Sometimes You’re Just Not Drinking the Right Beer
This post could also be called “Confessions of a Stout Lover.” Back in my earlier days I would have quickly turned up my nose if someone had offered me a beer. Beer? Seriously? That yellow stuff that tastes like, well, other yellow fluid that rhymes with hiss? No thanks; I’ll have a margarita, or glass of wine, or some Bailey’s in coffee.
My problem, it turns out, wasn’t beer in general, but a specific class of beer drunk by the vast majority of budget conscious Americans and particularly college students. My parents first introduced me to malt beverages and they came in a can with a pretty mountain on it. To add insult to injury, I was also introduced to “wine” in the form of wine coolers…more cheap malt in reality. When I became of an age that I could choose my own beverages, I ran straight to the hard stuff that could be disguised in a myriad of fun and fancy drinks. Shoot, the first time I got tipsy in college it was off of White Russians…yum.
So what changed, you might ask? My husband introduced me to craft beer, and began brewing his own. I realized that there are beers out there with a variety of complex flavors and you actually have a choice…a large choice. Personally, I don’t care for a bitter, hoppy brew. I’m a dark chocolate, dark roast coffee, sweet finish kind of girl. My usual go-to has become Guinness. Maybe not a true craft brew by some aficionados’ standards, but I can count on it to be consistently smooth and slightly bitter in the coffee sense, and I love a good pour with the creamy head. Since discovering my affection for a good stout, I’ve also tried quite a few porters and enjoy many of these as well. Occasionally I can even appreciate a malty brown ale. Not all stouts, porters and brown ales are created equal and I have spent some time and money learning which varieties I like better. While I like some of the chocolates and oatmeals, not every one has struck my fancy. If I had to pick a top ten, in not particular order, these would make the list:
- Samuel Smith’s Chocolate Stout
- Terrapin Wake-n-Bake Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout
- Terrapin Moo-Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout
- Left Hand Milk Stout (non-nitro)
- Bell’s Expedition Stout
- Fuller’s London Porter
- Kona Pipeline Porter
- Southern Tier Choklat Stout
- Kona Koko Brown
- And, last but not least, Guinness Draught