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.
1 G.F.Y. Stout
“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.