Stout beers can be your surprise drink of summer
Dark, silky stouts seem just right for chilly fall days and frigid winter nights. But this summer, I’m finding new reasons to sip these robust suds in the sunshine. What gives?
For one, stouts are better suited than many light-colored beers for pairing with summery foods like charred vegetables and barbecued meats. Think about it: Their earthy flavors and rich, toasted aromas mimic the ones already billowing out from your backyard grill. And stouts actually benefit from the weather—as the beers warm, their complex, smoky undertones begin to unfurl.
The key to a good summer stout is finding ones that are lower in alcohol, say 6% or lower, lean more on the dry side and have a clean finish. Here are 16 of my favorite full-bodied but easy-drinking stouts for your next cookout, picnic, or barbecue.
Shake The Frost | Perennial Artisan Ales | 5%
Brewed with Oaxacan beans locally roasted by Sump Coffee in St. Louis. The medium-roast coffee aroma is accented by nutty, toasty, and chocolate notes. Underpinned by a woody, earthy structure, it is decadent-meets-practical and highly drinkable. It’ll make you feel like stomping through a meadow after a rainstorm, sunny mornings with crisp dew glistening on the tree buds, and the sound of a toaster finishing its work.
Half Hit | 2nd shift Brewing | 5%
With all of the big ABV stouts out there these days, this lower ABV makes for an easy-drinking roasty session stout with cinnamon.
Chocolate Milk Stout | 4 Hands Brewing | 5.5%
This beer quickly became a St. Louis winter beer classic when it debuted back 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.
Short Story Oatmeal Stout | Old Bridgeview Brewing | 5.5%
Wow, this beer blew me away. Brewed with Maris Otter Plain, flake oats, Crystal Malt 60, and Munich, roasted barley, chocolate pale, magnum, and tettnag hops. This beer drinks balanced, with plenty of rich, vibrant flavor, and at 5.5% ABV, it would one I would smash often.
Oatmeal Stout | Schlafly Beer | 5.7%
This classic, British-style stout is dark, smooth, and slightly sweet, with just enough bitterness and hops to balance out the richness of the roasted malt’s nutty character and the creaminess of the oatmeal flakes. Freshly roasted coffee beans, cocoa, and touches of raisin and dried fruit dominate the aroma of this super dark ale.
Berry Brunch Stout | Schlafly Beer | 5.7%
Think of it as your bowl of fresh fruit, a cup of coffee, and beer all delivered in one delicious glass
Dry Hopped Stout | Schlafly Beer | 5.7%
Brewed with all of the roasted malts you’d expect, but then dry-hopped with tons of American hops adding a unique citrus character.
Coffee Stout | Schlafly Beer | 5.7%
Schlafly’s Coffee Stout showcases a 25-year partnership with local St. Louis roaster, Kaldi’s Coffee. The brewery creates a cold toddy to extract the best qualities from Kaldi’s premium French roast beans before blending it with the stout to create a smooth, slightly sweet beer with notes of roasted barley, chocolate and coffee.
Latte Stout | Schlafly Beer | 5.7%
Brewer meets barista in this heavyweight bout. Latte Stout is brewed with a blend of coffee toddy and milk sugar that combine to form a stout that calls back to the coffee shop.
Cat Cafe | Old Bakery Beer | 5.7%
This Milk Stout recreates the classic pairing of coffee and cream… with the added bonus of beer! Certified organic dark roast coffee from Kaldi’s and lactose sugar was added to create this sweet and roasty stout.
Ice Cream Daze: Mint Chocolate Stout | Main & Mill Brewing | 5.7%
Brewed with cacao nibs, spearmint, peppermint, and lactose. It delivers as advertised, and the only surprise is the 6% ABV.
Dad’s Oatmeal Cookie Stout | O’ Fallon Brewing | 5.9%
Dad’s Scotch Oatmeal cookies are a St. Louis tradition. Here, O’Fallon has taken the key ingredients in Dad’s Scotch Oatmeal cookies and incorporated them into an Oatmeal Cream Stout. This stout is velvety smooth with a creamy mouthfeel. Hints of chocolate, cinnamon, caramel, oat, raisin, and vanilla combine to create this liquid cookie. (Contains Lactose)
Session Stout | Schlafly Beer | 6.0%
While keeping a bold flavor and big body, Session Stout has a low ABV making it easy to have more than one. We classify this full-bodied stout under the lightweight division.
Winter Grind | Mother’s Brewing | 6.0%
Made for winter, but sip just as nice during the summer. Combines the rich goodness of a stout with a cold-brewed espresso blend, roasted for by the brewery’s coffee-loving neighbors at the Mudhouse. The result is a wintery treat that’ll give coffee and beer lovers a reason to cheer!
Vanilla Stout | Big Muddy Brewing | 6.0%
A traditional Milk Stout infused with pure Madagascar vanilla. Subtle vanilla flavor throughout with roasted notes and a slightly sweet, smooth finish.
Believer’s Brew | Alpha Brewing | 6.0%
Believers Brew is a chocolaty and roasty oatmeal stout. Brewed with a heap of roasted malts that lend this brew roasty and chocolaty flavors. Mildly hopped and dry on the palate.
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