Despite nearly five years writing fairly regular “top [number] beers for [occasion]” posts for blogTO, I’m actually not a huge believer in the idea that you need to change your drinking habits based on the seasons.
Drink juicy IPAs in the winter if you want. Enjoy boozy, barrel-aged beasts in the throes of August. Drink Pumpkin beer never. Whatever.
That being said, I do find that I tend to crave darker beer around the time the leaves start to change and so this seems like as as good a time as any to take a look at what I feel is an oddly-overlooked category here in Ontario, namely stouts. Now I know there are plenty of brewers who make great imperial stouts, and I know that there are brewers who make seasonal, occasional, or one-off stouts, but frankly I’m not sure when we decided that that dark beer was something we only needed from time to time and when we decided stouts needed to have double digit ABV, be bourbon-barrel aged, or include chili-peppers, or vanilla.
And so with that in mind here are five well-made, widely-available, year-round stouts (and one probably-soon-to-be-year-round) that are worth checking out this fall. Or winter. Or whenever. Continue reading