Stout Day is Thursday: South Florida Beer Experts Recommend Some of the Best Stouts
Tricia Woolfenden Build a tasty stout lineup for Thursday.
'Tis the season for stouts, and appropriately enough, Stout Day 2012 falls on Thursday, November 8. As a long-time fan of bitter, hoppy IPAs, I've only recently come around to the rich, dense, smoky beauty of a good stout (and damn; am I ever glad that I have).
In terms of all-time favorites, there's Founders Brewing's Breakfast Stout (hooray for Grand Rapids, Michigan!), but sadly, Founders is not yet available in Florida. Locally, I've been digging on the easy-drinking but full-of-flavor Roasted Cocoa Stout by Boynton Beach's own Due South Brewing.
To get a well-rounded list of stouts, Clean Plate Charlie sought out the advice of two of South Florida's more passionate (and knowledgeable) craft beer fans. Put down the Guinness and prepare to expand your stout horizons with these suggestions after the jump.
Joel Kodner, a local beer geek and part-time beer slinger at the aforementioned Due South Brewing, was kind enough to offer his stout recommendations. The new co-host of the United We Drink podcast also happens to be a huge stout fan, so he really knows his stuff.
Though many of Kodner's favorites aren't sold in Florida (we're looking at you, Founders), he had plenty of good things to say about locally-available beers. One stout Kodner recommended is Great Divide Brewing Company's Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout. "(It) just came out again. There's likely still some on shelves from last year, which is fine to drink, but fresh is when the oak really shines (bottles are date-stamped)."
"Total Wine has an exclusive from BrewDog called Old World Russian Imperial Stout, and it's an absolute steal at $5.99 for a 22-ounce bottle," Kodner said. "South Florida recently started getting beer from Green Flash, and their Double Stout is phenomenal. North Coast Brewing's Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout is always a good go-to stout and widely available."
Not fully committed to having a stout? There are similar alternatives.
"Some people debate the difference, if any, between stouts and porters, and Thursday Funky Buddha Lounge is tapping Wide Awake It's Morning, their imperial version of their Maple Bacon Coffee Porter," Kodner said. "Southern Tier Creme Brulee is perfect for a liquid dessert and could probably substitute for vanilla extract in any recipe."
For the really, really good stuff: "South Florida got a very limited amount of what I consider the best stout made; Cigar City Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout. There's a very small chance you'll still find it buried on a shelf at Whole Foods or a small, independent liquor store that carries craft beer, but it's still plentiful on Florida's west coast at Total Wine (saw a picture last week of at least two cases on display in Naples)."
Finally, Kodner recommends Oskar Blues Ten FIDY, priced at $4.50 each for a 12-ounce can or $15 for a four pack. "Seems pricey until you look at, like, 24-ounces for $7.50. Fresh cans are available at Total Wine; pretty sure the date stamp is mid-October. It's like delicious motor oil."