Dark beer has had me vexed recently. Or rather, the lack of dark beer I’ve seen on tap in my favourite bars has. I’m not just talking about stouts either. I’m witnessing a complete lack of stouts, dunkelweizens, doppelbocks, brown ales and extra special bitters. The pale and the hoppy seem to be dominating beer menus wherever I go.
Not that this is a huge problem, I like pale and hoppy beer an awful lot but I like a wide breadth of choice even more. What’s perplexing is that right now brewers are knocking out more variations of styles than ever before, so why is there this lack of stouts? Well it’s simple, we’re just not drinking enough of them and pubs don’t like to stock beer that doesn't sell quickly. So I implore you, the drinker, to rediscover great dark beer this winter.
One of my very favourite stouts is being brewed right here in London by Bethnal Green’s Redchurch Brewery. Of course you might know Redchurch better for their superb Great Eastern IPA or perhaps Paradise Pale Ale. You might even know them for their innovative sour beers. Truth is their stouts, such as their flagship Hoxton Stout, blow these beers out of the water.
Hoxton Stout walks the line between being rich and satisfying to being uncomplicated and refreshing. This is what makes it a great stout. You can sit and sip at this beer, dwelling on the dark chocolate and heavily roasted coffee notes before marvelling at the blast of Simcoe hops in the finish. Or you can simply knock back a pint and let it chase the winter out of your system. We desperately need to see more stouts of this quality pouring in our pubs, so we’d better drink as much as possible in order to convince our landlords that it’s worth it.