Beer of the Week: Poquito Coquito

A pair of North Park brewing operations team up to pay tribute to an international holiday cocktail

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In 2007, a holiday-inspired recipe I conceived landed me on a Food Network program, where I joined a handful of other home cooks to have our dishes prepared live by superstar chef Emeril Lagasse. It was a whirlwind experience that involved my son and I jetting out to New York City, then rushing around Manhattan by subway car and on foot to get to the Chelsea studios where the episode was being filmed. I remember being sweaty and flustered by the time we got there. The only mellow part of the whole thing was when the cameras started rolling and I could just sit back and watch the dishes being put together. The first recipe was a cocktail that looked and sounded absolutely delicious. Going by the name coquito (little coconut), it was a Puerto Rican spin on eggnog made with its namesake ingredient, cinnamon, nutmeg and rum. Any combination of cream of coconut, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk or even ice cream are included in different families’ unique recipes, but as far as I can tell, there is no version of this drink that can be anything other than delicious. That intro to the coquito has been burned in my memory ever since and was recently awakened by this week’s featured beer, Poquito Coquito. The beer is North Park operations Seek Beer Co. and TapRoom Beer Co.’s second-annual attempt at delivering a wintertime milk stout offering bold flavor sans over-the-top alcohol. Laced with the style’s trademark milk sugar, plus heaping helpings of coconut, vanilla and cinnamon, it’s delightfully dessert-like. With a velvety texture, coconut-bomb bouquet and rounded-out roastiness, one would swear they are in imperial territory with this one, but the collaborators accomplished their objective, which isn’t easy. As a result, this makes for a brilliant option for New Year’s Eve imbibing; something special and memorable that will help you make it to and well beyond the stroke of midnight.

While reminiscing on our collaborative venture from last year, the Seek Beer and TapRoom Beer brewing teams decided to revisit the concept of a decadent yet low-ABV (alcohol-by-volume) stout. We loved this idea of something crushable that still maintains the qualities of a good stout. In order to take the flavors in a fresh, new direction, we had to get creative. TapRoom Head Brewer Dan Cady suggested a play on the traditional coquito, and a brand-new beer was born. Poquito Coquito is a festive and flavorful milk stout capturing the essence of stout season. This delightful brew draws inspiration from the traditional Puerto Rican drink. Indulge in the rich flavors of coconut, vanilla and cinnamon, all of which are carefully blended to create a velvety smooth, perfectly balanced and deliciously drinkable companion for celebrating the winter season.

Dave Ohmer, Co-owner & Brewmaster, Seek Beer Co.
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