Beer From Here: Catawba Brewing Co. – Peanut Butter Jelly Time

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It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

Breweries are made up of creative people. Just look at beer names, bottle/can designs, and better yet, the styles and ingredients used in their libations.

One of the more interesting beers I tried recently is from Catawba Brewing Company out of Morganton. The western North Carolina brewery decided to create a beer inspired by a childhood favorite – the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Peanut Butter Jelly Time is a brown ale aged on raspberries, then transferred and aged on roasted peanuts.

But before I get into the review, let’s address the elephant in the room. Yes, the videos. I know you’re singing the song in your head. I am as I type this. With more than 25 million views on Facebook, this is what started it all. I also can’t help but think of the classic Family Guy scene. It’s engrained at this point.

Founded in 1999, Catawba Brewing Co. features eight year round beers, including Farmer Ted’s Cream Ale, White Zombie White Ale, Firewater IPA, Rediculous IPA, Mother Trucker Pale Ale, Brown Bear Brown Ale, Revenuers Red Ale and Black Dome Stout. The brewery also touts several seasonals, including the aforementioned Peanut Butter Jelly Time.

The pour from a 12 oz. can yielded a murky, but effervescent Peanut Butter Jelly Time. Shades of red from the raspberries attempted to lighten the amber brown ale. A finger think creamy head quickly faded into a thin ring around the glass. The smell of peanuts was immediately recognizable with a touch of fruitiness on the nose.

The brewery described “light” American Brown ale provided tart/sweetness attributes on the tongue. Maybe even a slight sourness. Peanuts were noticeable mid-sip followed by a tart finish. The ale was brewed with five different grains, but they were outweighed by the sweetness of the fruit. I think that was the intent as to not overpower the raspberry and peanut flavors. Overall, the ale had a light mouthfeel, but was perhaps a touch too watery. No lacing appeared on the glass, but a thick ring remained from the head beginning to end.

Just as advertised. This beer literally tastes like a PB&J sandwich. No lie. My only critique is with the grains. I think a heavier grain bill would give the beer a bigger body, providing more of the breaded mouthfeel I felt was lacking. But overall, I was impressed how well the flavors worked together. Cheers to Catawba for stretching and making such an interesting brew.

Peanut Butter Jelly Time is an extremely limited spring seasonal and it might just be extinct this year. However, you can find other Catawba beers in bars, restaurants and specialty stores in parts of North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Like many North Carolina breweries, Catawba continues to grow. The brewery opened a seven-barrel location in Asheville earlier this spring.

Brewery: Catawba Brewing Co.
City: Morganton, NC
Style: American Brown Ale
ABV: 5.75%
Availability: Spring seasonal; draft and 12 oz. cans

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