Stout Is Good – Happy International Stout Day!
Today is International Stout Day. Stout comes in many forms, and is one of the best styles of beer in our opinion. We would like to praise this awesome black beer by running down a few favorites of the sub-categories of stout! Cheers!
Dry Stout/Irish Stout
This super dark full bodied beer is what many people think of when they think of stout. Popularized by Guinness, US craft breweries have done a great job in keeping the European tradition alive. You will hear your dad or uncle or grandpa refer to a beautifully headed stout as a meal in a glass, or a strong beer, but in fact it’s only between 4-6 percent, which is about as strong as a fizzy yellow beer. Finer craft beer bars will also run this beer on a nitro tap to give it that super creamy look and mouthfeel. Here are some great examples of this stout sub category:
Sweet Stout/Milk Stout
This sub-style of Stout is a bit more sweet and chocolaty than Dry Stout. This is partially due to the addition of lactose in the brew. This can range from 4-8% in alcohol, and is very popular with new craft beer drinkers due to it’s approachability. Many people look at a dark beer and think strong and bitter, when in fact, this type of stout is dessert like. You may find coffee in some of these as well. Here are some great examples of this stout sub category:
Kind of a fringe sub category of stouts, my favorite examples of Foreign stouts have neared the Imperial Stout range of boldness, but have had a special twist on them that separate them from the pack. Usually in the 6-8% range, and are spiced with oysters, copious amounts of hops, and in the case of Indra Kunindra, Eastern spices. Here are some examples of this stout sub category:
One of my personal soft spots is the Imperial Stout. This beer supposedly originates in the same vein as IPAs, in which an extra strong beer is crafted with a long journey in mind. I’d like to think it was made to make me happy and fat. This beer is typically between 8.5 – 12 % abv, it’s jet black and is as bold as it gets. Coffee has been added by some brewers as well. Here are some examples of this stout sub category.
Our forefathers might not know about the Monster Stout, but us youngsters and homebrewers know about it. This is an Imperial Stout that breaks that 12% alcohol barrier. It takes tons of malt to arrive at 15-20% alcohol, so this style of stout will have a bit of alcohol bite, a lot of sugar, and usually something else to give it it’s character, usually a barrel aging treatment, coffee, and some time. Here are some examples of this stout sub category that you might not have known existed: