When in doubt, go with stout. This motto is one I often fall back on when my taste buds are burnt out from ultra-hoppy IPAs or peppery Belgian ales and need something soothing to drink. Stout is wonderful style that embodies moderation: low alcohol content, warmer serving temperature, bitter without being hoppy, sweet without being lip-puckering and smooth mouthfeel with a dry finish. A good stout’s flavors are assertive without affronting the senses with a bold challenge, perfect for a stand alone pint at the bar.
And while I love the occasional Guinness when I’m stranded in a beer-desert, here in the Midwest there are plenty of alternatives I would rather choose. One of my favorites is Brau Brothers Moo Joos (pronounced Juice), an oatmeal milk stout good enough to drink at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Brau Brothers inspiration for this stout was to reflect the culture of Southwest Minnesota in the tiny town of Lucan where the brewery is located: largely pastoral with farms with herds of cattle grazing. To the Brau Brothers credit, the product is every bit idyllic as the town.
Moo Joos pours a dark and smooth with a creamy brown head that gives you a perfect milk mustache. The nose is slightly roasty with coffee, rich chocolate, and toffee aromas and the mouthfeel is like velvety hot chocolate. The slight bitterness from the roasted malts expertly offsets the malt sweetness, while the oats round out the body and provide a little extra whole grain flavor. For those who dislike the dryness of certain Irish stouts, this milk stout pleasantly finishes sweet and smooth.
Best Enjoyed: At a pub, in a flared imperial pint glass on an empty stomach.
Best Paired With: Usually I prefer my stout by itself, but I also love to pair it with fruit or a rich desert for a decadent experience.
Where to Find: Across all of Minnesota, Western Wisconsin and Northern Iowa.
Find out more about this great Minnesotan brewery at their website.
Stouts are like chocolate milk for adults. Share your favorite by tweeting @MidwestBeer or by posting on our Facebook.