The Hippo


May 24, 2020








 What’s in My Fridge

Newburyport Brewing Co. Joppa Grande Stout: Rich, flavorful and smooth with notes of chocolate and coffee, a terrific stout. I would suggest seeking this one out. Cheers!

Granite Stouts
It’s really cold; grab a stout


 “I don’t drink stouts. They’re too heavy. It’s like having a meal.” 

You’ve heard someone say that. You might have said that yourself and now you’re embarrassed. Look, stouts are heavy and they can be like having a meal. But that doesn’t mean you should shun this wonderful style of beer. Sometimes you need a beer that drinks like a meal. 
Stouts offer a complex richness of flavor that is unmatched in the beer world. Particularly during the winter months, there is nothing better than relaxing by the fire — even if it’s a cheesy gas fireplace — with a malty, toasty stout in your hand. It’s the kind of beer you can sip and savor over an hour or longer. While I still like to enjoy a stout cold, many stouts are just as good or even better a bit closer to room temperature. Take your time and enjoy.
Just like other styles of beer, stouts and porters — which I’m lumping together here — come in all different shapes and sizes. You shouldn’t say no to a style based on one bad experience. If you’re used to drinking pilsners and you shift over to a Russian imperial stout, your palate is probably going to slap you right in the face. 
The stout style is awfully diverse. You have traditional “dry” stouts like a Guinness, which, by the way, I would argue is not all that heavy. You have imperial stouts, which, similar to an imperial IPA, have higher alcohol contents. There are a number of very interesting bourbon barrel-aged stouts today in a class by themselves: big alcohol, bold bourbon and vanilla flavors and an unparalleled heft and richness. Some imperial stouts can certainly be a bit much, even for stout enthusiasts. 
What I get most excited about, particularly during the winter months, are coffee stouts. The flavor of coffee melds beautifully with rich, toasted malts. It’s a perfect marriage. While they’re not ubiquitous, most stores with a reasonably extensive beer selection will have a few varieties of coffee stouts. To get the ball rolling, I might suggest Narragansett Brewing Co.’s Coffee Milk Stout. I know, Narragansett probably isn’t the first brewery that comes to mind when you think coffee stouts, but it’s flavorful, smooth and, frankly, welcoming, particularly for someone a little hesitant about exploring stouts. 
Since stouts can be filling as beers go, they’re great beers to split. My wife loves stouts, especially coffee stouts, but drinking a whole stout or porter is a bit much for her, so we’ll often split one. 
New Hampshire’s beer scene is highlighted by a number of terrific craft brewers, but, and I might be partial here, stouts and porters stand out. I’ve sung the praises of Great North Aleworks RVP (Robust Vanilla Porter) and Henniker Brewing Co.’s The Roast coffee stout, which is a true coffee lover’s brew, but those two brews are hardly alone in New Hampshire’s tremendous landscape of stouts and porters. 
Here are a few others to track down: 
603 Brewing Co. Coffee Cake Porter - Pleasing notes of cinnamon, vanilla and coffee characterize this flavorful and warming porter. 603 Brewing also has a Coconut Cookie Cluster Porter that I haven’t tried, but I definitely will be. 
Throwback Brewery Fat Alberta - This is a chocolate peanut butter Russian imperial stout. I haven’t tried this but oh my goodness. Throwback also makes a version of this stout fermented in a port barrel.
Millyard Brewery Boott Porter - Malty, chocolatey and creamy — enough said. 
Beara Brewing Co. Cake Java Porter - This is a wonderful brew, characterized by big coffee flavor and a smooth finish. It kind of took my family’s Christmas day celebration by storm in a good way.  
Kelsen Brewing Co. Vinátta Russian Imperial Stout - At 12-percent ABV, this is an aggressive, bold brew characterized by notes of chocolate, prunes, leather and tobacco. 
Jeff Mucciarone is a senior account executive with Montagne Communications, where he provides communications support to the New Hampshire wine and spirits industry. 

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