This weekend finishes out American Craft Beer Week, and we are celebrating in style. Not only are we tapping the Dry Stout that we have waited so patiently for, we are participating in the City Pages Beer Fest on Saturday. Join us in sending Craft Beer Week out with a bang!
Ask the Brewer
Stout is just one style of beer, right?
Stouts are known for their dark color, rich texture, roast aroma, and malty — sometimes sweet — flavor. However, there is more than one variety of Stout out there. Stouts actually originated as an off-shoot of Porters, which were popular in the 1700s among “porters” who carried heavy loads of dry goods from warehouses to markets. Around the same time, stout was a term applied to any beer that was strong with a higher alcohol content, darker color, and bolder taste. It was often used to describe the stronger and darker porters, as in a “Stout Porter”. By the time the 1820s rolled around, brewers began to drop the term porter, and specifically produce a beer style called Stout.
Fast forward to today, and the first style of Stout we’re touching on is a Dry Stout. This stout has the characteristic stout color, with an aroma that is dark-roasted, sometimes toasty or bready, and often coffee-like. Unlike most other styles of stout, this one has little to no chocolate or cocoa notes. The flavor is dry, not sweet, with a roasted malt and hop bitterness that is moderate to high, leading to a smooth and drinkable beer.
The second style of Stout is a Sweet Stout, also called a milk or cream stout because it is brewed with lactose, or milk sugar. This sugar is one of the sugars that doesn’t get consumed by yeast in the fermentation process, so it adds extra body and sweetness to the finished beer. It has a milder roasted aroma than other stouts, while still holding onto the coffee or chocolate notes, in some cases even being reminiscent of chocolate milk.
The third stout is Oatmeal Stout, which is brewed from up to 20% malted oats. It was also brewed in the late 1800s, with people perceiving it as being nourishing and healthier. The oats can add a nutty aroma, and help with head retention, providing for a rich malty beer with very mild hop aroma and flavor.
The fourth stout is the Imperial Stout, originating in the late 1700s, with the first batch purportedly brewed for Czarina Catherine the Great. This beer was made specifically for export to Russia and the Baltic States. Imperial Stouts are basically a stout on steroids. They have the traditional stout flavors, as well as flavors that are described as toffee-like, burnt, barleywine-like and port-like, with notes of bittersweet chocolate, fresh ground coffee, espresso, prunes, plums, raisins, currants and more.
The fifth, and final stout on our list, is the American Style Stout. American stouts have the same dark color and rich flavor of other stouts, but the hops are more predominant. While not as hoppy as a Black Ale or an IPA, American Stouts have a higher bitterness, hop aroma and more citrus notes than other stouts.
While these are the main styles of Stouts available, there are as many variations available as there are craft breweries. Many of these styles get paired with fruits or aged in barrels to highlight specific flavors. Additional flavors that can be added are coffee, chocolate, or even oysters, which bring out a slightly salty note.
Beer options this weekend include Raspberry Pyro on Thursday, May 19th and the aforementioned Dry Stout starting Friday, May 20th.
- Tap selection includes Pyro APA, Roasted Coffee Ale, Fused Orange Blossom Honey Ale, Parched Lime Shandy, Raj-Agni IPA, Raspberry Pyro on Thursday & Dry Stout starting on Friday
- Thirsty Thursdays $1 off pints and $2 off growler fills (no growler or grumbler fills after 8pm on Thursdays)
- Coconut Turtle Cupcake from Groundswell includes a coconut chocolate fudge cake with pecans, whipped cream, honey caramel sauce, and chocolate ganache