We’re two full weeks into Mountain Sun’s Stout Month and the beers aren’t getting any lighter. Southern Sun recently rolled out their Girl Scout Stout (5.9% ABV), a stout served with crushed Thin Mints on the rim, mint on the nose with fizzy chocolate in the mouth. It’s an easy drinker with a huge following and the hoards of stout devotees are putting it back with vim and vigor.
Last I checked, the Girl Scout Stout was only pouring at Southern Sun but that is sure to change. I recently spoke with John Fiorilli, Mountain Sun’s director of brewery operations, and he explained that there really isn’t a committed timetable to how the stouts roll out to the five pubs. That means intrepid drinkers and completists can bounce back and forth between Mountain Sun’s five brewpubs and encounter something different with each visit. And that means it’s high time to bounce over to the newest addition to the Mountain Sun family: Longs Peak Pub & Taphouse in Longmont.
Located just north of downtown and east of Roosevelt Park, Longs Peak Pub & Taphouse opened its doors on Sept. 29, 2014, and might be one of Longmont’s best-kept secrets. While Boulder’s Mountain, Southern and Under the Sun(s) are bursting at the seams with thirsty patrons, Longs Peak is still in its infancy and an open table is still to be found, a treat that probably won’t last long.
But until that day of standing room only comes, my better half and I will enjoy the respite from the chaos and clamor of Mountain Sun’s other outposts. Here, we can sit in quiet contemplation with pints of Thunderhead Stout (7.5%) and baskets of French fries. The Thunderhead has been a Mountain Sun staple for years, and for good reason; the body is round, the mouth is full and the carbonation delivers oats and roasted malts with a touch of spice.
Thunderhead is the ideal beer for Sunday-afternoon drinking. It bridges the gap between the sun slipping behind the mountains and the creatures of the night emerging. Once that transformation is complete, heavy artillery is needed. That’s where the Bourbon Barrel-Aged Oatimus Prime Imperial Oatmeal Stout comes in. Weighing in at 10.7%, Oatimus offers up wafts of Woodford Reserve bourbon for the nose and vanilla, chewy tobacco and boozy sweetness for the mouth. It’s a thick and brawny brew, so much so that when you tip Oatimus back, the head sluggishly chases the liquid down the glass.
But where does one go after they’ve been to Oatimus and back? Nowhere but nitro. And as my wife will attest, I am a man of compliance. The Coconut Cream Stout (6.3%) benefits greatly from a healthy dose of nitrogen that gives the beverage a silky smooth texture with plenty of chewy coconut and milk sugar. It’s a playful brew and an enlightening one to boot. Halfway down the glass, a Zen-like calmness descends. The mind relaxes, the body sinks deeper into the chair, the eyes open and suddenly it dawns on you: This is what you came for.
On Tap: Longs Peak Pub & Taphouse. 600 Longs Peak Ave., Longmont, 303-651-7886. mountainsunpub.com