February is Stout Month at one of Boulder's favorite local brew houses, The Mountain Sun, and her sister pub, the Southern Sun. That means that the brewery's talented team of beer crafters has been competing collaborating, and creating for the past months to present a robust list of featured stouts, including everything from Belgian Dip Chocolate Stout on nitro tap to a dreamy Coconut Cream Stout.
Stout beers are dark and smooth, often with a hint of sweetness brought on by roasting the malt or barley used in the recipe. The creamiest of those is milk stout, which is made with lactose (the sugar in milk.) Another variety is oatmeal stout, containing oats in the grain mixture for an exceptional smoothness in the finished beer.
Mountain Sun has several examples of both of these types, as well as imaginitively flavored varieties, on their featured list. Try a flight of different kinds to taste test the whole spectrum, or nurse a pint of an old favorite. My staple there is the Old School Dry Irish Stout, while featured favorite from many Stout Month celebrators seems to be the Coconut Cream.
Whatever you choose, the festive atmosphere in this rather cold an dreary time of year is the perfect antidote to a bored palate. Take advantage of the variety and enjoy some of the area's finest craft brews.
Make strawberries with a tart stout-balsamic reduction sauce.