The remaining days and hours of January are quickly ticking away and that means one my favorite under-rated holiday will be upon us, and one I used to celebrate in my younger days by slamming beers as part of a traditional beer drinking game. Of course, I’m referring to Groundhog Day.
The drinking game, for the uninitiated, is to watch the classic 1993 Bill Murray film, “Groundhog Day” accompanied by a 6 to 12 pack of your favorite guzzable suds and DRINK, every time Murray’s character enters the village bar or any other repeatable scene you choose. I just happen to go with the bar scene.
This year’s festivities are this coming Friday, February 2, and if more winter is coming, then I need to prepare myself and you dear reader for the possibility of 6 more weeks of winter beers. So, without further ado, here are the six of my favorites St. Louis made stouts that are all available at your favorite bottle shop or on tap.
Mexican Chocolate Stout | Schlafly
My first introduction to this beer came in December with Schlafly Beer’s release of one of their most popular sampler packs: the Schlafly Stout Bout. A selection “worth fighting for,” this year’s four stouts include: the brewery’s classic Oatmeal; last year’s winning flavor of Mexican Chocolate; and two new additions with Blueberry Coffee and Salted Caramel.
But it was the Mexican Chocolate Stout that stood out and has many calling on the brewery to release it on its own. On the pour, you’ll get a rich, silky black brew with a tan frothy head. On the nose, you’ll find hints of pepper and chilis but not a lot of chocolate. On the swig, that is where you’ll get the delight of a traditional Mexican-style hot chocolate. The frothy head transforms into a creamy, roasty, sweet sip with a nice solid kick.
As now, it is still only available within the Stout Bout box, but you’ll also love it’s brothers and sisters that you’ll get too.
Chocolate Milk Stout | 4 Hands Brewing Company
This beer quickly became a St. Louis winter beer classic when it debuted back in in 2012. To us, this beer tastes just like one would expect if you mixed a tall, creamy glass of chocolate milk with your favorite beer. It’s really that simple really.
This beer pours black and smooth and quickly rewards with bursts of chocolate as you would expect. It’s sweet, but not too sweet, which makes a second and third or more approachable.
That and the fact that at 5.5% ABV, your winter drinking session can go on pretty deep with this one. Not be missed.
Kinsale Foreign Extra Stout | Urban Chestnut Brewing Co.
I have to admit, I’m so used to drinking lighter, maltier lagers, pilsners and weisse beers from UCBC, that I was not at all prepared for what they might come up with when creating a stout.
Kinsale pours a hazy black with a brown frothy head. On the nose, you’ll get some chocolate, some nut, and a toasty breadiness. On the swig, you’ll get a tad of fruit but not citrusy, some coffee and a bit of spice.
Like you would expect from UCBC, this stout is hoppy and malty. Not a huge beer at 7%, but it is a warm beer in that will help shake off the chill.
King Louie | O’Fallon Brewing Company
How did the commercial go? “Two great tastes that taste great together.” That is the recipe for success for this beer crafted by O’Fallon Brewing in partnership with our town’s premier chocolatier.
Not a very heavy beer, but rather full bodied with full flavor. Look for a combination of dark and white chocolate flavors, caramel and roasted notes. Bissinger’s and O’Fallon developed a unique toffee blend with hints of caramelized sugar and vanilla to round out collaboration. A bit sweet but sessionable.
Late Night Karate Kicks | Charleville Brewing
Back in the day, Charleville held an in-house brewing contest and this recipe won. After a bit of adjusting, this beer has become a medium body stout that is cold infused with Chauvin coffee, one pound of coffee per one barrel of beer.
Pours a rich coffee brown. Coffee/chocolate on the nose. Full bodied but light drinking stout. Lots of coffee, chocolate, vanilla and maybe some maple. Perfect beer to go with pancakes.
Black Dog | Heavy Riff
A complex and decadent Bourbon Oak Aged Imperial Porter. I found this to be one of the best bourbon aged beers I’ve tried in a long time. Thick and hearty yet swig-able. The bourbon aging was pronounced and lingered on my tongue for nice after effect. You’ll like this one for sure.