The South Boulder outpost of Mountain Sun Pubs & Breweries is right across the street from Boulder Weekly’s office, and so we’ve spent many a February dipping in after work, sometimes taking long lunches, to sample the variety of stouts on hand during Stout Month. But with all of the brewery’s locations on a hiatus until the spring, we can’t indulge in one of the best local beer events this month.
Fortunately, there are plenty of other stout options from local breweries to bring Stout Month into our office and homes. From the classic to the bizarre, there’s plenty of variety in the local stout game to mimic — if not fully replicate — the pleasures of Stout Month. Here are a few to get started with.
Finkel & Garf’s Oatmeal Milk Stout
Start with one of the best locally produced stouts: the Oatmeal Milk Stout from Gunbarrel’s Finkel & Garf. This beer took home gold at the Great American Beer Festival in 2017, and for good reason. It’s a pure expression of an oatmeal stout, silky smooth with a hint of sweetness and loads of chocolate, cream and coffee.
Finkel & Garf brews the Oatmeal Milk Stout with milk sugar (lactose) and oats, creating a luscious mouth feel, but one that has just a hint of crispness to keep it interesting. This is an all-year stout, but a good first foray if you’re planning a tasting flight.
Avery’s Night Warden
This whiskey-barrel aged stout packs a punch, clocking in at 8.2% ABV, while remaining exceptionally drinkable. It’s got strong notes of vanilla and caramel imparted from the whiskey barrels in which it’s aged for three months.
Avery’s brewers have almost two decades of barrel-aging experience, and it’s evident in the Night Warden. Full-bodied from a heaping dose of roasted malt, the flavors imparted from the barrel are well-balanced.
Left Hand’s Peanut Butter Milk Stout
Sure, you could go for Left Hand’s classic Nitro Milk Stout, or one of its unique stout varieties, but the Peanut Butter Milk Stout is a terrific expression of what’s becoming a common stout style. Left Hand takes its classic Milk Stout and brews it with peanuts, creating a rich brew with a nutty and dry finish.
A strong malt bill that includes oats and roasted barley provides a velvety backbone for the earthy, nutty and salty notes from the peanuts. It’s not too sweet, either — just a great juxtaposition of chocolate and peanut, like an adult Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.
Uhl’s Brewing Co. – The Coffee Roasters Imperial Milk Stout
You can’t have a make-your-own Stout Month without a coffee stout in the mix. For that, turn to Uhl’s The Coffee Roasters Imperial Milk Stout. Brewed in collaboration with local artisan coffee roasters, the brew jolts with java, and puts coffee on a pedestal. If you’re craving Mountain Sun’s Java Porter, here’s a good fill-in — rich with a hint of crispness, and the aroma and taste of coffee that’ll have you sneaking a sip in the morning.