choc” isn’t short for chocolate. It’s the name of the brewery originally founded by Pietro Pigari who changed his name to Pete Prichard after immigrating to America. A mining accident crushed his leg so badly that he could no longer work the tunnels. He turned to owning a restaurant and brewing his own beer. Miner Mishap is a tribute to the event that put the brewery’s founder upon his path.

And why choose this beer for the occasion? It’s a black lager whose goodness of flavor and satisfying texture make a well-deserved counterpoint to black Friday. That, and it’s got those comforting, toasty flavors that pair so well with cold weather and visions of sugarplums dancing in your head like an acid flashback. Mishap is as black as the cold, dark mines that Mr. Prichard worked in as a lad. Possessive of slight earthy scents that do the name proud, it’s also big in the nose with fudge, lightly-burnt coffee with some lactose sugar sweetness and miniscule hops. A smooth and creamy texture delivers flavors of cocoa, molasses, dried dark fruits and more coffee. A little light on the German Mittlefreu and Perle hops, it’s not as fully balanced as I’d like a Schwarzbier to be but no one is looking for a bitter finish when it comes to the end of the holidays. No, save that for when your credit card statement shows up.