What are the best breweries in the United States for dark beers?

What are the best breweries in the United States for dark beers?
  • Aug, 2 2023

The Dark Side of Beer: Brewing with Boldness

Let's dive deep into the heart of some of the best craft breweries specializing in dark beers within the United States. These mistresses of malty magic, the sultans of stout, demonstrate a confident command of crafting beers that are audacious in their rich flavor, bold intensity, and ebony hue. They embody the spirit of the nocturnal brewer, prowling around their vats under the cloak of darkness, coaxing forth these sublime, shadowy nectars. We’ll explore each one and learn what makes the dark beer from these breweries stand out.

Midwest Nights: Founders Brewing Co.

Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Founders Brewing Co. has an indomitable reputation for its preference for the exotic, offbeat, and out-of-the-norm beer styles, especially when it comes to dark beers. Brewed with ten varietals of malted barley, its sumptuous 'Kentucky Breakfast Stout' (KBS) is a force to be reckoned with. The assertive concoction is left to age in oak bourbon barrels nestled away in caves beneath the city. In these subterranean depths, the stout takes on a life of its own, absorbing intricate notes of vanilla, cocoa, and coffee. This combination creates a symphony of flavor that would intrigue even the most discerning beer connoisseur. It's an immersive experience, not unlike descending into Batman's cave and emerging with a pint of liquid treasure.

Rocky Mountain Veil: Great Divide Brewing Company

Nestled at the foot of the breathtaking Colorado Rockies, Great Divide Brewing Company boasts a pioneering spirit that’s mirrored in their innovative brews. Their dark beer crowning glory is the Yeti Imperial Stout. Like the elusive creature, it's known for its powerful disposition and complex character. Roasted malts lend waves of burnt caramel and strong coffee notes, with a slight hint of toffee sweetness to achieve a near-perfect balance. Appreciating this brew is akin to mountaineering – a challenging endeavor, but it offers rewarding sensations at daring heights.

Touched by Pacific Mist: Deschutes Brewery

In the rustic and soulful town of Bend, Oregon, Deschutes Brewery has gained acclaim for their charismatic Obsidian Stout. Its namesake is a volcanic glass that can be found in the Cascade range overlooking the city, offering a clue to the beer's robust and glassy character. With a velvety richness, the Obsidian Stout makes a stout claim (excuse the pun) to a sensory explosion of mocha, espresso, and chicory flavors. It's a west coast love-letter to the aficionados of full-bodied beers, much like an instrumental symphony captured in a bottle.

From the shadows of the Appalachians: Highland Brewing Company

Spotlighting the southern tradition, Highland Brewing Company, located in Asheville, North Carolina, embodies the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. Their Black Mocha Stout exhibits the rugged persona of the surrounding peaks, unfiltered and unapologetic. Its compelling blend of chocolate and coffee flavors hints at the Mexican chocolate cake one might discover in grandma's kitchen, only bottled and with an added kick. For me, it's a touch nostalgic, reminding me of a childhood spent in the Appalachian wilds dabbling in homemade brews with my old man.

Sun-Soaked So-Cal Darkness: The Bruery

The Bruery, nestled in the sunny suburbs of Placentia, California, has garnered a cult following for its innovative beers, including their acclaimed Black Tuesday Imperial Stout. The creation process sounds as if some twisted alchemist has been meddling, with the stout aged in bourbon barrels and reaching an astonishing 19.5% ABV. The Bruery releases these bottles of this liquid noir only once a year on a Tuesday in October, and the result is a decadently dark concoction, an almost sinful concoction of molasses, vanilla, caramel, and toasted oak. It's rather surprising how a beer so dark can come from a place so well-lit and sunny.

The Final Pour: Summing Up the Darkest Brews

Only by touring the diverse landscape of the United States can one truly appreciate the full complexity of the dark beer brewing culture. The breweries mentioned here are not just producing run-of-the-mill stouts. These are destinations, portals into realms where obsidian meets decadence, where the night sky is captured in a glass. Years of meticulous brewing and an unwavering dedication towards novelty have elevated these dark beer maestros onto an international stage. So, my dear readers, find a dark corner, pour a dark beer, and revel in the intrigue of these nocturnal brews. It’s a heady trip to the dark side, and trust me, you won't want to come back.