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Black Sheep, Community Beer Works join for Sticky Toffee Pudding barleywine

One of Buffalo’s star desserts has inspired an alcoholic homage that’s due to arrive in time to brighten winter.

Ellen Gedra’s sticky toffee pudding at the Black Sheep, rich whipped-cream-topped date cake in a cauldron of caramel, has been turning heads for years.

One fan, Ethan Cox, is an owner of a beer company. Which is why Gedra joined Cox at Community Beer Works, with head brewer Robert Turley, to render the dessert in quaffable form.

Barleywine was the chosen style, because the thick, intense brews “often have figgy, or date, or other dried pit fruit kind of flavors,” said Cox. After tastings and discussions, dates, caramel malt and molasses were added to flavor the wort, the boiled malted barley mash that is the beer’s foundation.

[Related: Beard-nominated Gedras take Manhattan | Finding satisfaction at the Black Sheep (review)]

The results will be aged until it’s ready, and turn out at something like 12% alcohol. It will be available at the Black Sheep (367 Connecticut St.) and Community Beer Works (520 7th St.).

The relatively high alcohol content makes it harder to estimate when it’ll be ready, but it should be somewhere between November and February.

If it takes that long, the wintry weeks of February aren’t the easiest time to get people to a cask-tapping event, Cox mused. But maybe it’s the best time.

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