In the beer world, February is synonymous with Stout Month, a more-or-less made-up holiday that involves drinking pint after pint of these dark, luscious beers. As far as anyone knows, the Front Range team behind Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery, Southern Sun, Under the Sun, Long’s Peak and Vine Street Pub & Brewery came up with the idea and launched the first-ever stout month in the early 1990s. The rest, as they say, is history.
Stout month caught on for several reasons. For starters, it’s February, arguably one of the coldest, darkest months of the year along the Front Range. Drinking stouts with friends gives people something to look forward to. On top of that, Stout Month is really a celebration of innovation and ingenuity — breweries big and small make very creative stout beers with all sorts of flavor combinations and profiles, some that can be a little out there. Either way, it’s fun to try a whole bunch of new beers over the course of a month.
Though it’s not clear whether the Mountain Sun family of breweries will be hosting stout month this year (COVID has been a challenge!), there are still plenty of ways to celebrate around the Front Range. Below are a few of our favorites.
Know of a brewery or taproom that we missed? Let us know so we can add it to this list!
MainStage Brewing, a new taproom that opened in Lyons in May, is going all out for Stout Month this February. The brewery will have 28 different stouts on tap, ranging from Weldwerks’ Alpine Chateau — an imperial milk stout made with milk chocolate, milk sugar, cocoa powder, marshmallows & Swiss Miss hot chocolate — to Left Hand Brewing’s classic nitro milk stout, plus tons of others. (And if stouts aren’t your thing, they’ve still got hard seltzer, a pilsner and a few IPAs on tap!)
WeldWerks Brewing Co.
Head to Greeley to celebrate stout month at WeldWerks, which has brought back by popular demand its Evil Pastry Stout Factory. It’s a 6.5 percent milk stout brewed with lactose, peanut flour, maple syrup and vanilla.
Uhl’s is a relative newcomer on the Boulder scene, taking up residence in a cozy garage-esque brewery in East Boulder. They’ve got a ton of different stouts on tap right now for you to enjoy.
One is Coffee Roasters, an 8.2 percent imperial milk stout made with Ampersand Honduras Coffee. They also put a tasty spin on their usual Schtuft Stout by making it a bold 9 percent imperial stout with raspberry, blackberry, vanilla and graham crackers. Other innovative stouts include: Barrel’d Vanilla & Cinnamon Treat (an imperial candy bar stout aged for 14 months in bourbon barrels with vanilla and cinnamon), the Peanut Butter Barrel’d Treat (an imperial stout infused with Reese’s peanut butter and aged in a bourbon barrel) and the Barrel-Aged Adjunct Calendar (an imperial stout made with roasted peanuts, coconut flakes, toasted marshmallow, graham cracker, bourbon vanilla beans, Mallo Creme, raspberry puree, toasted coconut, Tahitian vanilla beans and maple syrup, then aged in a whiskey barrel). Yum!
A jaunt down to Denver is worth your time to try FlyteCo‘s special Ski Plane Stout. This 5.6 percent American stout has notes of coffee, chocolate, roasted coffee and more.
Warm up for an afternoon in Arvada with LUKI‘s 5.6 percent Fire Pit Stout, which tastes like cinnamon, chocolate and brown sugar. This circus-themed brewery is sure to put a smile on your face with their other, cleverly named concoctions too. Case in point: Their hard seltzer is appropriately named “Clown Tears.”
Avery doesn’t mess around when it comes to huge stouts (and other beers) that pack a real punch. Head to Gunbarrel to sip their Mary Ann’s Pie, a whopping 14.5 percent imperial milk stout aged in bourbon barrels with toasted coconut and key lime or their 15.1 percent Gorpe Diem, an imperial milk stout aged in bourbon barrels with cacao nibs, raisin and peanuts. Right now, they also have their Out of Bounds stout, Out of Mind stout, 2018 Finer Things stout and 2017 Barrel-Aged Mephistopheles stout on tap.
Our Mutual Friend Brewing
You can’t go wrong with a stout brewed with coffee. In the case of Our Mutal Friend‘s Arafel beer, it’s brewed with Denver’s Novo Coffee, which is delicious in its own right. It’s a big, bold imperial stout with 10 percent ABV, so be sure to bring a designated driver or plan a staycation.