Stout beer and Chops Month

by Jim Harrington

Feb-brew-ary is Stout month! The most anticipated month among the most discerning Boulder beer connoisseurs. Come celebrate with us the darkest and richest nectar of the dark Stout beers.

The Super Bowl, Ground Hog and Valentine’s Day have their February moments but best of all in Boulder Colorado every day in February is a celebration of stout beer. As the weather seems to only get colder and colder, enjoy for a month some of the richest, darkest beers this country has to offer. Although good stouts can be found all over there is no better place to enjoy Stout month than here in Boulder, at the Mountain Sun brewpub The Mountain Sun treats Stout month as both a culinary art project and a holiday.

A Boulder tradition for over 22 years over 50 different stout beers will be served with thick froth and good cheer for all. Cherry Chocolate Stout, 48 Smooth Chai Stout on nitro, a barrel-aged American “Wild” Stout with Brettanomyces, Dark Harvest Pumpkin Stout, Oatimus Prime Oatmeal Imperial Stout, Korova Cream Stout, Chocalate Thunder, Old School Dry Irish Stout and more are rotated among the Boulder Mountain pubs throughout the month and include roughly equal selections of Mountain Sun house-made stouts and exemplary stouts from other Colorado breweries. Guest beers include #42 Poblano Stout from Big Choice Brewing, Almond Chocolate Stout from Cannonball Creek Brewing, Mexican Chocolate Stout from Copper Kettle Brewing and Cinnilla Stout from Sanitas Brewing. With so many stouts available this February, which one do you want to get snowed in with?

Stout month showcases how beer brew artisans can creatively use the chocolate and roast character of the stout style as a springboard to layer on wacky and wonderful flavors. A good stout is not just a beer it is an experience. It is a fusion between multiple beverage flavors and textures. A thick stout can have texture like motor oil, with such high alcohol content you can only sip it like a good whiskey, while giving off a pleasant internal warming effect much like hot chocolate on a cold night, which has surprising subtle artistic notes of chocolate, licorice, molasses, and dark fruits. A good stout sets a tone and creates a mood by pairing aroma, taste, mouth-feel and color with the wintery season to create a here and now experience to remember. Be here now!

Some of the most inventive recipes have resulted from Mountain Sun’s annual Stout Homebrew Competition. Coconut Cream Stout, Stoked Oak Stout and Girl Scout Stout, brewed with chocolate and peppermint. This year’s homebrew competition winner is Daisy’s Raspberry Chipotle Stout with great raspberry flavor touched lightly with the heat and smoked chipotles.

Planning for Stout Month takes almost a year and brewers start making the beer in earnest around Thanksgiving. Come to Boulder, embrace the cold and warm up with Stout Month!

Also be aware Stout Month is also Chops Month. Your favorite servers along with plenty of customers are bushing out their facial hair or perfecting their slickest mullet for the best Chops Competition at the end of the month to celebrate the best Chops in the land. Another Boulder experience to enjoy!