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DRINK

Stouts in the summer?

Don’t pigeonhole your beer drinking this summer

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When it’s 1,000 degrees outside and you’re sitting by the pool, you’d be hard-pressed to get me to recommend having a hefty stout. It wouldn’t make sense. Who wants something rich, complex and potentially decadent when the sun is melting you? No one. But let’s get serious: The fact that it is blazing hot outside is sort of irrelevant when you’re sitting pretty in your air-conditioned-living room. When it comes to beer, summertime is all about brews that are clean, crisp, fruity and bright, like pilsners, kolsch, session IPAs, wheat beers and fruit-flavored brews — I’m not questioning that. I’m just saying that when you’re sitting comfortably in your air conditioning, you shouldn’t hesitate to grab a beer that doesn’t exactly scream summer. Your palate will appreciate the change-up and the nuances of something different. I was on a trip recently where I found myself enjoying several super hoppy IPAs over the course of a few days. It was great but my mouth was eventually saying no more. Despite the heat, I asked for a chocolate peanut butter milk stout and it was an incredible experience: sinfully smooth, incredibly flavorful and extraordinarily different than anything else I’d been drinking. It reminded me how much I love stouts. To review, don’t grab a Guinness at your next summer cookout, but consider doing just that this Friday night in your cool living room when the Red Sox are driving you insane again. It doesn’t have to be a stout — grab a brown ale or a Belgian tripel. The point is to shake things up. Here are five New Hampshire beers you should go-to when your taste buds need something different this summer.

Imperial Brown Ale by Schilling Beer Co. (Littleton) At 8.2-percent ABV, this is a big beer, with big bold flavors. Like the chocolate peanut butter stout I mentioned above, it sort of shocks your taste buds into remembering how much you like the rich flavors of roasted malts. This is huge on flavor and even though it’s a big beer, it didn’t bog me down, even outside on a hot day. Cake by Beara Brewing Co. (Portsmouth) This is an oreo cookie-infused java porter. Full stop. You’re drinking iced coffee with Say yes to a stout this summer. Courtesy photo. regularity this summer, so why not toss in the goodness of oreos? Further, this is dangerously Square Tail Stout by Moat Mountain close to an ice cream cake in a glass—I have a strong suspicion that’s the goal behind this brew. Smoke House and Brewing Co. (North Beara also features Hog Wilde, a bacon chipo- Conway) tle barbecue-infused stout that might also blow This is your classic English dry stout, which your mind as an “alternative” summer brew. is actually far better suited to hot weather than you might think. This is creamy and well-balKing of Scots by Earth Eagle Brewings anced, and while it is rich, it’s not “too much.” (Portsmouth) Jeff Mucciarone is an account manager with Talk about a change of pace, this gruit, which is an ancient style of beer brewed without hops, Montagne Communications, where he provides is brewed with heather and juniper. The lack of communications support to the New Hampshire hops makes for a smooth brew with impressive wine and spirits industry. complexity. Earth Eagle is also currently offering Angelica Rosa, a gruit with angelica root, rose hips and knotweed. What’s in My Fridge Working Man’s Porter by Henniker Brewing Co. (Henniker) This is robust yet incredibly drinkable. Along with big notes of roasted malt, you’ll pick up a subtle fruitiness that works really well in the summer — a perfect slow sipper.

Gunner’s Daughter Milk Stout by Mast Landing Brewing Co. (Portland, Maine): Peanut butter, chocolate, and coffee — the time of year really doesn’t matter when you put those three things together. Cheers!

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FLAVORS OF THE WEEK OREO WITH REESE’S PEANUT BUTTER CUPS (L) AND REESE’S PEANUT BUTTER CUP FROM THE BEACH PLUM IN NORTH HAMPTON

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