November is here, which means that pumpkin's still around but it's finally making way for flavors such as vanilla, pecan, maple, cinnamon, and chocolate. Summer's crisp, citrus-forward hefeweizens and clean, hoppy IPAs are now sharing the stage with the dark pours of roasty, malty, chocolate, vanilla, coffee-forward porters and stouts.
To help you navigate these fall flavors, we've compiled a list of five great porters and stouts brewed locally in metro Phoenix — and just in case you need an excuse to grab a drink this week, today is International Stout Day. Celebrate with one of these Arizona beers.
Morning Sex Stout
The Brewery: Beer Research Institute
Style: Coffee sweet stout
ABV: 5.1 percent
Morning Sex Stout is a sweet stout brewed with local cold-pressed coffee from Peixoto Coffee in Chandler. The pour is very dark, almost black, and the smell of coffee hits your nose from the start. And the coffee doesn’t finish there — this beer hits your mouth with delicious roasted coffee notes while finishing smooth and sweet. Interesting fact: The Peixoto coffee used in this brew is cultivated directly from a family-owned farm in Brazil.
The Brewery: Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company
Style: Porter/brown ale
ABV: 5.9 percent
This dark brown pour definitely evokes feelings of fall, hitting you first with a sweet aroma, followed by a spice-forward, warm, and toasty mouthfeel. It's a unique brew made with locally grown Steadfast Farm date and cinnamon, making for a nice balance of sweet and spicy throughout. It's got a warm-your-belly-while-sitting-by-the-fire appeal.
Candy Bar Milk Stout
The Brewery: Fate Brewing Company
Style: Milk/sweet stout
ABV: 6.0 percent
This 2013 Great American Beer Festival silver medal winner was named by its local fans and remains a much sought after seasonal offering. A dark, almost black pour, it hits first with a smell of chocolate and peanuts — which turns out to be a good indication of the flavor. The beer is filled with roasted peanut flavors, chocolatey sweetness, and smooth caramel-like notes, successfully pulling off a candy bar-like appeal.
Black Caddis Porter
The Brewery: Wren House Brewing Co.
Style: American Porter
ABV: 5.5 percent
Named after a fly-fishing lure, this blackish pour has a dry, roast-y flavor with hints of chocolate and coffee. This brew is made with German Chocolate rye, which creates a slight bitterness from the roasting of the grain, and ultimately rounds out the solid balance of this nice chocolate-coffee porter. Interesting fact: The German chocolate rye used in this beer comes from a German Malter, the only one in the world that provides this product.
The Brewery: Huss Brewing Co.
ABV: 4.75 percent
Though not technically a stout or a porter, this brew earned its place on this list due to its unlikely and unique characteristics. The Koffee Kolsch pours golden just as you’d normally expect from a Kolsch-style beer — but when it comes to the smell and taste, you have to take a second look and remind yourself that this is neither a stout nor a porter. It hits your nose with a sweet hazelnut aroma while the flavor adds coffee and chocolate to the mix. This beer scrambled our senses, in a good way, and for that we think it deserves a try for all you porter and stout fans out there.