Hop Chef: Imaginary Beach Party

Social Kitchen & Brewery is known for their #forkyeah comfort food, inventive cocktails, and their award winning craft beers. Last year Brewmaster Kim Sturdavant won a gold medal at GABF for his “Mr. Kite’s Pale Ale.” Since then, Social Kitchen has drawn beer geeks, and foodies alike to the Sunset district of San Francisco.

Kim fashions himself a brewer that likes “beer that tastes like beer,” usually staying clear of using fruit or spices. However, he welcomed the challenge of Hop Chef and was thrilled to get coconut as his unique ingredient. “I was excited to get coconut!  Before I selected it, I was going through what I would make with the various options and I actually thought ‘Coconut would be cool to play around with in a hoppy pale colored beer.’ I also thought it would be cool to do something with the coconut before infusing it in the beer…like smoke it!”

Kim got lucky. Not only did he select what he was hoping for, he was able to wrangle Social Kitchen’s Executive Chef, Andrew Greene, into helping him smoke the coconut meat. Although, not everything went off without a hitch, “cracking the coconuts open and scooping out the flesh was extremely tedious. We got better with practice, but it was a solid afternoon of work.  Eventually we had 14 pounds of coconut flesh sliced up small and ready to smoke!”

Kim took his Imaginary Circles Pale Ale and infused it with the 14 pounds of smoked coconut flesh. The resulting beer has very slight “sandalwood, cinnamon character. The coconut aroma and flavor is more prominent and the two together have just the right intensity to not over power the Pale Ale. It’s super pleasant, unique, and fun to drink!” He’s calling his beer Imaginary Beach Party. “I think it’s a fun name, since the beer takes your imagination straight to a beach party with its aromas and flavors; like having a beach campfire next to a bunch of coconut trees.” Sounds like a tropical vacation, and we’re ready to pack our bags!