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Celebrate St. Paddy’s Day With These Thick, Chocolatey American Stouts


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This article was updated.

When most people think of St. Patrick’s Day, their thoughts typically travel to rowdy, green-clad partiers, corned beef and cabbage, and, of course, Guinness. The famous Irish stout is the go-to drink for revelers from Dublin, Ireland to Dublin, Ohio and there are few beverages so synonymous with one holiday (margaritas and Cinco De Mayo run a close second).

But after you’ve had a few pints of the black stuff, you might have an urge to grab for something else to pair with your bangers and mash. Luckily, if you want to continue drinking stouts, there’s a whole universe of excellent American options that can easily be swapped in for your tried and true Guinness.

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

Obviously, this stout is a bit different from Guinness. If you’re grabbing a bottle of Black Chocolate Stout, you’re probably eating dessert or relaxing after the big St. Paddy’s Day meal. This rich, chocolatey, Russian Imperial Stout definitely demands respect — especially at a ten percent ABV.

Founders KBS

You can’t pop into your local bodega and pick up a six-pack of Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout. That doesn’t mean that you can’t find it. In fact, this coffee and chocolate-centric bourbon barrel-aged stout was available in Michigan-area Meijer stores earlier this week. If you can find a bottle, it pairs perfectly with bangers and mash.

Deschutes Obsidian Stout

This 6.4 percent stout is rich, malty, and full of roasted sweetness. Also, if you like not-so-subtle coffee flavors in your beer, then Obsidian is for you. Luckily, on top of all the richness, this beer still has a slight hop presence that perfectly balances everything out.

Upslope Oatmeal Stout

This five percent oatmeal stout is sessionable and smooth. Once you pick one up, you might not want to grab for any other beer for the rest of the holiday. This style differs from the dry Irish style, as it’s brewed with malts, hops, and oats. It’s sweet and full of roasted malt flavor. The lighter ABVs makes it the perfect accompaniment to rich St. Paddy’s day fare.

AleSmith Speedway Stout

San Diego’s AleSmith has made a name for itself in the craft beer world in the last few years. One of its best beers is its Speedway Stout. This 12 percent ABV Imperial Stout is definitely supposed to be enjoyed in moderation — think of it as a sipping beer. This perfect after dinner beer is full of roasted malts, chocolate, and rich caramel. It also gets an added kick from the local coffee that is added to each batch.

Lefthand Nitro Milk Stout

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If you’ve never tried a milk stout before, Lefthand’s nitro version should be your first. This six percent brew is heavy on the roasted coffee flavors. But, it also has hints of vanilla, chocolate, and cream (from the lactose sugars that are added to make it a ‘milk’ stout). It’s pretty much the closest thing to alcoholic chocolate milk you can hope to find.

Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout

This six percent stout was named after the city in Michigan where Bell’s Brewery calls home. It’s a subtly sweet, roasted malt-fueled stout that carries an extra kick of hops at the backend. It’s a perfect gateway stout for those unsure if they like darker beers.

Great Lakes Blackout Stout

This 9.9 percent Russian Imperial Stout is named for the famous 2003 blackout in which over 55 million people along the eastern seaboard had no power. It pours pitch black like the infamous night and is a perfect balance of roasted malts and crisp hops.

Oskar Blues Tenfidy

The folks at Oskar Blues got pretty literal when they named this beer. That’s because this imperial stout sits at a potent 10.5 percent ABV. Made with two-row malt, chocolate malt, roasted barley, flaked oats, and hops, this is a truly complex (and delicious) beer.

Goose Island Bourbon County Stout

If you’re like us, you probably grabbed a few bottles of Bourbon County Stout when it became available back in November. If you didn’t, find someone willing to share because this 14.1 percent bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day. Imbibing one is like drinking a boozy chocolate and bourbon cake in liquid form.

Warning: Afterwards, you might not have any room for corned beef.

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