I originally created this recipe to be my Christmas beer. It was going to be called Feliz Navidad and be a beer inspired by Mexican Hot Chocolate. I have had this beer in mind for about 3 years and I did a small test batch a few years back. I would incorporate ancho chilies, cocoa nibs/powder, and cinnamon. I figured a malty amber, stout or porter would be a good base to stand up to these flavorful ingredients. I chose an amber to try first and added some chocolate malt and special B to match the chocolate and raisin flavors of cocoa and ancho chilies. When the beer was finished fermenting I racked into the keg and placed 4 large ancho chilies, that were de-stemmed and deseeded to my dry hop bag and placed them into the keg to dry-chile the beer. I had them in the keg for 10 days and then pulled them out and sampled the beer. It was not spicy at all but had a great ancho aroma and flavor. The beer was so great as is that I decided to save the chocolate and other spices for another time. The beer is a big hit with all of my friends and family (including those who are BJCP certified) so I am going to enter it in this years NHC.
I will brew a stout or porter with the anchos, cocoa, and spices for Christmas next year.
Recipe: US Pilnser malt, Germna Dark Munich, White Wheat, Special B, and Chocolate Malt. Check Saaz bitering, and Golding for flavor. US-05. Ancho Chilies.