Why America’s Craft Brewers All Love a Vintage Candy

When Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery in Denver, Colorado, released their new milk stout last fall, brewers from across the country came pouring into their tap room to try it. Sure, it was the same weekend as the Great American Beer Festival, so representatives from more than 800 breweries were already beer hopping their way through the Mile High City. But the crush of pint-pouring peers was lured in by word that Jagged Mountain’s freshest beer was brewed with lactose, peanut butter, and salt to mimic a candy that is revered within the brewing community.

“It seemed like the perfect inside joke,” says Jagged Mountain head brewer Alyssa Thorpe.

The sweet in question is the Salted Nut Roll: a Depression-era candy from Minnesota that, while little-known outside the Midwest, has literally and figuratively fueled the modern craft beer industry in the United States.

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