Jesse Folk stopped by Listermann Brewing company in Norwood to talk about the recent hazy IPA craze. Listermann has become Cincinnati’s top spot for NEIPA style beers, knocking out one to two releases a month of either new NEIPAs or variants.
This weekend saw the 3rd King of Ohio competition happen at Thirsty Dog in Akron. The first year Hoof Hearted’s Musk of the Minotaur won King of the Ohio IPA, the second year Streetside’s Raspberry Beret won King of the Ohio Session Beer. For the third year, we searched for the King of the Ohio Stout. I teamed up with Rick Armon, from the Akron Beacon Journal and author of 50 Must-Try Craft Beers of Ohio, again but unfortunately, our third conspirator, Patrick Woodward of Pat’s Pints, was unable to partake this year.
Rick Armon and I are bringing the King of Ohio back for another year. This time we’re searching for Ohio’s best stout. Rick put the call out to all Ohio breweries back in October. And the Ohio Craft Brewers Association helped us out by mentioning in their monthly newsletter for November. So this is one last call to all the breweries to enter!
I’ll just quote Rick for the rest of the important info:
Here’s how the King of Ohio competition works: Each Ohio craft brewery is invited to submit one stout for the blind judging, which is being organized this year by the Ohio Breweries Beer Blog and BrewMinds.com. (Patrick Woodward of Pat’s Pints, the other leg of this three-legged stool, is cavorting — he might argue “educating himself” — out of the country.)
The stouts will be broken into sub-styles, depending on how many we receive. The judges, including certified beer judges, will pick the best of each sub-style and then choose a “best of show” – or as we like to call it the King of Ohio.
The winner will be featured on the Ohio Breweries Beer Blog and BrewMinds.com, and highlighted in the Akron Beacon Journal newspaper.
The judging will take place Dec. 9 at Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. in Akron.
The inaugural King of Ohio competition showcased IPAs, with Hoof Hearted Wet Musk of the Minotaur winning. The second tasting featured session beers and Streetside Brewery took home the crown with Raspberry Beret.
We will make arrangements separately to gather the beers.
Also, any beer judges, Cicerones, bottle shop employees or passionate Ohio stout lovers interested in volunteering to help coordinate the event or judge beers please reach out to us as soon as possible.
Brewing Porters & Stouts: Origins, History, and 60 Recipes for Brewing Them at Home Today is a new book out by Terry Foster offering and in-depth look at porters and stouts. Like my last book review, of Farmhouse Ales, this book offers a very thorough look in a very narrow field. While the book does talk a fair bit about stouts it’s got a stronger tilt toward porters. Still, if you’re a lover of porters or stouts it’s worth reading, especially if you want to master brewing them at home.
The book starts by wading into the murky history of porters. It covers the common tale of a bar blending three ales together and that being enjoyed by a group of people who carried goods around London, those people being known as porters. What this section really covers is the slow, continual, development of a number of technologies that allowed creating stronger and darker beers. Unfortunately, the author does fall into the common trap of paragraphs full of “X brewery produced # barrels in year.”
The following is a complaint about many books involving brewing history: I don’t know why so many books do this when covering beer history, but it gets tedious to read. It doesn’t really add much to the overall story of porter/stout development but does show, somewhat, the extent to which breweries were making these beers. I really don’t enjoy reading these paragraphs of facts. But enough of that rant, back to this book.
Now we move into a breakdown of the plethora of sub-categories of the porter and stout styles. Flavor, aroma, malt bills, ABV, original gravity, and commercial examples are available for every style. Something interesting Brewing Porters & Stouts does that I haven’t seen before is the IBU/OG ratio. Instead of saying exactly how many IBUs a style should have it lists the number of IBUs in relation to the OG. So if you have a starting gravity (aka original gravity, hence OG) of 1.040 and an IBU/OG ratio of .5 then you should have an International Bitterness Unit (IBU) level of 20 IBUs. Why the author doesn’t just come out and say 20 IBUs I’m not exactly sure of, but it’s still a cool system.
Now we get to the real meat of the book. However, this is where anyone who doesn’t brew yet will lose interest. From here on out it’s all about bringing these beers to life. Beginning with wide coverage of the different malt varieties used in porters and stouts, along with what flavor and color contributions they add plus what percentage of the grist they represent. While the malt coverage is great the hops, water, yeast, and finings coverage is as basic as the first few pages of any introductory homebrewing book. If the malt section was wide then the recipe section is massive. 63 pages of recipes for every kind of porter and stout imaginable. Sure, all you need to do to find a homebrew recipe is spend 10 seconds Googling but this book provides a repository of recipes that is nice to have on hand.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I reached out to the publisher who was kind enough to hook me up with a free copy. To our readers, and any companies interested in sending me stuff, giving me free stuff impacts the review in only 2 ways. That I will do my best to review it in a timely fashion and that and I will write a blog post about that review. Giving me free stuff does not guarantee you a favorable review or that I will tell everyone to go buy it.
This post is in direct response to Andy Crouch’s article “The Futility of Beer Styles” in this month’s (October 2013) Beer Advocate magazine [Edit: Andy has made me aware that this was only part 1 of 3 and these concerns will be addressed in future parts. A fact not mentioned in the magazine]. If you haven’t read it yet then I won’t fault you for reading it before continuing this post. However, if you don’t get Beer Advocate magazine or don’t want to wait then the quick summary is that he advocates for discontinuing the use of beer styles.
After my recent post on Victory’s Storm King imperial stout the comments on reddit brought to my attention a delicious idea I’d never heard before. Turns out that at the Victory brewery you can order a beer called a Silverback, now you won’t find this on any store shelves, it’s a mixture of half Victory Golden Monkey and half Victory Storm King. The white head from the Monkey on top of the black body from the Storm King give this brew it’s Silverback name. I’ve had a black and tan before, Guinness stout & Bass pale ale, and quite enjoyed them. However I have no idea what to expect from a stout and a Belgian tripel except for one thing; both of these beers are over 9%,so I will be drunk!
I poured the Golden Monkey first and ended up using a bit more then half of that before I got to the Storm King. I’d read that this didn’t separate this well like Black & Tans so I tried a trick and poured the Storm King on a spoon over the Monkey, as you’ll see it didn’t layer well either.
Very interesting appearance for sure. Kind of a dark brown or purple color beverage with a milky white head with streams of brown from the Storm King.
Woah, pungent aroma with plenty of roasty malt action as well as some flowery hops. Oh and a strong dose of alcohol.
Taste is curious as well definitely picking more of the stout here then the tripel. Strong malt body and taste with citrus and pineapple hops not found in any other stout I’ve encountered. Hints of chocolate, caramel, orange peel, and lots of “zest”.
Holy carbonation Batman! I’ve had fresh soda flatter than this, man those are some tingly bubbles, all riding atop a smooth medium body.
This has to be one of the most interesting beers I’ve tried. Not nearly my favorite by any means but most interesting for sure, no style has ever come close to this menagerie of taste and flavors. They’re good and all but not great, and that carbonation is a little over powering. This is certainly worth a try just bring a friend to split it with. Remember what’s interesting isn’t always the same as what’s good.
In the beginning of my adventure into stouts I had one of Great Divide’s Oak Aged Yeti bottles and didn’t think too highly of it. With all the other imperial stouts coming out recently I decided to pick up the Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti and give it my thoughts. First off here is Great Divide’s sales pitch:
CHOCOLATE OAK AGED YETI IMPERIAL STOUT is another revered incarnation of our legendary imperial stout. We toned down the hops a bit to allow cocoa nibs to contribute some pleasing bitterness, while vanilla notes from the oak combine with the cocoa to create an aroma and flavor akin to a gourmet chocolate bar. A dash of cayenne keeps things lively, adding just a bit of heat to the finish. Another great Yeti? Hell yes.
Back in the heady days (of 2 weeks ago) when folks (or just me) were hounding around town trying to track down every last bottle of Founder’s KBS (my review) Josh told me to look for Epic’s Big Bad Baptist Imperial Stout. This is a bourbon or whiskey, barrel aged beer just like KBS and from what I’ve been told it has a very similar profile. Luckily though, unlike KBS, it’s much more available much more often. I scored this bottle at Arrow Wine & Liquor up in Centerville and they had 2 more bottles left. Each batch of the Big Bad Baptist is slightly different than the others and this one, batch #10, has the following:
Big Bad Baptist Imperial Stout #10
Brewed on August 24, 2012. Packaged November 15, 2012.
This release was aged in both whiskey and bourbon barrels, primarily first-use whiskey casks, and second-use bourbon casks. Additional dark chocolate and fruit flavors mingle with the whiskey and bourbon notes.
Muntons Maris Otter Malt, Briess 2-Row Brewer Malt, Crystal Muntons, Weyermann Light Munich Malt T1, 2-Row chocolate malt, 2-row black malt, roasted barley
Ibis Coffee (Gayo Mountain Sumatra Dark) and Cocoa Nibs.
Nugget, Chinook, Cascade
Following up last week’s review of Victory HopDevil, their IPA, I’m switching tracks and trying their imperial stout, Storm King. First here’s what Victory says, then on to the review:
Emerging from the deepest shades of darkness, a rolling crescendo of flavors burst forth from this robust stout. The thundering, hoppy appeal of Storm King subsides into the mellow subtleties of roasted malt, exhibiting an espresso-like depth of character in its finish. An exquisite blend of imported malts and whole flower American hops merge harmoniously in this complex ale. Discover the dark intrigue of Storm King, as it reveals the rich, substantial flavors that it holds within.
This week I’m trying two different stouts from a company that mostly makes super hoppy beers and one incredibly rare stout (not one of the two I’m having). For the unfamiliar Three Floyds is a regional brewery in Munster, Indiana which is sadly on the opposite end of Indiana from Cincinnati. Three Floyds (aka 3F aka FFF) mostly produces IPAs and pale ales with lots of extra hops, beers like Zombie Dust, Alpha King, Arctic Panzer Wolf. On the flip side of that is the “legend” of Dark Lord, a Russian imperial stout released 1 day a year in a massive festival known as Dark Lord Day. I say “legend” because Dark Lord is either the greatest stout some people have ever had or an overly sweet soy sauce substitute. Another thing backing that legend is that you can trade it for just about anything online.
Last night I had 3Fs’ Moloko milk stout. Milk stouts (aka sweet stout) are so named because they contain, wait for it… milk! Shocking I know, well actually they contain lactose which is essentially the same thing. So any lactose intolerant folks should avoid milk stouts. What does milk add to a beer? Unfermentable sugars which result in a sweeter taste and creamier bodied brew.