In another article, we implored you to forgo Guinness and other mass-produced imports for local brews that pack more freshness and flavor. My opinion hasn’t changed, and our local beer scene continues to improve and evolve. And if you are looking to step up your own brewing skills, check out the beer brewing program at the Philly Beer School.
Donnybrook Stout: a Local (Philly) Choice
My first choice, in fact for a stout would surely be Victory’s Donnybrook Stout. Donnybrook, however, like many other Irish-style stouts, is one of those creamy, distinctive beers that are only available on nitro tap (meaning that nitrogen is used instead of carbon dioxide in the carbonation process). Because nitrogen is largely insoluble in liquid, beers made in this method tend to have a deceptively thick mouthfeel and offer that distinctive cascade up the glass after being poured.
Guinness, of course, as well as several other internationally-known nitrogenated beers has long made its signature stout available in a can with a widget at the bottom that approximates the effect of the nitro tap. For those of us who want to enjoy these wonderful beers at home, these macro-brewer widget cans have been our only option.
Milk Stout Nitro: The National Choice
Until Left Hand Brewing Company’s Milk Stout Nitro, that is. These guys, see, have somehow figured out how to bottle nitrogenated beer with no widget. Once opening the bottle, you turn it completely upside down (over a glass!) and let it vigorously and completely pour out. If done correctly, a classic nitro cascade with being only moments away… as will the taste of a freaking delicious stout. This baby is fresh, and smooth, and chocolatey. The bottom line, this is gulping beer.
I must, of course, point out that Left Hand is not a local brewery (it’s in Denver, CO). It is, however, an American brewery, much closer to Philly than Dublin, and heck, they’re even calling this beer “America’s Stout”. Bold words? Not behind this deliciousness.