For Fat Tap’s second Art of the Craft series, we were invited to take a trip to the dark side. This time, joining cicerone Gary Fuller again, we explored the beloved craft beer style stouts and porters. The class started with a history of stouts and porters, how they are primarily brewed (with barley) and the barrels they age in. Our first beer came along and we were prepared from the last class to use our beer tasting skills stat.
Identifying the Notes
The first beer we sampled was Opposition Porter from Gulfstream Brewing Company, from Fort Lauderdale, which is an American-Style Oatmeal Porter (5.5% ABV). My initial notes were that it was roasty, smooth and had a chocolate/coffee flavor. I refer to an app called Untapped and it appears many agreed with me. I really enjoyed this beer’s smooth roasty notes and we learned that the roasted goodness came from the complex malt bill. The Untapped app average for this beer lingers around 3.50 to 3.65 on a scale of 0 to 5 and I would agree this beer fell along the high range of 3.65.
Our second pouring was Old Rasputin (nitro) from North Coast Brewing Company, from Fort Bragg, California. This Russian Imperial Stout has a 9% ABV and has a strong cult following. This low carbonation beer is so smooth, dark creamy and strong that I instantly give it a 4.50 and a YUM comment. The average rating for this beer is a strong 4.02, proving that the cult following for this craft brew is well deserved.
Next up is Deja Moo (6% ABV) an English sweet/milk stout from Hidden Springs Ale Works, based in Tampa, Florida. This one is a creamy and sweet dark beer with a surprise kick of chipotle peppers. Unexpected yet somehow a perfect compliment to the cocoa flavors. This was another stand out to me in the best way. It averages about 3.24 on the Untapped scale.
From here, the beers started to get a little more creative. Our next beer Christmas Bomb, from Prairie Artisan Ales, out of Oklahoma. This beer is an American Imperial Stout – (13% ABV). Just as it’s named, this one is like drinking Christmas. From my baking experience, I immediately pick up nutmeg and cinnamon. The high alcohol content brings a nice warm feeling to the mouth. Overall this is one to be enjoyed not just during the holidays. The average rating for this one stands at a solid 4.10.
To end the tasting, we are served desert! Well, the craft beer equivalent. Neapolitan Milk Stout, from Saugatuck Brewing Company (6%ABV). This highly awarded craft beer claims to be a creamy milk stout with flavors of Neapolitan ice cream in one glass. Flavors of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry are abound. You’ll want to catch it on its seasonal release around November. This one hovers around 3.84 on the Untapped Scale.
Learning More About Stouts and Porters
To wrap up the evening we stay and chat more about how stouts and porters are made, how gluten free craft beers are made (some with quinoa, who knew?) and the Future of the Craft upcoming classes. Fat Tap plans to keep the series going as long as people are interested. Their mission is to provide support to craft brewers and education to its fans. Stay tuned for future classes as well as a possible exclusive bottle shares soon.
If you’re interested in my personal ratings from Fat Tap’s Future of the Craft series, you can find me in Untapped @RhiannonRoseOaklandPark. Be sure to add Fat Tap Beer Bar and Eatery as well.
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About the Author
Rhiannon Samoyedny was born and raised in South Florida. She has lived in Oakland Park for over 25 years and purchased her home in Garden Acres in 2012 where she resides with her husband, two teenaged boys, a few rescue cats, and her dog.
Her professional career began as a project manager and estimator for a small Oakland Park construction company and she later went on to earn her degree in Court Reporting, where she later incorporated her own small business RS Reporting, Inc.
She has a passion for gardening and attends many horticulture classes and workshops. She is also an LGA (local government academy) graduate, class of 2019, and an active community volunteer and activist.
You can usually find her around town a various Oakland Park meetings and events with her notebook, so be sure to say hello.