The Irish Times Magazine - - DRINK - SOR­CHA HAMIL­TON

You’ll see more stouts hit­ting the shelves over the next while, now that the weather is fi­nally get­ting chilly. But not too many – the black stuff is less prom­i­nent among the of­fer­ings of Irish mi­cro­brew­eries than you might ex­pect, though that’s prob­a­bly down to the dom­i­nance of one big brand in the mar­ket, of course.

Among craft drinkers, the de­mand for IPAs far out­weighs those for other styles – so just like red ales or lagers, stouts are un­likely to de­throne the IPA as the king of craft beer.

That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of fine craft stouts out there.

Choco­late is a good flavour match for all the dark, roasted char­ac­ter of a stout, and Sligo’s White Hag brew­ery has re­leased an oat­meal milk stout with choco­late.

The White Sow is 5.2 per cent, made with co­coa and it has a vel­vety- smooth mouth­feel, a touch of sweet­ness ( from the lac­tose) and a nice round­ing bit­ter­ness.

Cof­fee is an­other in­gre­di­ent you’ll reg­u­larly find in craft stouts, and Wick­low brew­ery O Brother this month re­leases its sea­sonal Joe Cof­fee Porter ( 6.4 per cent). This year it’s made in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the cof­fee com­pany Cloud Picker, with beans sourced from a small finca in El Sal­vador – look out for it in cans or on draught ( at Un­der­dog and Brick­yard in Dublin, among oth­ers). Moondust by Dead Cen­tre Brew­ing is a 5 per cent porter made with cof­fee from Bell Lane com­pany in Mullingar, Co West­meath. This lim­ited edi­tion porter is in­fused with a blend of Su­ma­tran, Colom­bian and Brazil­ian beans to give it a lovely aroma, while you’ll get dark choco­late and cof­fee in the flavour with a bal­anced fin­ish­ing bit­ter­ness. This poured with a tight, full head and left some fine lac­ing on the glass.

@ ITbeerista

beerista@ irish­times. com

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