BEER COLUMN: Stout offering on darker beers

Sue Cooper at Little Valley Brewery, Cragg Vale, with their Stoodley Stout.
Sue Cooper at Little Valley Brewery, Cragg Vale, with their Stoodley Stout.

Spring might be a long time coming, but on the upside there’s still time to knock back some darker beers before the weather warms up. 
Stout or porter? 
The terms are largely interchangeable, either way, they have a bit of a reputation as an old man’s tipple. That’s a terrible misconception. 
The dark body and creamy head may be pretty much uniform, but the tastes and textures on offer are definitely not.
Take ‘Baltic Porter’ (7.2%) from Manchester micro-brewery, Cloudwater. 
This is a particular favourite of mine - a brooding, complex beer with well-balanced caramel and liquorice flavours. A sublime drink. 
A recent trip to Walkley Beer Company saw me come away with a magnificent raspberry stout from Hardywood. At 9.2% it’s hardly a session drink (not to mention its £9 a bottle), but this rich, tasty stout – a combination of tart raspberries and dark chocolate - is definitely one for the discerning quaffer. 
Another high-concept favourite is ‘Millionaire,’ (4.7%) a gorgeous chocolate and salted caramel milk stout from the ever-impressive Wild Beer Company. 
The tasting notes reckon the beer ‘dresses you in a smart suit and takes you out for a special night on the tiles.’ Quite!
Thornbridge has a couple of strong tasty darks in its vast range, too. ‘Fika,’ (7.4%) a cold brew coffee flavoured stout and ‘Cocoa’ (6.8%) which, as the name suggests, is chocolate-based. 
Both are winners. 
A local classic has to be Bradfield Brewery’s no-frills Farmers Stout (4.5%), which has just bagged a couple of awards at Rotherham Real Ale and Music Festival. 
After ploughing through a case of it at Christmas, I can see why – it’s fabulous, no-nonsense stuff. 
Probably the best new stout I’ve had recently is ‘Yardsman’ (4.3%) from the Hercules Brewing Company in Belfast. 
A delicious creamy-headed treat that is said to be based on a recipe their head brewer unearthed from the 1800s. 
Of course, not to be outdone, there’s always room for a pint of Guinness. 
If you’ve never imbibed the black stuff, then the chilly evenings should spur you into trying it. 
After all, as the famous advertising slogan claims, it’s good for you! 

* Send your Sheffield beer news and suggestions of ales for beer columnist Kevin Meagher to try to telegraph@jpress.co.uk. 


Stout or porter?

The terms are largely interchangeable, either way, they have a bit of a reputation as an old man’s tipple. That’s a terrible misconception.

The dark body and creamy head may be pretty much uniform, but the tastes and textures on offer are definitely not.

Take Baltic Porter (7.2%) from Manchester micro-brewery, Cloudwater.

This is a particular favourite of mine – a brooding, complex beer with well-balanced caramel and liquorice flavours. A sublime drink.

A recent trip to Walkley Beer Company saw me come away with a magnificent raspberry stout from Hardywood. At 9.2% it’s hardly a session drink (not to mention its £9 a bottle), but this rich, tasty stout – a combination of tart raspberries and dark chocolate – is definitely one for the discerning quaffer.

Another high-concept favourite is Millionaire, (4.7%) a gorgeous chocolate and salted caramel milk stout from the ever-impressive Wild Beer Company.

The tasting notes reckon the beer ‘dresses you in a smart suit and takes you out for a special night on the tiles.’ Quite!

Thornbridge has a couple of strong tasty darks in its vast range, too. Fika, (7.4%) a cold brew coffee flavoured stout and Cocoa (6.8%) which, as the name suggests, is chocolate-based.

Both are winners.

A local classic has to be Bradfield Brewery’s no-frills Farmers Stout (4.5%), which has just bagged a couple of awards at Rotherham Real Ale and Music Festival.

After ploughing through a case of it at Christmas, I can see why – it’s fabulous, no-nonsense stuff.

Probably the best new stout I’ve had recently is Yardsman (4.3%) from the Hercules Brewing Company in Belfast.

A delicious creamy-headed treat that is said to be based on a recipe their head brewer unearthed from the 1800s.

Of course, not to be outdone, there’s always room for a pint of Guinness.

If you’ve never imbibed the black stuff, then the chilly evenings should spur you into trying it.

After all, as the famous advertising slogan claims, it’s good for you!

n Send your Sheffield beer news and suggestions of ales for beer columnist Kevin Meagher to try to telegraph@jpress.co.uk.