February’s beer of the month is another world-class beer brewed in the City of Five Seasons: The Disaster at Meux.
First brewed in 2014, The Disaster at Meux is named after the London Beer Flood of 1814. According to Lion Bridge brewer and co-owner Quinton McClain, English breweries at that time were racing to build the biggest beer tanks possible. The Meux and Company Brewery in London was home to a massive tank made of wood and metal hoops that was so huge, a dinner party for 30 people was held inside it. Unfortunately, a faulty hoop broke one day and the tank collapsed. The ensuing flood caused the brewery’s other tanks to rupture and over 388,000 gallons of beer rushed out of the brewery and into neighboring streets and buildings, killing eight.
Last year, Disaster won the gold medal in the Brown Porter category at the Great American Beer Festival—Lion Bridge’s second gold medal at the festival in as many years.
Disaster is a deep mahogany color. A finger of tan, bubble-spotted head leaves a skim and ring around the edge. Dominating the aroma is a pleasing mellow roast that straddles the line between dark toast and coffee. The aroma is biscuit-y, nutty and chocolaty, and touches of dark fruit and caramel are also noticeable. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, and the first sip coats the taste buds in roasted bitterness. The mellow roast character from the aroma dominates the flavor, but notes of nuts, caramel, chocolate and dark fruit become much more prominent as the pint warms.
Alcohol Content: 5.8 percent ABV.
Food pairings: As an English-style beer, McClain says it pairs well with traditional English pub fare. The Lion Bridge taproom recommends enjoying it with beef stew. The beer is also used in their gravy and in Lion Bridge’s Porter Brownie. The chocolate flavor pairs well with roast beef and chocolate desserts.
Where to buy: Disaster is only available on tap. Look for it at the Lion Bridge taproom, Twelve01 Kitchen and Tap, Vesta, Iowa City and Coralville Hy-Vee Market Grilles, El Banditos, IC Uglies, Stella, Short’s, Blackstone, Mosley’s, Gabe’s, Trumpet Blossom, Devotay, Iowa Chophouse, Pullman Bar & Diner, FilmScene and Forbidden Planet. A version of Disaster that was barrel-aged with maple syrup will be available for a limited time at Short’s and Blackstone.
Price: Around $6 per pint.
This article was originally published in Little Village issue 192.