When John first started brewing in our first apartment, we were pleasantly surprised with his first creation. The second and third were pretty terrible. The fourth was great. So on and so forth for awhile as he perfected his techniques. One day, something magical happened. Out of the fermenter came a perfect beer – one so outstanding I’m sure I heard angels singing when I tasted it. From that day on, I decided that John could continue to brew as often as he wanted, as long as he kept Vanilla Stout around all the time. He pretty much does this and so my tastebuds and our marriage continue to be happy.
Like the pale ales that we talked about last week, stouts have their roots in Great Britain. They are actually a derivative of porters, which first made their way onto the scene as fuel for the workers in the Industrial Revolution. After over a century long reign of best loved beer, porters took a backseat to pale ales. Though porters were no longer king, porter drinkers nonetheless remained – and they begin to distinguish stronger examples of the style with the adjective “stout”. As in – “hey Barkeep, I’ll take one of those stout porters please!” Much like you may order a “hoppy” pale ale.
There are many misconceptions about stouts, mostly that they are ALL extremely heavy beers that have a lot of alcohol in them. This, my friends, is just not true. There are a wide variety of stouts – many of them could qualify as light beers because they have so few calories; some are quite sessionable; and some are huge, roasty, high alcohol beers perfect for a cold winter night. Darker beers, such as stouts, are higher in antioxidants than their lighter counterparts – so really, they are pretty much a health drink.
John’s Vanilla Stout is classified as a “sweet stout.” A sweet stout is characterized by dark color, sweet, rich, full roasted flavors and aromas. It is a full bodied beer, and often has strong chocolate or coffee notes. The Vanilla Stout that we’ll serve at Trek is all of these things, in addition to having just the right hint of vanilla at the end. It is hands down my all time favorite beer – for any time of the year. It’s not too heavy – just the right amount of flavor depth to cause you to slow down and enjoy it. It’s not too high in alcohol, so you’ll be fine to enjoy a few while you’re talking with friends. In my humble opinion, it’s like the Goldilocks of beers – It’s just right.
The vanilla stout has become a favorite of our friends and family, and we’re sure that it will become one of your favorites too. The vanilla stout will be one of our core beers – and you’ll always be able to find it on tap at Trek.