Just when you were coming to grips with the first ever International #IPA day back in August, along comes the inaugural International Stout Day. Were stouts feeling left out? Not getting the love they deserve?
Whatever the reason, with the days getting shorter – and much colder – our attention is turning once again to the season of stouts, porters, barleywines and higher gravities everywhere. Sure, we never really stop drinking these during the year, but now we downright crave them. On Thursday, November 3, 2011, we can all sit down to a pint of stout and raise a glass to this great beer.
So what is International Stout Day? According to the website:
International Stout Day is a worldwide celebration of the iconic beer style, Stout. Taking place in homes, pubs, breweries and restaurants, it’s all about celebrating the craft beer revolution, relishing in this beloved beer style, sharing your photos, tasting notes and events with the world.
The Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines – which are updated/changed yearly – recognize eight categories of stout styles:
- British-Style Imperial Stout
- Sweet Stout (British Origin)
- Oatmeal Stout (British Origin)
- Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout
- Foreign (Export)-Style Stout (Irish Origin)
- American-Style Stout
- American-Style Imperial Stout
Other guidelines, such as the Beer Judge Certification Program, shorten the list to six: Dry, Sweet, Oatmeal, Foreign Extra, American and Russian Imperial. No matter how you define them, it is clear brewers’ imaginations aren’t limited by such style guidelines. The addition of other ingredients such as coffee or alternative yeasts, such as Belgian, create versions that defy all guidelines and keep the style fun. Personally, I favor the American Style stout with plenty of robust, roasted malt flavor providing a nice coffee-like bite.
Sadly, there are no Montana specific events listed on the website for International Stout Day, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. There are many fine Stouts brewed across Montana from Custer’s Last Stout at Montana Brewing Co. in Billings to Double Black Diamond Extreme Stout at Blackfoot River Brewing Co. in Helena (simply outstanding) to Woods Bay’s Flathead Lake Brewing Co. Stout.
What’s your favorite stout?