Yards Chocolate Love Stout

Yards Chocolate Love Stout

I am coming to the conclusion that I was English in a former life. And no, I don’t mean I’ve come to love soccer or have an affinity for overcast weather. Rather, over and over I’m running into English style beers that I fall in love with. As a result of this revelation, I’m dying to go to Great Brittan and go beer-frolicking.

Yards Chocolate Love Stout is another case supporting my English reincarnation theory. Upon first sip, I was head over heels for this 6.9% ABV English Stout. It’s madly chocolatey, with strong notes of cacao nibs as well as vanilla beans. I can list a number of other reasons this beer rocks:

  • It poured with a fantastic head.
  • It is super drinkable and didn’t get me smashed, despite polishing off a 750ml bottle.
  • The bottle finishes just as delicious (and possibly more so) as when I first opened it; terrific stone cold or room temperature.
  • Melissa even liked this beer, saying that it was possibly her 2nd “favorite” beer ever. Favorite being relative for a woman who dislikes beer.

As a final note, our own Silvio has reviewed a bunch of Yards Brewery beer. This is my first time having something from them, as this is brewed out of Philadelphia and isn’t available in New England. I would like to pause for a moment to brag that Silvio has not reviewed this one. Suck it Silvio! (Just kidding bud, xoxo)


Yards Chocolate Love Stout

Big Sky Brewing Company

Big Sky Brewing Company

My crazy-but-awesome summer continues with a week-long trip to Montana, primarily to hike Glacier National Park. It’s honestly the most beautiful and unspoiled place I’ve ever been, and I’d encourage everyone to check it out before global warming melts all the namesake glaciers (roughly 20 years from now).

I flew into Missoula, Montana early today and promptly banged out a five-mile hike up Sentinel Mountain, known for its 2,000-foot view above the city. Pretty sweet start to the trip, but I worked up a serious thirst and paid a visit to Big Sky Brewing Company’s nearby taproom. I loved tasting their brews on tap during my last trip to Missoula in 2011, so I couldn’t wait to try them right from the source.

Silvio in Missoula

There’s only one thing better than good beer, and that’s free beer – exactly what the awesome folks at Big Sky will give you! Guests are encouraged to try up to four flight-sized beers per day for free, so damn skippy I tried the heck out of their brews.

Big Sky Brewing Company beer list

First up was the seasonal Summer Honey Ale, brewed with Montana honey and Pacific Northwest hops. Summer Honey was pretty much what you’d expect – clear straw color, wheaty and sweet aroma, with a crisp honey sweetness through the middle and  touch of hops on the end.

I went a bit hoppier for my second beer with the Trout Slayer Wheat Ale, a pale ale brewed with a blend of Northwestern hops. Like the Summer Honey, this brew was what I expected, and still quite good. Trout Slayer has a big hops bite up front and a long bitter end note, and it can hang with any other pale ale out there.

Big Sky Trout Slayer

Big Sky’s iconic Moose Drool brown ale was up next, I’ve had this beer before, but not in years, so I’d forgotten just how good it is. Moose Drool pours out the color of root beer, with a syrupy-sweet aroma and creamy foam crown. This brew is dominated by molasses at the start and a bit of chocolate through the middle, but balances out nicely with a roasted malt end note.

Last, but certainly not least, Big Sky IPA. I’ve reviewed this beer and believe I’ve seen it in D.C.-area beer stores, so I knew I was in for a treat. Grassy hop notes dominate the pour, and stanky hops pretty much punch the back of your throat on the first sip. Big Sky mellows out with some grassy hops through the middle, and closes on a long crisp bitter end note.

Obviously, Missoula isn’t around the corner from most folks. But if you ever find yourself in this part of our great country, make sure to order some Big Sky on tap. And, if you’re lucky enough to see their brews on the shelf, pick some up!

Never take beer (or life) too seriously