Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit Module

It’s Stout Season: Beer Experts Share Their Local Favorites

Fall means a shift from bright wheat ales to beers with more somber tones—a perfect time to explore the world of full-bodied stouts. Here are five favorites (and where you can find them) recommended by Chicago experts.

About Stout

There are dozens of kinds of stouts, from oatmeal (made with oats, which add creaminess) to Irish dry (light-bodied with roasted flavors) to Russian imperial (boozy, malty, heavy). What they all have in common is a dark color and (as the name suggests) a robust flavor, often tinged with notes of coffee and caramel, that’s achieved by roasting the grains at high temperatures for long periods of time. What was the original stout? No one is sure, but the Irish brewer Guinness, founded in 1759, was an early pioneer.

G.F.Y. Stout, Fat Pug Stout, The Defender American Stout, Tres Blueberry Stout, and Airing of Grievances Stout
Photo: Jeff Marini

1 G.F.Y. Stout

Spiteful Brewing

“It smells and tastes like fresh-brewed coffee, and yet even at 8 percent ABV [alcohol by volume], it’s easy to drink.”
—Michael Roper, founder and owner of Hopleaf

$9.99 for a 22-ounce bottle
Puerto Rico Food and Liquors, 2559 W. Augusta Blvd.

2 Fat Pug Stout

Maplewood Brewery & Distillery

“This is a milk stout, made with lactose. It adds a sweet creaminess that begs for a dessert pairing.”
—Adam Vavrick, beer director for the Publican

$6.49 for a 22-ounce bottle
Moreno’s Liquors, 3724 W. 26th St.

3 The Defender American Stout

Haymarket Pub & Brewery

“It has deep, malty coffee-bean-like flavors and not a lot of bitterness.”
—Ray Daniels, founder and director of the Cicerone Certification Program (the craft beer version of sommelier certification)

$28.92 for a 64-ounce growler
Haymarket Pub & Brewery, 737 W. Randolph St.

4 Tres Blueberry Stout

Dark Horse Brewing Co.

“This is an incredibly balanced beer—the fruitiness of the blueberries and the roastiness of the malts don’t overpower each other, which is hard to do.”
—Jared Jankoski, brewmaster of Goose Island Brewery

$9.99 for a four-pack of 12-ounce bottles
The Beer Temple, 3185 N. Elston Ave.

5 Airing of Grievances Stout

Une Année Brewery

“This beer has a drier character than you usually see in stouts, and it complements the fruit notes, giving it a dried-dark-fruit taste.”
—Chris Quinn, owner of the Beer Temple

$9.99 for a 25-ounce bottle
La Primera Food, Spirits & Craft Beer, 5012 N. Clark St.


Edit Module


Edit Module
Submit your comment

Comments are moderated. We review them in an effort to remove foul language, commercial messages, abuse, and irrelevancies.

Edit Module