As clocks turn back and nightfall comes earlier in the day, the cooler weather moves in for the winter and so do the dark stouts that many have been waiting for.
Recognized by many bars, breweries, and beer lovers, November 6th is International Stout Day. A full day dedicated to welcoming the many long lost stouts that have been missing since the spring. Known for their dark, sometimes pitch black color, and their rich chocolaty, coffee, licorice, and roasty aromas and flavors, stouts begin to fill store shelves and continuously pour from beer taps until the warmer months begin to show their faces again.
Just like any other style of beer, there are a variety of stouts, the most popular of which are American, Milk, Imperial, and Oatmeal. You’ll find lots of malt character in these, stemming from the grain used in the brewing process. The bitterness that is often associated with these robust beers comes from the use of roasted grains, which also helps give them their dark color.
Head out to your local bar or liquor store and see what they’ve brought in for the season. Breweries are getting crafty and adding all sorts of things to their stouts, including chocolate, cocoa nibs, coffee, hazelnut, pumpkin, and even cereal. Try a variety to find out which style is your favorite, or maybe they are all your favorites…
You’ve got five or so months to get your fill of these seasonal crafts so seek out your favorites and enjoy them while they last, or stash some away for those times you’re craving something with bold, roasty flavors, in your glass.
Here is a list to get you started:
- Alaskan – Stout
- Big Sky Brewing – Slow Elk Oatmeal Stout, Ivan the Terrible (Imperial)
- Black Bottle Brewery – Cerealiously (Milk Stout w/ Count Chocula), Liquid Metal (Imperial Rye Stout), and Static Age (Hazelnut Breakfast Stout)
- Lagunitas – Imperial Stout, and Cappuccino Stout
- Moab Brewery – Black Raven Oatmeal Stout
- New Belgium – Salted Belgian Chocolate Stout
- Oskar Blues – Ten Fidy (Imperial Stout)
- Sierra Nevada – Narwhal Imperial Stout, and Stout
- Tommy Knocker – Black Powder Oatmeal Stout (Pub exclusive)