We know that many people find themselves intimidated at the thought of trying a darker beer. We get it – they look scary compared to a light lager or an IPA.
You might not know what to expect, but that’s OK. We’re here to tell you why you shouldn’t be scared to try beers that land on the darker end of the spectrum.
The first step to enjoying a dark beer is to abandon any and all pre-existing stereotypes of dark beers that you have in your mind.
While many believe that the darker color of a beer equates to being heavier, more bitter, or higher in alcohol content, this isn’t always the case. While it may be true sometimes, don’t write off all dark beers based on these assumptions.
The darker color of the beer is actually related to the malt content. Chocolate malt and grains with a heavier roast create the darker color of a beer. So, a lighter beer in color can actually be heavier than a dark beer if it was brewed with more grain (i.e. more sugar), meaning it has a higher ABV.
While yes, there are many darker beers that are actually heavy and have a high ABV, there are plenty of styles that appeal to the dark-beer beginner. If you are looking for something that is darker in color but still light in body, try a porter or dry stout.
With an average ABV of 4-5 percent, and relatively low bitterness, these are an especially good option if you enjoy the flavors of coffee and chocolate. Porters and dryer stouts are a great option to dip your toe in the pool of darker beers.
Brown ales are also a great style to start with, as they tend to have a lighter body, but full flavors of light coffee, chocolate and roast. (Including the 7.62!)
Once you get accustomed to the flavor profile of lighter, dark beers, you can then move to try the heavier, higher ABV brews.
Some dark beer are also aged in barrels, hence the terms “barrel aged”. Beers can be aged in a variety of barrels, ranging from gin to bourbon and even rum barrels. This allows the beer an additional level of complexity, combining the flavors of the selected barrel to pair with the flavors of the base beer (Bourbon, scotch, etc.).
With the cool weather rapidly descending upon us, now is the perfect time to come and let those porters and stouts warm you up during the winter.