We’ll never tell you what beer to drink at a particular time of year because there’s a place for every style, regardless of the weather outside. But we’re definitely partial to stouts during the frigid (often frosty) winter months. And we mean all stouts — Irish dry stouts, milk stouts, oatmeal stouts, imperial stouts, and barrel-aged bangers.
We can’t get enough of the warming, roasty, chocolate-filled style. Particularly during those short, frigid February days.
This is why we keep a few stocked all winter long. Those heavily invested in the beer world are no different from us, so we asked a handful of well-known craft beer experts, brewers, and beer professionals to tell us the one stout they always have in the fridge. Keep reading to see all of their picks!
George Hummel, grain master of My Local Brew Works in Philadelphia
Average Price: $10 for a six-pack
Sometimes you have to go with a classic: the Guinness Foreign Extra Stout is the stout I cut my teeth on as a young pup. It was one of the beers that opened my eyes to the universe of flavors beer can have.
Smooth, dark, slightly sweet yet slightly tart. The aroma and flavors of of freshly ground medium roast coffee.
Rob Day, vice president of marketing at Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers in Framingham, Massachusetts
Average Price: $12.99 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans
I like to stock Allagash North Sky. This is a Belgian perspective on classic stout flavors, and I think the phenolic yeast character pairs very well with roast and light bitterness.
This Belgian-inspired stout is filled with flavors like dried fruits, roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee.
Peter Zien, owner of Alesmith Brewing in San Diego
Average Price: $10.99 for a four-pack
Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout is a beer I always keep in my fridge. A classic style with dark roasted malts that is silky, smooth, complex, and has a bittersweet finish.
The palate is loaded with flavors like dark chocolate, barley, roasted malts, and sweet caramel. The finish is slightly bitter and totally pleasing.
Ryan Pachmayer, head brewer at Yak Yeti Brewpub and Restaurant in Arvada, Colorado
Average Price: Limited Availability
Always is a stretch, but Beamish is nostalgic for me and when I see it, I’ll grab some. Decades ago, when we were lucky enough to be in a huge liquor store, we’d explore beers by country. Germany was always fun, but dry stouts were another big attraction. Beamish became our favorite and a regular pick up.
Chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, and a nice, dry finish. It’s difficult to beat the appeal of a Beamish if you can find it outside of Ireland.
Dave Ziolkowski, head brewer at Arts District Brewing Company in Los Angeles
Average Price: $17.99 for a 500ml bottle
I sat on some cans of Only Beginnings, the collaboration between Highland Park Brewery and Firestone this year and started drinking them recently. A hefty and roasty 12.5% ABV stout with vanilla and Amburana wood.
This was a great cold-weather camping beer – well balanced dodging the total melted ice cream body that’s in fashion lately, with great hop presence and cinnamon cereal sweetness from the Amburana.
Ryan Joy, lead brewer at Green Flash Brewery in San Diego
Average Price: $9.99 for a six-pack
Obsidian Stout from Deschutes in Oregon is always a go-to for me. A moderate ABV makes it so you can enjoy a couple and its available just about everywhere. It’s just a classic, well-made stout.
Notes of bitter dark chocolate, caramel, dark roast coffee, and a hint of smoke are balanced by a generous hopping rate to keep any sweetness in check.
Garth E. Beyer, certified Cicerone and owner and founder of Garth’s Brew Bar in Madison, Wisconsin
Average Price: $29.99 for a 22-ounce bottle
The one stout I keep stocked in my fridge is Black Gold by Central Waters because you never know when you’ll need to open a beer for a celebration, or a friend drops by to split something, or you get invited to a bottle share.
It’s boozy. It’s chocolatey. It’s just a damn fantastic blend of barrel flavors and malt artistry in a bomber bottle.
Teddy Bell, brewer at Living The Dream Brewing Co. in Littleton, Colorado
Average Price: $15.99 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans
A stout that I always keep stocked in my fridge is Campfire Stout by High Water Brewery. It’s actually brewed with molasses and graham crackers and tastes as close to a s’more in beer form as possible. It’s a great beer to have on hand, especially during the winter months.
In the simplest terms, it tastes like s’mores. With its notes of graham cracker, dark chocolate, and roasted malts, it reminds me of hanging around the fire camping with friends.
Kyle Warren, lead brewer at Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing Company in Framingham, Massachusetts
Average Price: $8.99 for a four-pack
North Coast Old Rasputin. Everything you could want in a Russian Imperial Stout, nothing more. Old Rasputin is loaded with aromas of dark chocolate and roasted malts.
The flavor balances more roast, espresso, and dark fruity malty sweetness. It’s full-bodied and finishes slightly bitter. I like it best on nitro.
Judy Neff, founder and brewer at Checkerspot Brewing Company in Baltimore
Average Price: $12.99 for a six-pack
I only keep our stout stocked in the fridge. But, if I had to pick another great stout, I’d go with Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout. I would order that out at a bar if I were ordering a stout. It’s creamy, roasty, and surprisingly easy to drink.
It starts with a nose of dark chocolate and vanilla beans and moves into a creamy palate of even more chocolate, vanilla, and roasted malts.