Founders Double Chocolate Coffee Oatmeal Breakfast Stout


Founders Double Chocolate Coffee Oatmeal Breakfast Stout: Thanks, boss!

I had every intention of remedying the unfortunate beer inventory situation today, but yet another round of sloppy, irksome winter weather mangled my precisely-timed travel plans, landing me at my beverage emporium of choice several hours after the accursed 9pm deadline. This tragic turn of events threatened to rain doom upon Brew du Jour, nearly ending my impeccable streak of daily beer consumption. Fortunately, failure was averted due to the heroic efforts of my benevolent boss.

I’ve mentioned previously that I have 3ish jobs, all of which I adore partly because of some great bosses. Today, one of these exceptional supervisors saved the day by leaving a lovely potable gift in the office fridge for me. Of course, retrieving said gift involved a frantic midnight expedition through the snow that nearly resulted in a run-in with a metro bus. Luckily, all parties survived the trip and daily tasting responsibilities were fulfilled.

Noting my affinity for Founders beers, the boss gifted me a Double Chocolate Coffee Oatmeal Breakfast Stout. As its name implies, this is a potent concoction brimming with intense flavors and aromas. On the pour, whiffs of coffee and chocolate mixed with distinctly grainy notes emanate from this dark, viscous liquid. The flavor is mainly roasted chocolate, but a decidedly coffee-like acidity becomes apparent on the finish. While Breakfast Stout is impressive, it’s a bit too sweet and chocolatey for my taste. In the extravagant dark beer category, I much prefer Founders Porter, which offers a bit more balance and subtlety. The facts:

Founders Double Chocolate Coffee Oatmeal Breakfast Stout

Style: Stout
Availability: Seasonal (winter)
ABV: 8.3%
Hops: Not Specified
Notes: Intensely sweet and chocolatey, with coffee-like acidity on the finish.
More Info:
My Take: Impressive, but to sweet for my taste. I’ll stick with the Porter .

Magic Hat Heart of Darkness

Magic Hat Heart of Darkness

Magic Hat Heart of Darkness: Better than the book.

In my heavily biased opinion, libraries are pretty amazing places. All that knowledge stockpiled in one place, chaperoned by helpful and attractive librarians, is pretty exciting. The one that I work in is more spectacular than most. After all, in how many other libraries does work sometimes consist of setting up and testing out a human foosball court in the stacks?

Though I love my job at the library, it does have a few downsides. The most egregious of these is that my reference desk duties sometimes conflict with Friday evening happy hour. Today being one such occasion, I chose to console myself after work with a very literary beverage selection: Magic Hat Heart of Darkness.

While I recall throughly despising Joseph Conrad’s novella of the same name when forced to dissect and interpret it ad nauseum in a high school English class, I found Magic Hat’s Heart of Darkness to be quite pleasant. The two Hearts of Darkness do share some similarities, however, as Magic Hat’s intensely dark stout is about as complex as Marlow’s trip down that blasted river. Rich roasted coffee and chocolate flavors augmented with a very slight hint of smoke give way to a lingering bitterness that ends with a faintly fruity flavor. An entirely delicious experience. The goods:

Magic Hat Heart of Darkness

Style: Stout
Availability: Seasonal (winter)
ABV: 5.7%
Hops: Apollo, Goldings
Notes: Intensely dark and complex. Roasty up front, with a tiny hint of smoke. Tapers off into lingering bitterness mixed with slightly fruity flavors.
More Info:
My Take: Absurdly delicious; much better than the book.

Pangaea Lilja’s Sasquatch Stout

Pangaea Lilja's Sasquatch Stout: brewed with real Sasquatch musk

Pangaea Lilja’s Sasquatch Stout: brewed with real Sasquatch musk

January in Wisconsin is an exercise in fortitude. With wind chills lingering well below zero all day, rolling myself into a fleece cocoon and barricading the door would have been a reasonable choice. Instead, I donned a full suit of long underwear and managed a 2-hour urban trek around my fair city before losing feeling in my upper extremities and cursing my ancestors for their dubious immigration choices. This calls for a beer.

Today’s selection, Lilja’s Sasquatch Stout, comes from Pangaea Beer Company, a somewhat ambiguous entity that exists more in the conceptual than the concrete. Pangaea is technically located in Neshkoro, WI, but its beers are all contract-brewed by Sand Creek Brewery of Black River Falls, WI. Further details on Pangaea Beer Company are approximately as elusive as Sasquatch himself, so I’ll skip to the beer.

Since Sand Creek produces some mighty fine stouts of its own, I had high hopes for this one. Lilja’s Sasquatch, however, turned out to be fairly unremarkable. It certainly wasn’t bad, but I would only choose it again in the absence of any other reasonable options. A dry, intensely dark stout, Sasquatch had a peculiar aroma dominated by alcohol and something…else. Leather, maybe? Or bits of real Sasquatch? Not at all sweet, Sasquatch was bitter up front and left a not entirely pleasant sour aftertaste. To summarize:

Pangaea Beer Co. Lilja’s Sasquatch Stout

Style: American Stout
Availability: Year-round
ABV: 7.0%
Hops: Simian, Tradition, Millennium
Notes: Intensely dark. Bitter, with a sour aftertaste. Smells like Sasquatch musk.
More Info:
My Take: Meh. Not offensive, but worthwhile only if nothing better is available.

Side Note: It’s Madison Restaurant Week – one of 2 weeks during the year that fancy-pants dining establishments (whose typical meals cost more than I make in a day) fling open their doors to the riff-raff by offering fixed price menus hovering around $30 for dinner or $15 for lunch. 

Lots of good eats to be had, if you don’t mind dining with the feeling that staff can’t wait to bust out the Lysol when you leave. Restaurant week runs Jan 20-25; check out the menus here: .