Stout Month is almost upon us! Beginning Wednesday, February 1st, and lasting a precious 29 days this year, the ‘Sun’ family of restaurants, including The Mountain Sun in downtown Boulder, The Southern Sun in South Boulder, and the Vine Street Pub in Denver will all be serving up a huge array of wonderful stouts made in-house by their brewers. Additionally, a few new beers, submitted by home brewers who wished to compete in the Stout Month Home Brewers Competition and carefully vetted by the pros, will be making their debuts.
Stouts and Porters are such perfect quaffs for the dark and cold months of winter. Best served at a little under room temperature, their flavors vary from tangy and chocolaty to creamy and smooth, depending on the ingredients used by the brewer. While most people think of ‘Guinness’ when this category of beer is discussed, stouts come in a much wider array of flavors than that.
Irish Stouts, with their deep black color, and hints of coffee, barley and chocolate, have a tangy acidity on their finish. Cream Stouts, which have lactose introduced into the brewing process – indigestible by beer yeasts — are sweeter, while still allowing the hops and barley to shine through. Oatmeal Stouts sit somewhere in the middle. The oatmeal provides an impressively long-lasting head, which lends a creaminess to the beer that tempers and rounds out any sharp flavors. Russian Imperial Stouts are the bad boys of this gorgeous drink. Often packing high intensity flavor with high alcohol content, they are not for the faint of heart.
This year, The Sun will be tapping some of their old standards such as Trickster (a very hoppy drink more like an IPA), Addiction, Nialist, Stoked Oak and Drop Kick. Some of the new beers on offer will be Megatron, Oatimus Prime (an Imperial), Korova Cream and Ethiopian Coffee Stout. The featured amateur beer, submitted by a home brewer in December, and subsequently brewed alongside a Sun brewer in a small quantity, will be a Chai Stout. One if the employees over at the Mountain Sun says that it shouldn’t be missed, and since it caps out at 6 barrels, hurry up and get there!