Just when I thought that we had received gold from Rich and Carol Kitchens (I am considering making them our traveling reporters), I received another missive from the pair coming from the Chilean side of Patagonia.
This one concerned Yagan Dark (https://www.cervezaaustral.cl/producto/#yagan-dark) by Cerveza Austral (www.cervezaaustral.cl) which has a “with very subtle hints of chocolate, eminently drinkable, with the vicious weather of Chilean Patagonia bristling in the chilly background.” With an ABV of 6.1% and a serving temperature of about 44 degrees (approximate), this is a beer has you chortling at the rough weather in Patagonia.
So, we will be kept abreast of the Kitchens travel plans by the next beer they send back for us to take a gander at and marvel.
Nothing says winter like a nice warm stout. The basic stout is a great remedy to everything that is wrong with winter. The blistering cold, wind whipping, storm intensity…you have the idea.
Stouts have a way of saving the day on so many occasions, and a really good stout is always a fine treat. So, when I walked into the Dogfish Head Brewing Company to face the mob and decided to check out their World Wide Stout, I thought I would have a nice warm brew on a chilly night. Wrong. But not for the reasons you think.
World Wide Stout by Dogfish Head Brewing Company (www.dogfish.com/front) seeks to become the firm’s numero uno stout. Though the keep it refrigerated, you hardly notice the cold when you pick it up. When I looked to find its ABV, it listed it as between 15-20%. That’s right, even they don’t know what it is supposed to be – they have a range! It has to be one of the only profession brews to do that! Its aroma is of a really strong stout, but it has alcohol bubbling up through the center of it. Make no bones about it, it is alcohol friendly. This beer is close to sizzling. In terms of taste, it is really simple – alcohol with strong stout – in that order. The alcohol is only for the first few minutes. As you get to drinking it, it simmers down and you can taste a bit of the stout, tempered by some of the additional flavors. A tempest of dark fruit comes to mind.
So, when the weather turns cold and its getting bitter, turn to World Wide Stout. It could be the last thing you will do, but it will be memorable.
OK, I come from the Left Coast. Specifically, Piedmont, CA, which you won’t find on anything but a detailed map of the San Francisco Bay Area. We like our anonymity because it is a small town and we like to keep it that way.
But people in Piedmont like to travel. If there is a corner of the world, someone from Piedmont or associated with Piedmont has been there.
So, in the midst of my beer blogging, I get a message from Mr. Rich Kitchen. Mr. Kitchens served as one of the gatekeepers coming out of Piedmont High School. For a lot of us, if you didn’t pass Kitchens class, you weren’t going to be leaving Piedmont.
Mr. Kitchens, and his beautiful wife Carol, who also taught for a while at Piedmont (still trying to figure that one out – nice going Mr. K!) send a note from Easter Island in the South Pacific that they are visiting. And then a second note with a picture of a beer from Easter Island! Yeah, Easter Island, addressed to me and for incorporation into the blog.
Mahina Pale Ale is bottled at Cerveceria Rapa Nui at Hanga Roa which is on Easter Island and it under the administration of Republic of Chile. It has a rich peach and apple taste taste combined hop flavor.
At least that is what my nose was suggesting to me as I opened the bottle and poured it into the glass in front of a roaring fire place. Slowly, carefully, until you get every last drop of that wonderful bit of life giving manana from heaven.
Yeah, that was the night I had Kriek Boon by Brouwerij Boon (www.boon.be/en) and it was like having cherry soda. Not pure cherry juice, but simply cherry soda. ABV of 4% but you wouldn’t notice it as the alcohol was hidden from detection. From first taste to last taste, it was the same flavor. Just simple, a little fizz, some real cherry taste and a little fizz to close it out. It was so good and just like that, it was gone. A nice dark red color to the body, a little bit of foam and that really good cherry soda smell. So good!
Winter brings thoughts of cold breezes and short days with an occasional snow storm to create a winter wonderland. (OK, I admit it, as a Left Coaster from California, that is great for about two days, but then getting into my surf gear begins acting up.) However, the idea still remains for most of the country of that same bit of winter.
Tie into this view of winter a good glass of stout, pure and heavy. The kind of beer you share with your friends on the cold winters night. It is heavy and feels like another meal was ingested. Stout feels good going down and makes you warm all over, even as you strap on your jacket and boots for the trip home. On the coldest of nights, a stout can really feels like a great companion.
On the coldest of winter nights, the Give Me Stout Or Give Me Death by Stone Brewing (www.stonebrewing.com) really comes to the fore. With an ABV of 9.5% and 94 IBU and done with a combination of Belma and Nugget hops, Give Me Stout Or Give Me Death comes across with a full brewers approach to eliminating the evils of modern brewing.
Done in cooperation with Ardent Craft Ales and Hardywood Park Craft Brewing, both in Richmond, VA, this brew represents what happens when you don’t take a single approach to getting hops out of your beer, but rather take a multi-varied approach to the problem.
You have a smooth and subtle approach with hop base which is strong but not overly biting. The beer starts slowly and works its way up to having a strong flavor, so by the end, you have a nice, pleasant, taste of stout. It is really wonderful to have experienced.
So the next time you have that urge to head out into the cold wintery afternoon (or it is looking good on TV before heading to the beach), crack open a Give Me Stout or Give Me Death by Stone Brewing. You will soon be safe as the winter blows right around you.
I am not one for bad dreams. They come and go just like the good ones (when you have them at all!) and they are pretty infrequent when you string them all together. But they still exist and a couple of them in a short period of time can be a bit disconcerting.
So, when a small brewery rolls out a stout with the name The Night Mare, I do tend to sit up and pay attention. The Night Mare Stout by Brew Republic Bierwerks (https://brewrepublic.beer/) in Woodbridge, VA is the sort of beer that reaches out and mildly grabs you and says “I am here so you had better pay attention to me.” Oh, and let’s get something straight, it is not “Beerworks” or “Bierworks” (Are you listening Untappd?). It is “Bierwerks”, thank you very much!
So, what is the deal with stouts? You might think that all stouts are brewed the same way, but there is some variation in the way that a stout is attained. One of the ways is that the grain that is used to attach the tasty parts together. In most forms of stout, brewers use barley to hold the brew together. Over time this has gotten easier to do because brewing with barley simpler and has gotten easier.
However, there are a number of other grains that serve the same purpose. The problem is that you can not do everything with barley because barley is not grown all over the world. Wheat, rye and oats (or oatmeal) can all fill the bill at a lower cost than barley with wheat at a steadfast number two and oatmeal bringing up the rear.
The Night Mare Stout is an oatmeal based stout that carries this brew through to its logical conclusion. Being an oatmeal stout, it does this with a different taste than a standard stout. The oatmeal stout is often accused with being weak, but I think in the case of Night Mare Stout, it offers a decidedly different taste and that is a really enjoyable one. It is lighter and less heavy than its barley and wheat relatives, but it holds its flavor in good form. It is really worth taking a taste.
And there won’t be any bad dreams.
I gave it 4 stars on – even though they had misspelled it!