Wondering What To Get for V Day?
Fear not, beer is DEFINITELY the answer. I mean, no doubt most of us ladies love chocolate. But beer with chocolate notes? That’s a win. Especially appropriate for a holiday that falls mid winter, and well let’s admit - a holiday many of us might spend by ourselves at a bar. If this is your scenario, you are certainly allowed to gift yourself a beer on this occasion.
Which brings me to a round of suggestions for stouts & porters, which are great winter warmers. And if you are planning on having oysters as part of your romantic-night meal, you are in luck - the creamy mouth feel of a stout pairs fantastically with those delicious bivalves. Here are some of my favorites that I have tried, as well as a few I have yet to try but are certainly on my list of things-to-drink-before-the-snow-melts-2013.
The Grid lays out a few good selections. Amsterdam’s Tempest Imperial Stout has definitely been on my list for some time now, however I can’t say i’m a fan of recommending serving beer “warm” (what does that even mean, you microwave before serving? Gross). Additionally, if you are looking to start experimenting with cellaring/vintaging beers, this would be an excellent place to start. I would also like to add a couple other of their selections to my want-to-try list - Lion Brewery’s Sinha Stout, and Great Lakes 25th Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout is a definite must. Frankly, I like everything they make - try their Harry Porter as well if you haven’t. Last pick of mine on this lit is Granville Island’s Lion Winter Ale. Not a stout or a Porter, but a very interesting, chocolatey ale. And it pairs fabulously with an aged hard cheese. Try it with a Dutch Beemster.
Still others I would love to try, and would make a handsome gift would include Muskoka Brewery’s Winter Beard - Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout. Though the price tag might make you shiver, your recipient will truly appreciate this bottle. Howe Sound Brewing’s Pothole Filler Imperial Stout is another pricey choice - but with a 96% on RateBeer you can feel confident those hard earned looneys (loonies? IDK, new to this bird coinage) will be well spent. An last, the much harder to find (only on tap, only this winter, and likely only around Ottawa) and probably also the most adventurous pour would be HogsBack Brewing Co’s Aporkalypse Now. That would be a bacon-oatmeal stout. Yep, you read that right. And can you please just look at the adorable farmer couple posing with their prize pig? That little pork chop it’s just the sweetest thing, and I would be delighted to taste his bottled demise.
So that rounds up the want-to-try’s, and I will leave you with two other options that I HAVE had - and are delightfully fantastic. The first would be Grand River’s Russian Gun Imperial Stout. Made in southern Ontario and encapsulating a historical reference, this beer will warm any beer geek’s (or geek-geek’s) heart. And it comes with an irresistible price tag. Might as well buy 6. Also fantastic is Saw Dust City’s Skinny Dipping Stout- a perfectIy suggestive name for the occasion. I definitely taste some cinnamon in there, and I definitely like it.
On a closing note - major props (yes, I really did just use that phrase) to all the Breweries on this list for resisting the urge to give rhyming names to their stouts (Although Lights Out Stout is fantastic to hear in a Canadian accent).