March 28, 2023

The One Stout You Always Need To Stock In Your Fridge, According To Craft Beer Experts

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!

Guinness Foreign Extra Stout

Guinness Foreign Extra Stout Guinness

George Hummel, grain master of My Local Brew Works in Philadelphia

ABV: 7.5%

Average Price: $10 for a six-pack

The Beer:

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.

Tasting Notes:

Smooth, dark, slightly sweet yet slightly tart. The aroma and flavors of of freshly ground medium roast coffee.

Allagash North Sky

Allagash North Sky Allagash

Rob Day, vice president of marketing at Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers in Framingham, Massachusetts

ABV: 7.5%

Average Price: $12.99 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

The Beer:

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.

Tasting Notes:

This Belgian-inspired stout is filled with flavors like dried fruits, roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee.

Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout

Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout Samuel Smith’s

Peter Zien, owner of Alesmith Brewing in San Diego

ABV: 5%

Average Price: $10.99 for a four-pack

The Beer:

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.

Tasting Notes:

The palate is loaded with flavors like dark chocolate, barley, roasted malts, and sweet caramel. The finish is slightly bitter and totally pleasing.

Beamish Stout

Beamish Stout Beamish

Ryan Pachmayer, head brewer at Yak Yeti Brewpub and Restaurant in Arvada, Colorado

ABV: 4.1%

Average Price: Limited Availability

The Beer:

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.

Tasting Notes:

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.

Firestone Walker No Ends, Only Beginnings

Firestone Walker No Ends, Only Beginnings Firestone Walker

Dave Ziolkowski, head brewer at Arts District Brewing Company in Los Angeles

ABV: 12.5%

Average Price: $17.99 for a 500ml bottle

The Beer:

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.

Tasting Notes:

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.

Deschutes Obsidian Stout

Deschutes Obsidian Stout Deschutes

Ryan Joy, lead brewer at Green Flash Brewery in San Diego

ABV: 6.4%

Average Price: $9.99 for a six-pack

The Beer:

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.

Tasting Notes:

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.

Central Waters Black Gold

Central Waters Black Gold Central Waters

Garth E. Beyer, certified Cicerone and owner and founder of Garth’s Brew Bar in Madison, Wisconsin

ABV: 13.8%

Average Price: $29.99 for a 22-ounce bottle

The Beer:

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.

Tasting Notes:

It’s boozy. It’s chocolatey. It’s just a damn fantastic blend of barrel flavors and malt artistry in a bomber bottle.

High Water Campfire Stout

High Water Campfire Stout High Water

Teddy Bell, brewer at Living The Dream Brewing Co. in Littleton, Colorado

ABV: 6.5%

Average Price: $15.99 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

The Beer:

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.

Tasting Notes:

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.

North Coast Old Rasputin

North Coast Old Rasputin North Coast

Kyle Warren, lead brewer at Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing Company in Framingham, Massachusetts

ABV: 9%

Average Price: $8.99 for a four-pack

The Beer:

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.

Tasting Notes:

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.

Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout

Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout Left Hand

Judy Neff, founder and brewer at Checkerspot Brewing Company in Baltimore

ABV: 6%

Average Price: $12.99 for a six-pack

The Beer:

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.

Tasting Notes:

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.