We love offering some tried and true brews and beer styles in our reach-in cooler, but there are a few unique styles that we feel get overlooked. With hundreds of beer styles out there, it’s really no surprise. After talking to distributors, vendors, brewers and guests about these styles – we’ve all agreed these are fairly underrated and underappreciated.
A white stout is created as a result of omitting dark, roasted malts from the grain bill and replacing them with cold-steeped coffee, cacao nibs or vanilla beans. Most of the time, brewers add these beans post-fermentation to impart bitterness and roasted character that usually dark roasted malts impart – all without impacting the color. Oats are often added to give it a creamier mouthfeel, too. We always refer to this as a “mind-bender beer” because you see it and you don’t expect it to drink like a stout – it looks like a blonde ale. Fun fact: Ale Asylum created a white stout for their 13th anniversary in 2019. It was remarkable and we’ve been asking them to rebrew it since.
Currently in the cooler: Dragon’s Milk White Stout by New Holland
A black IPA really takes the best of both worlds of light and dark. And though the “P” in IPA might stand for “pale,” it’s not meant to represent the color of this IPA. This brew certainly has stout qualities – beyond the color, we might add, too. The darker malts bring roast flavors that contrasts with the floral, citrus and piney flavors of hops at the same time they bring roasty bitterness in the mouthfeel that syncs with the hop bitterness. It’s tough to come across a year-round black IPA, so when you can find one, it becomes a truly unique brew to imbibe in.
Currently in the cooler: Close Encounter by Pipeworks
We’re not talking about the football team here. We’re talking about one of the oldest styles of beer to be brewed. Though you’ve likely been accustomed to brews like Madtown Nutbrown by Ale Asylum or Fat Squirrel by New Glarus, there’s such a vast range of flavor profiles in this style that’s worth exploring. We’re seeing more breweries play around with a base brown recipe, by adding adjuncts you traditionally see in other styles like Madagascar and Mexican Vanilla beans – and it’s turning out remarkably.
Currently in the cooler: Brownie Points by Maplewood
Dunkel is a weird word to see and pronounce. If given the options of a few brews to choose from and one read “Dunkel” – it’ll likely be your last pick. Dunkel is the German word for dark and is characterized by smooth malty flavor. A Dunkel is brewed using lager yeast which helps make it as clean, clear and crisp as your go-to pilsner. This beer is our recommended go-to for any food pairing that includes grilled meats. There’s something special about the bread crust and caramel flavor of the beer as it dances with the grilled flavors and spices on pork chops, steaks and sausages.
Currently in the cooler: Mile of Munich by Lion’s Tail
If you said that there’s no tripel that’s brewed in America like a tripel brewed in Belgium, we would believe you. Nowadays, brewers have so much control over the brewing process that they can effectively match or near-match the same brew made across the world (though we’d be lying if we said it doesn’t take a few rounds of trial & error to get there). Though this style was introduced by Westmalle – with the name referring to the amount of malt used to make the beer – it has become a brew of fascination by many American brewers. The Belgian-style yeast used makes for wonderfully complex, spicy flavors.
Currently in the cooler: Walk Off Tripel by Milwaukee Brewing
While we can’t promise you’ll always find these styles in our cooler, we’ll continue to stock them as they become available from – hopefully – more breweries. As always, you can keep an eye on what’s in the cooler via our Untappd page.