24 Beers of Christmas – December 18th: Kichesippi Bristol Stout
Milk and beer, an unlikely partnership. Today’s beer is from Kichesippi Beer Co. of Ottawa. Besides having a name that I routinely have difficulties spelling correctly and having might-nice-to-look-at packaging, Kichesippi are also pretty good at brewing beer. Bristol Stout is one of their best. As the cow on the can might suggest, this beer has a dairy connection. It’s brewed in a Sweet Stout sub-style called a Milk Stout.
Milk Stouts can trace their origins back to England towards the end of the 19th century. There Porter brewers were forced to begin producing subdued versions of their dark ales to compete against the growing popularity of the English Mild. By the 20th century, ales were being produced using lactose sugar. While some claim that actual milk was used in the production of early milk stouts, the more likely source of the sugar was from cheese-making facilities, where it would have been a byproduct. Milk Stouts were billed as nutritional beverages, high in iron and rich in carbohydrates comparative to a glass of milk. For that reason, these Stouts became very popuar during the undernourished period after World War I.
Today’s Milk Stouts are valued much more for their flavour and texture than any health benefits. Lactose sugar is unfermentable, which helps to create a creamy mouthfeel while also providing a good deal of sweetness. Bristol Stout, though not as sweet as some commercial examples, is true to the spirit of the Milk Stout. It has a light-medium to medium body, with a great roastiness off the top, followed by cocoa, coffee, vanilla. Some grain bitterness and a slight underlying herbal hop bitterness mingles with the sweetness as well.
Style: Sweet Stout – 4.8% ABV, 36 IBU,
Food pairings: Korean BBQ, Camembert, Powdered Donuts
Availability: LCBO, The Beer Store