If you've ever been to Baltimore, there's a good chance you may be familiar with DuClaw beers. The brewery has pub locations in and around the city, including one at the airport, and the brand is a near ubiquitous fixture in local bars.
DuClaw has extended distribution to Florida, bringing four of its most popular brews to the Sunshine State: Funk, a blueberry-citrus wheat beer; Blood Orange Neon Gypsy, a blood orange IPA; Dirty Little Freak, a coconut-caramel-chocolate brown ale; and — perhaps the brewery's most instantly recognizable label — Sweet Baby Jesus, a chocolate-peanut butter porter.
Sweet Baby Jesus isn't for everyone. For example, if you're a beer drinker who takes yourself very seriously, you may have trouble enjoying a beer that tastes like peanut butter cups. DuClaw isn't big on subtlety, but you probably already guessed that from the label.
While Sweet Baby Jesus is undoubtedly a novelty beer, it's not without nuance. It's thankfully not overly sweet, allowing the cocoa and creamy peanut butter flavors to intermingle with roasty grain and a hint of coffee. The finish is drier than you might expect, with a very light astringency, encouraging another sip.
Purists may scoff, but expect Sweet Baby Jesus to develop a strong following in the bay area. Check out the other DuClaw brews while you're at it — shipments have arrived at the major stores (Total Wine, ABC), and should be at your favorite beer shop soon, if they aren't already.
Justin Grant, Timescorrespondent