One of the greater things about watching football in America is that most matches, especially those of the EPL, are early in the morning American time, giving people an excuse to daydrink. This is part of our series discussing exactly what to drink when you’re at the pub, presented by our resident homebrewer, Keith.
The Beer: Oatmeal Stout, Samuel Smith’s Brewery, Tadcaster, England
The Pub: The Queen Vic, in Northeast DC
What you Need to Know: Samuel Smith’s Brewery was founded in 1758. The brewery, well-known as one of the most bare-bones breweries in the world, is also famous for its fermentation vessels, which are large open square slate tanks (as opposed to most breweries’ closed cylindrical/conical stainless steel or copper fermentation tanks). The “Yorkshire Squares” impart a snappy, mineral flavor to the beers. Samuel Smith’s was also one of the first and most well-known to proudly tout its organic grains, as its lager has been labeled as “Organic” for as long as it’s been made.
Oatmeal stout is a fairly popular version of the stout style, which we have covered WELL in depth here at the Halftime Pint. The oats here are used to smooth the mouthfeel and add a little sweetness to the beer.
So, About this Beer: Pouts a deep brown with ruby highlights and a thin tan head. Roast and mineral heavy on the aroma. Sharp sweetness mixes with a nice roasty nuttiness. Slightly vinous mouthfeel with light carbonation.
The Verdict: There’s never a bad time for this beer. It’s one of the most basic, straightforward oatmeal stouts you’ll ever have, but it’s what all the good funky ones are based upon. It is, as James May himself might say, Genesis. Try having this instead of a Guinness next time you’re in the mood for a stout.