Fall is the time of year for hunkering down and indulging in a few of our favorite brews and bites. Let’s take a look at two very different but equally well-loved beers that are just right for the season: the stout and the pils.
What is a Stout?
A stout is a satisfying (some might say downright decadent) beer – creamy, rich and full-bodied. It’s made with roasted barley or malt, which gives it its signature deep brown or black color. A good stout should have a thick, foamy head, ranging in color from light tan to brown. A common misconception about stouts is that their dark color makes them bitter, but on the contrary; they tend to be silky, smooth and easy to drink.
Traditionally, stouts were brewed strong at high gravities. But in recent years, craft brewers have diversified the types of stouts they make, and many are now available with lower alcohol content.
Stouts are malty and offer a complex array of flavors, from chocolate to coffee. They pair very well with both sweet and savory foods. A pint of stout is a particular favorite with cold-weather comfort foods: burgers and steaks, pot roast, chocolate truffles or apple pie.
What is a Pils?
The pils (or pilsner) is one of the most popular beer styles in the world. The first pilsner was brewed in the Czech town of Pilsen in the 19th century, and it’s seen many different variations and adaptations since.
The key to the pils’ success is that it’s so darn likeable. It delivers a crisp, clean flavor, as well as a light to medium body and a pale color with a white head. It has subtle malty and spicy hopped notes, but it’s overall a simple and very drinkable beer.
Pilsners are also versatile for food pairing, and they complement a long list of dishes. A pils makes a great companion to everything from grilled sausages and spicy pad Thai to creamy cheeses and sweet pound cake.
Dogfish Head Beers to Try
This is one of the earliest Dogfish Head beers, and it’s still available in small batches on draft only in our brewpub. It’s made with roasted chicory, organic Mexican coffee, St. John’s Wort and licorice root, plus hops and oatmeal. It’s amazing with food, especially chocolate.
This winter seasonal favorite is a Czech-style pilsner brewed with white pear tea and pear juice during the boil. The sweet fruity flavors blend perfectly with the spicy hops for a refreshing and complex beer.