A pair of delicious seasonal stouts appeared on tap for International Stout Day last Thursday, and to the surprise of no one, of course I went and tried both of them.
First up was Breakfast Bandit, the latest in Bow & Arrow’s series of pastry stouts. Checking in at 9-percent ABV, it is the biggest to date. Made with 240 Krispy Kreme glazed donuts and a whole lot of local coffee, the flavor is stronger with the latter than the former. There is still a fair amount of sweetness on the back end, but it doesn’t leave you wanting to rush home and brush your teeth to avoid a cavity or anything. Mostly, it is a big blast of coffee roast, with an appropriate amount of thickness in terms of the mouthfeel. As the stout warms, it gets even more complex. This is one of those beers where you might end up drinking a couple before you even realize it, so make sure you can handle the higher ABV.
For the second stout, Mustaches and Cream, that came with a group visit to Canteen. Franz Solo, Brandon, and I were meeting to discuss our applicants for the open writing spots on the Crew. Naturally, we stuck with tradition and ordered the darkest seasonal on the menu. Made with chocolate and vanilla, M&C is a burly stout, one that does not hit you with too much sweetness. Brandon tasted a lot of coffee in this one, even though technically there was no coffee in it. The powerful roast of the stout balances out with the sweeter additives. Even better, a portion of the proceeds of this beer go to Movember.
A couple other beers worth checking out around town are the Citra SMASH at Red Door and the Wee Stache, the collaboration Scotch ale at both Steel Bender and High and Dry, with proceeds from that tasty brew also going to Movember.
The rest of the Crew were off and running around town, revisiting some old favorite haunts.
One screwy weekend
I confess to this being a very light weekend, beer-wise, for various reasons. There was a lot of beer drinking during the week in Lake Tahoe, so I was trying to keep it mellow. Friday after work we briefly went to Tractor Wells Park, and my intention was to try one of their new cocktails since they are now serving spirits. That quickly changed because I asked for a taste of their Pumpkin Cider. I feel like Tractor has really upped their cider game the last couple of years. This Pumpkin Cider is outstanding, and I forgot all about wanting a cocktail. It’s the best cider I have had since their Blood Orange one a while back. I was so enthralled I forgot to take a picture before I drank it. Or, before I drank the next one. Oops.
Then there was the really late Lobo football game on Saturday night, followed by the time change. A double whammy.
I was feeling totally off on Sunday after everything, but our friends wanted us to come up to their house in the afternoon to see their new car. When we got there, they had the Texans/Broncos game on in the garage and both the beers on tap out there were from Marble. Being fall and all, a Cholo Stout suddenly did not sound like a bad idea. Thanks, friends, for giving me something to “beercap!”
Back to the mothership
Being an inhabitant of the west side means that my typical Nexus visits occur at the Nexus Silver Taproom. This Sunday, I trekked over to the actual Nexus Brewery for a quick stop-in. I opted for a pint of the Bird of Prey IPA, which was balanced, yet unquestionably hop forward. It was the perfect IPA for just after the noon hour. Enjoying this beer and watching football on the multiple televisions made me hungry for a snack. I had a side order of Mac-n-Cheese (yes, twice in three weeks) and a side order of Fried Okra. Both were flavorful enough to enjoy alongside the Bird of Prey. Cheers, Nexus!
Big and bold in Santa Fe
I recently made it out to Rowley Farmhouse Ales and Second Street Brewery Rufina in order to try two huge and excellent beers, showing that Santa Fe doesn’t shy away from the imperial styles. At Second Street, I enjoyed a fresh pour of Preacher’s Share Imperial Stout, a Colkegan single-malt whisky-aged Imperial Dry Irish Stout. Not to be confused with a Russian Imperial Stout, this offering is not as chewy as you’d expect of the RIS. It is lighter in body, cleaner on the finish, dry as a dry Irish stout should be, but with all the added flavors imparted by the whiskey barrel. It’s quite an interesting beer, if you think while drinking, and good luck with that. At Rowley Farmhouse Ales, Chantal was recently released, a tribute to a dear friend to the brewery who passed away. This excellent imperial raspberry saison was brewed in collaboration with friends, and made with love. It is light on the funk, but with lots of raspberries. This beer is big and dangerously drinkable. You should take note that it’s 10-percent ABV and so quaffable that you may want to queue up the Uber/Lyft after your first glass. I highly recommend both beers. Keep your hearts and minds open as you drink them. After all the tricks over the previous year, we’re due for some treats.
P.S. go vote!