Chocolate and coffee lovers rejoice, the stout is the perfect beer style for you. This classic beer style is brewed with roasted malts to give off rich chocolate and coffee flavors that feel like a warm hug on a cold day.
Stouts - 101
Darker beers may have taken a back seat to some of the more “trendy” beer styles of today’s day, such as the sour or the Indian pale ale (IPA), but this is one beer style that isn’t going anywhere.
The Stout is a dark beer style that is brewed with unmalted barley and roasted malts. This ends up contributing to the dark color and the rich flavor characteristic of the stout. As mentioned, chocolate and java flavors are common in many stout recipes but craft brewers have released their creativity on this beer style to give us a wide range of additional flavors.
Below, you’ll find a breakdown of the various styles of stouts available. You might be surprised to learn that it’s more than just the color that makes the stout so characteristic. From the creamy milk stout to the strong dry Irish stout, we’ve included them all.
So you want to drink a Stout
The stout is a classic beer style that is enjoyed by novice beer drinkers and beer experts. The stout offers a bit of something for everyone with options ranging from sweet to dry, and creamy to slender. Nowadays, craft breweries are adding even more choice to the mix by brewing unique ingredients into their stouts including jalapenos, cherries, and even wedding cake!
Before we jump into each variety specifically, let’s dive quickly into the origin story of the Stout and how it came to be one of the most popular styles of craft beer available today.
Where did the stout come from?
Stouts are arguably the first documented form of beer dating back to 1677 (beer lovers have been around a loonggg time).
Originally referred to as a porter, this beer style was quick to grow in popularity for its cheap price and strong flavor. The two terms, stout and porter, we commonly used in substitute for one another and ultimately referred to any beer that was dark and strong.
Eventually, the stout separated itself from the porter based on its strength. Throughout its history, the stout has been one of the fastest-growing beers styles. Today you can find stouts of many varieties and unique flavors.
The milk stout, also called cream stout, contains lactose. The lactose adds a notable sweetness and heavy body to the stout. Formerly a rare style of stout, it has soared in popularity as craft brewer’s experiment with their own creative versions of this stout.
The Imperial Stout is the strong, dark, and handsome of the stout styles. The Imperial Stout is amongst the darkest of the stouts with a high alcohol content (usually over 9%).
The oatmeal stout is brewed with, you guessed it, oats! The oats can cause a slightly more bitter taste to the stout but you won’t be overwhelmed by the oat flavor. Instead, you’ll get an incredibly smooth brew.
The chocolate stout is even richer in flavor than your average stout. The use of dark chocolate gives this stout a darker color and a stronger aroma. If you love chocolate, this stout is definitely for you.
Like the chocolate stout, this one is for all the java lovers out there. The coffee stout amps up the dark roasted malts and the result is a dark and bitter brew that tastes as good as that first sip of coffee.
IRISH (DRY) STOUT
The Irish Stout is best known because of Guinness, the most popular example of the dry Irish stout. This stout style is typically less sweet than the other stouts.
Osyter stouts are brewed with oyster shells Weird? Maybe. Delicious? Absolutely. These dark and semi-sweet stouts are a unique addition to the craft beer world.
These stouts are made to satisfy your sweet tooth. Brewed to mimic desserts, these stouts taste like liquid cakes, cookies, or candy bars. Some recipes even include the actual dessert in the brew!