One day, after hours spent in the freelancing trenches, our editor came back to Edible headquarters to discover the publisher and a thirsty neighbour in hopelessly giggly form. The forensic evidence was on full display—an empty (650mL) bottle of Parallel 49 Brewing’s Russian Imperial Stout. This big, burly beer is an astonishing 11.7 per cent alcohol, which explains the sloppy grins as they proceeded to wax poetic about its cocoa-coffee notes. Aged in whiskey barrels for extra deliciousness, it’s a seasonal offering that usually appears just as Jack Frost shows up to nip at your nose.
Stout ales are as perfect for the cold season as the lighter lagers and saisons are for summer. Typically dark and hearty with rich flavours that come from roasting the grains, they’re the beer equivalent of reaching for a sweater and a toque. BC’s explosive craft brewing scene has opened the taps on stout to warm you this winter, and they’re not all as alcohol-forward as the silly-making beverage described above. The American Rye Stout from Doan’s Craft Brewing Company is a tamer brew with 6.2 per cent alcohol—and it won gold in the stout/porter category at the 2015 BC Beer Awards.