Ray's Craft Beer Newsletter
Chocolate Beers
February 2013
Volume 2 Issue 4 
Dear Rays Craft Beer Lovers,
Valentine's Day may be over, but any time of year is great for chocolate! In this issue we'll explore beers that delight our palates with that cacao derived deliciousness. Don't have a sweet tooth? Don't worry, there will be options that will appeal to you. We'll wrap things up with a special offer as a thank you for your loyal readership.




Dan Downes
Sixpoint 3Beans
Southern Tier Choklat
Vanilla Bean Buffalo Sweat
Youngs Double Chocolate
Special Offer
Why do we have to choose?
Sixpoint 3Beans

Check out this video about the making of 3Beans and how the brewery recovered from Hurricane Sandy here.
Our first beer is a story of three beans -- cacao beans, coffee beans and Romano beans. The first two are probably familiar, but that third might seem a bit odd. It's actually an Italian snap bean that could be summed up as a meatier green bean. Now while it may seem weird to have legumes in your beer, there's actually a historical precedent. Celt and Slavic tribes used them due to the difficulty of acquiring an ample supply of barley. The beans were thrown into the mash at a high temperature where it pulled out the starches and supplied fermentable sugars.

If Celtic brewing arts still haven't allayed your worries, all fears will be washed away once you taste it. Forget Folgers in your cup, 3Beans smells just like your morning cup of coffee with a touch of chocolate sneaking in on the tail end. As you drink it, the Stumptown coffee and roasted tones come strong up front, but then transition to cocoa mid-palate with a finish of slight oak and vanilla. An amazing junction of ancient techniques and modern innovation, this beer is a lot more fun than any anthropology homework!
Southern Tier Choklat


All the beers we'll discuss have incredible flavors, but what if you really like chocolate? If that's the case, the latest installment of the Southern Tier Blackwater series has you covered. If you're looking for liquid chocolate, this is the beer for you. 
Pouring an opaque brown, this beer exudes chocolate essence. Essentially dessert in a glass, there's still enough bitterness creating a drink bordering the line between milk and dark chocolate. The chocolate is clearly at the fore, but brown sugar and roasted/toasted tones provide another layer of flavor.  Lightly carbonated, the rich body really coats your tongue, but finishes clean in this 11% treat. If you don't like this beer, you don't like chocolate!


Milk Stout

Around the 1880s, a changing palate in England forced brewers to move towards producing sweeter stouts. Due to technology and brewing techniques of the time, these sweeter stouts had an incredibly short shelf life. Just after the turn of the 20th century, though, the milk stout answered the public's desire for a sweeter stout while giving breweries a more stable product. Legend has it that the milk stout originated with the practice of selling stout with a shot of actual milk. This was normally done during lunch breaks as a "rejuvenating" drink. Eventually brewers realized they could make these drinks much more easily by using lactose (aka milk sugar) instead of actual milk. Since lactose is an unfermentable sugar, it remains in the beer after the brewing process. This not only makes the beer sweeter, but also gives it a bit more body and creaminess. The sweetness also counteracts the roasted character of the malt. In the 1940s, British courts deemed the term milk stout misleading because the beers contained no actual dairy, so you may also see them listed as a "sweet stout."
Vanilla Bean Buffalo Sweat

You may be familiar with Buffalo Sweat Oatmeal Cream Stout from Tallgrass Brewing. Well, this is their latest beer that takes the original Buffalo Sweat and ages it on Ugandan vanilla beans producing a smooth, fresh vanilla flavor throughout the entire experience. Seeing that this is a milk stout, the residual lactose sugar really balances things out and gives it a light toastiness. On the nose, there will be notes of iced coffee, bittersweet chocolate and you guessed it...vanilla.  Medium-light bodied, where some stouts hit you over the head with roasted malt, this is a testament to subtlety and precision. There's a vanilla undertone throughout, but the toasted components also meld to provide a smooth mocha-like flavor as well. This beer tastes vanilla, but in this case, it's a compliment! 
Youngs Double Chocolate Stout

Another milk stout comes from Wells & Young's out of Bedford, England. It says "Double Chocolate" on the label, and once this beer in your glass, you'll understand why. This beer combines dark chocolate and chocolate malt to produce a creamy, full-bodied beer. Sweet enough to satisfy your sugar craving, but balanced enough by the classic English Fuggle and Goldings hops to keep you reaching for more. Well-balanced, think of this as chocolate milk all grown up. Available in bottles, I prefer it in nitro cans to provide that smooth mouthfeel. Slightly dry in the finish, mix this with a little bit of Lindeman's Framboise for a liquid chocolate covered raspberry!
Special Offer!

First off, let me just say that it's been a blast writing the beer newsletter the last few months. I've enjoyed sharing a passion for craft beer with everyone and appreciate all feedback I've received. Hopefully you've had as much fun reading (and imbibing) as I have. As a token of appreciation for all the support and enthusiasm, this issue comes with a special offer. Come into Ray's and purchase any of the beers in this issue and receive 10% off! You've always been told that reading is good for your, but who knew it could help you save money on craft beer?
Save 10%
Receive 10% of all beers featured in Volume 2 Issue 4 of the Ray's craft beer newsletter. Thus, it is limited to Sixpoint 3Beans, Southern Tier Choklat, Tallgrass Brewing Vanilla Bean Buffalo Sweat and Young's Double Chocolate Stout. No limit. Not redeemable with any other special offers. 
Offer Expires: Sunday February 24th at 5:00pm
Thanks again for subscribing to and reading Ray's craft beer newsletter. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to email me at dandownes@rayswine.com

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Dan & the gang at Ray's

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