By Alix Holmes
Unfortunately, 2018 is not a leap year, which means there are only 28 days in the month of February. For most of us that is not enough time to enjoy stout month! With Colorado having a plethora of craft breweries, many releasing special stouts for February, there are just too many beers to try them all. However, we’ve compiled a list of some of the can’t-miss releases that will make you fall in love with stout month.
It is obvious how much passion and love goes into brewing these delicious, dark, and decadent beers. Stouts range all over the board. Some are roasty, dry, and barrel-aged, with adjunct essences like chocolate, vanilla beans, coffee, chili peppers, coconut and whatever else the brewers decide to add.
Some stout additions and flavors may be recognizable such as the Mountain Sun’s Girl Scout Stout, a thin mint-chocolate cookie milk stout containing dark chocolate, fresh mint, and peppermint extract that is balanced by roasted dark malts. And, if you’re looking for a stout that will really blow your hair back, try Call to Arms Brewing’s Dust in the Wind, a seriously drinkable, molé stout with flavors of chocolate and cinnamon and subtle aromas of smoke. But, if a Belgian-style stout is what you seek, you don’t have to look hard to find the Avarice from River North Brewing. This stout is “so dark no light can escape it,” with a dry, bitter flavor reminiscent of baker’s chocolate, their brewer reports.
It doesn’t matter what stout flavor you pursue. Colorado has a brewery with the perfect stout for you.
There are only a few weeks left in stout month so go get ‘em.
Banded Oak Brewing — Atomga Brazilian Imperial Stout aged in Whiskey Barrels
This recipe was developed in collaboration with Bodebrown Brewery of Curitiba, Brazil. At 10.5% ABV, this is a complex beer with obvious notes of whiskey and wood. Roasted marshmallow, sweet tobacco, cacao and coffee mingle with your taste buds providing a delightful finish.
Where to find it: On draft at Banded Oak Brewing
Dillon Dam Brewery — Brewmaster’s Special Neapolitan Stout
Look for a five-gallon special release at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 13. The Neapolitan Stout will remind you of that delicious tri-flavor ice cream from childhood. Adults only please!
Where to find it: On draft at the Dam Brewery in Dillon
Great Divide Brewing — Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti
Yet another revered reincarnation of Great Divide’s legendary Yeti Imperial Stout, Great Divide toned down the hops to allow cacao nibs to bring out a pleasing bitterness, while vanilla notes from the oak combined with the cacao to create an aroma and flavor akin to a gourmet chocolate bar. A dash of cayenne provides a lively finish.
Where to find it: On draft and in 22-ounce bombers at both Great Divide tap rooms, as well as within Great Divide’s distribution footprint.
Maxline Brewing — Chocolate Stout
This deep mahogany beauty has a fruity aroma up front that fades to a light roast. Flavors of chocolate dominate the front palate with undertones of earthiness, roast, and bright fruit. This 6.8% ABV, medium-bodied brew has a velvety mouthfeel that will make you yearn for more.
Where to find it: On draft at Maxline Brewing in Fort Collins
Avery Brewing — Vanilla Bean Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stout
A double dose of vanilla derived from both fresh bourbon barrels and the trio of Tongan, Ugandan, and Mexican whole vanilla beans is complemented by essences of chocolate, caramel and molasses to round out this luxuriously silky stout.
Where to find it: On draft at Avery Brewing in Gunbarrel/Boulder
10 Barrel Brewing — Double Chocolate Stout
With a special Valentine’s Day release, this beer is guaranteed to make you fall in love with its unique medley of flavors. Made with cacao nibs, cacao powder, and Madagascar vanilla beans and layered with nuances of dark chocolate, figs, dates and vanilla, this Double Chocolate Stout comes out rich and balanced.
Where to find it: On draft at 10 Barrel Brewing in Denver
Launch Pad Brewery, Two22 Brew, and Peak to Peak Tap & Brew with the American Craft Beer Radio (ACBR)
These three breweries are teaming up to brew three dessert blonde stouts to be released throughout February. The first blonde stout was released at Two22 Brew on Feb. 3. The brew — Coffee & Donuts Blonde Stout with vanilla coffee and raspberry jelly-filled donuts — comes with a limited-edition glass that is part of a three-piece set. The second brew to be released on Feb. 10, at Peak to Peak Tap & Brew, is a White Chocolate Blonde Stout brewed with vanilla beans, cocoa nibs, and cold-brew Uganda Rwenzori coffee from local roastery Riff Roasters. The second purchase comes with the second glass in the series. And finally, Launch Pad Brewery created a Cuban Guava Pastry Blonde Stout to be released at their brewery on Feb. 17. The beer was inspired by the pastelito, a puff pastry filled with cream cheese and guava paste. Purchasers of this beer will receive the third glass in the series.
Disclaimer: Thirst Colorado intern Alix Holmes works part time at Vine Street Pub & Brewery, which is affiliated with Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery mentioned in this report.