If you shop at Whole Foods regularly, you've most likely found the bread selection to be somewhat lacking. The bread isn't bad if you're in a pinch, but most people – myself included – go elsewhere for crusty artisan loaves. But the store's new SweetWater 420 Extra Pale Ale bread is worth seeking out.
Whole Foods has partnered with Atlanta's own SweetWater Brewery (located in Midtown) to bake this special bread at the Whole Foods' bakeshop in Alpharetta. The bread is made with the spent barley grains of SweetWater's 420 Extra Pale Ale. The crust on each loaf is as dark as molasses and crackly even days later (the loaves have a long shelf life despite having no preservatives). The interior is dense and soft, with an underlying sweetness and impressive depth of flavor thanks to the spent grains from the award-winning beer. Pumpkin seeds add a touch of decadent natural fattiness and plenty of crunch. The bread is an ideal accompaniment to a hearty winter meal or an ideal companion to eggs and smoky bacon at breakfast. However, it's best – and most addictive – when warmed in the oven and slathered with quality room-temperature butter. Don't say we didn't warn you.
The bread retails for $3.49 per loaf and is available at Whole Foods stores throughout Atlanta. Visit www.wholefoods.com for location information.