Most professional beer brewers started off as home brewers.
Dan Norton, owner of the popular Nortons Brewing Company at 125 St. Francis, was one of them.
So when the American Homebrewers Association asked him to share the recipe for one of Nortons’ most popular beers — a milk stout called Don’t Poke the Bear — Norton was happy to oblige.
“Homebrewers are the lifeblood of craft beer, and we were glad to share the recipe,” Norton said.
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The beer, a creamy milk stout made with cocoa, coffee and vanilla beans, is one of 51 that the association just shared as part of its annual “Clone Recipes” project. The group asked one indiependent brewery from each state and Washington, D.C., to share a recipe for one of its beers that home brewers could try at home.
Nortons was the brewery chosen for Kansas, and Dan Norton —an 18-year breweing veteran — provided the recipe for Don’t Poke the Bear, which was named by his oldest child. Norton said he has brewed beers for each of his three kids, and each has been able to tell him what the beer should taste like and what it should be named.
The recipe has been converted for homebrewers so that it makes only a five-gallon batch. You can find it here, but make sure you have some flaked oats and a pound and a half of Lactose on hand.
“I hope a lot of homebrewers give it a shot,” Norton said.