Beth Bechtel, co-owner of Bear Island Brewing, came up with the idea for the brewery's best-selling Idaho Potato Ale while serving overseas.
“When I was in the service I was on deployment in the Middle East, and I ran out of barley - I was brewing out of my room.”According to Bechtel, the idea is more than just a gimmick: The potatoes actually improve the beer.
“So I needed a starch solution to make alcohol, and I was working on my IPA recipe...I went into a Middle Eastern market, and the first thing I saw was russet potatoes, and [the] IPA in my brain immediately became Idaho Potato Ale.”
“It's still a beer, so it still has barley and all those things too, but the addition of potatoes actually enhanced the body and the head retention of the beer.”The IPA has a delicate boozy aroma, and each sip teases the palate with floral notes and a quick punch of hops that vanishes on the finish.
“They have a little more protein, and that's what protein does for beer.”