Friday, March 02, 2007

the session #1: stouts

Stout: the beer that means something. That's my motto at any rate. And it's a damn fine motto if you ask me. We all search for meaning in this life and when it's found you should make it clear to the world, OLLY OLLY OXEN FREE. Shout it out from the top of your lungs: I LOVE BURNT BARLEY BABY.

Searching for good craft beer in the Midwest is kind of like playing a giant game of Capture the Flag. Sure, there's good craft beer to be found, but you're not exactly walking on roads paved with golden malt, verdant hops and crystal clear spring water. The roads are paved with corn. Literally. One hundred bushels crushed for every linear mile. It's a kind of earth-friendly filler. We power our cars with it. We make our roads with it. Hell, I wash my hair with it every other day, gives it that wholesome Midwestern shine.

But look long enough and hard enough and you can find the flag. Soar through the cornfield with eyes peeled wide. Hark! A settlement! Perhaps their victualers brew a strong and dark drink, roasted and toasted to keep our bodies strong. OLLY OLLY OXEN FREE I scream from the top of my lungs. I've found some stouts and I drank them down and here I will of them write about.

Dr. Stan Hieronymus thought it was a good idea to have a beer blogging carnival and I couldn't agree more. So this is my little piece of participation. Click the pictures for grand versions.

Chocolate Stout

The head fades quickly and a sharp, shiny, metallic scent wafts up to slice at my nose. Dry, grainy, chocolate malt asserts itself and I feel cheated. Plastic chocolate pinches my mouth and lingers unwelcome.

(Noblesville, IN)
Black Majic Java Stout

"I won a silver medal at the GABF this year in the 'coffee flavored' category, naaa naa na."

"You're an idiot. You don't know how to spell magic."

"It's a clever play on words. And it's trademarked."

"You are made of too much coffee. At first you appear to be rather viscous. But you're not. It's all lies. You've always been a lier. It all started at the hotel in Key West. You weren't going to the store to buy limes. You were doing unspeakable things for a fix in the alley behind the Lazy Gecko. More or less in plain view. People staring in disbelief. WHY DIDN'T I END IT THEN? You're not a bad beer, you just need to beef up a little bit. Fill out in the hips. In the butt. A little bit of body and a dash of residual sugar would go a long way in combating your acrid java ways."

"I don't even know who you are."

(Comstock, MI)
Kalamazoo Stout

Dear Kalamazoo Stout,

You smell like the wedding cake of King Edward the VIII. Delicate yet sumptuous. Creamy yet nimble. I wade through your waters in ecstasy. I dream of taking you away on a romantic trip to Pennsylvania Dutch Country where we can lay nestled in each other's arms until daybreak.

With love,
Matthew Daniel Dunn, Esq.

(Grand Rapids, MI)
Black Rye

This is definitely not your father's stout. Mainly because I'm not sure it's a stout at all. But I bet you father would enjoy the way the spicy spicy spicy nose slaps you around like a stripper's tits. That sweet stripper smell. Mysterious yet comforting. Picante! Again, unfortunately, much like our friend Black Majic (sic), Black Rye needs to put on an extra pound or two. She kicks so much game that she needs a little bit of junk in the trunk to give her a solid foundation. To kick all that game.

(New Holland, MI)
The Poet Oatmeal Stout

Not very stout
Sweetish nose about
to shellac my tongue.

It smells like candy to me- too smooth
Ryan thinks Carafa malts are the culprit.

(Warrenville, IL)
Northwind Imperial Stout

Fruity. Diacetyl I dare to conjecture? Do you contain anise? Licorice? You are strange.

Ryan, Brian, Yaniv, the Stinks... without you, none of this would have been possible.


Rick Lyke said...


Thanks for bringing a good range oif Midwest Stouts to the party. I'll be looking for them on my next trip.



Daddy said...

God Damn this is the type of shit I want to read.

Two things:

1. The Rogue XS Imperial stout is fucking dee-fucking-lisch. It's $13 per, but damn if it won't get you throbbing in the knickers.

2. "Don't fuck with the malt, Coffee. I said the same thing to Vanilla, and I'll say the same thing to all those damn fruits. If you want to play, that's fine, just don't run your fucking mouth. Don't fuck with the malt."

Daddy likes 'em Stout.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you've seen this by now, but just thought you'd find it neat: 'Darwin's God' in the NY Times if the link doesn't work.