“Better-for-you” almond butter, hazelnut-laden Nutella, and even cookie butter (whatever the hell that is) might be “trending now,” but you can’t beat the tried-and-true flavor of old fashioned peanut butter. If you ask me, the humble peanut is really due for a comeback as of late, and its big return has finally come. Read: Belching Beaver’s Peanut Butter Milk Stout. On the nose, it’s all chocolate and sweetness. On the tongue, the flavor unfolds with a peanut-packed punch and refreshing bitter balance. The mouthfeel is light yet creamy—like my favorite peanut butter. Choosy moms may choose Jiff, but adventurous drinkers should choose this unique flavor, courtesy of the Vista, Calif., brewery. No jelly required.
• Belching Beaver’s Peanut Butter Stout—About $5 a pint; Mother’s Tavern; 725 Higuera St., SLO.
My New Year’s resolution is pretty simple. I need to finally make a trip to Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company, which boasts tap rooms in Los Olivos, Santa Barbara, and Santa Maria. This year, I have absolutely zero excuse not to fulfill this promise, as a new tasting room is planned to pop up in Arroyo Grande this month. The beer that has propelled me to take on this quest: Hoppy Poppy IPA. With fragrant, floral hops and poppy seeds, this lovely brew is overflowing with orange oil, lemon zest, and pine needles. It may be months before the fiery golden flowers are popping up in my backyard, but rest assured I will be getting my bouquet on in the dead of winter.
• Figueroa Mountain Company’s Hoppy Poppy—Price unknown; 1462 E. Grand Ave., Arroyo Grande.
Gulp! Next round’s on Hayley Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.