DRAFT Magazine lists their "Top 10 Beers for an Adventurous Palate" in the latest issue, and Trade Route Brewing Company's Pandan Brown Ale clocks in at #5. (The magazine lists the brewery's former name, Laughing Buddha.) Pandan leaf subs for the smell/flavoring of vanilla quite often in Southeast Asian cooking. Ever seen green cake at a bakery in the ID? That's due to pandan. If you enjoy the refreshingly smooth malt of a brown ale, imagine folding in the aroma of that moment when you add vanilla extract into your cookie dough, exotic, almost floral, the very essence of the word "sweet." Trade Route's brown is anything but sweet, and it pairs with all manner of food, top of the top being slow-roasted pork, which would greatly benefit from a glaze made of this beer.
It's great to see one of our small craft breweries in such fantastic company. Although, Bud's Chelada also made the list--Bud Light, in a can, mixed with Clamato--mmmmm. We'll call that keeping the advertisers happy. Since I am in no mood to entertain a stream of emails from PR lackeys, I'll follow grandma's advice and say nothing more at all. On the flip side, 21 Amendment's Oyster Stout, made with actual brine, is sick, slightly wrong, and yet sublime.
If only Trade Route's new name (explanation here) would have made it into print.