1st International Stout Day

Posted by Darryl | Bars, Holidays, Restaurants, Stout, Tastings | Posted on November 8th, 2011

Stout Day LogoThursday, November 3, 2011 was the first International Stout Day (@StoutDay), and it gave me an opportunity to not only drink a stout or two (something I could most anytime really), but also allowed me to try several new stouts that had never crossed my palate before. My plan for the day was to visit Ladyface Alehouse in Agoura Hills (@ladyfaceale)– a place I visit somewhat regularly — then dinner at Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood (@BluePalms_Brew) on my way to a LA Kings’ home game, finishing with a stop at the Yard House (@YardHouse) at LA Live after the game — a regular stop for me. I think I was fairly successful in the day’s journey.

STOP #1 – HOME
Since Stout Day started at midnight local time, and since I was at home at the time, I started my observation of Stout Day with my own Muddy Runoff Oatmeal Stout. This was the 2nd stout that I had home-brewed and was bottled back on February 23, 2011, long before Stout Day was conceived. This was also the last bottle of it (that I know of). With 6.3% ABV, a nice head on the pour, and a smooth flavor, it was a good way (IMO) to start the day, even if it was basically the end to my Wednesday night.

STOP #2 – LADYFACE ALEHOUSE (Agoura Hills)
With a much later departure on Stout Day afternoon from home base than I originally intended (waiting around for my Stout Day Sidekick) I first headed to Ladyface to get through their Stout Day flight of 4:

I’d never had the Double Stout nor the Santa’s Little Helper, but I’ve downed more than a few Velvet Merlin and Old Rasputin pints over the past year or two. (I actually have a wallet made from an Old Rasputin six-pack box.)

I thought that all 4 beers were great examples of quality stouts. While I would most definitely drink them all again, the Double Stout was my least preferred while the Old Rasputin was my favorite of the flight. I really enjoy the taste and the creamy mouthfeel of the Old Rasputin, which is why I liked it just a little bit better than the rest.

About half-way though the flight I spotted Stephen Johnson (@darthweef), John Holzer (@johnholzer), and Matt Becker (@SmallBatchBrew) of New Brew Thursday (@NewBrewThursday) getting seated on the patio a couple of tables over from me. I had been introduced to Stephen (via Skype) a couple of nights earlier, so of course I couldn’t resist the opportunity to introduce myself and meet them all in person. Nice guys, but if you watch New Brew Thursday (which you should) you already know that.

Lucky for the NBT guys, I had to get going if I was going to experience more stouts so I couldn’t stick around to be a fan boy. Time to head off to Blue Palms Brewhouse.

STOP #3 – BLUE PALMS BREWHOUSE (Hollywood)
I’d had the pleasure of visiting the Blue Palms only once before when I was attending a show at The Music Box Theater at the Henry Fonda; adjacent to the brewhouse. That was back in 2010, only 6 days after I had been first exposed to the wide varieties of craft beer at the Orange County Beer Festival. Even though I was new to the world of Beer Variety, I knew then I would have to return in order to more fully experience their beer menu with 24 craft beers on tap.

Unfortunately I had not been able to return to Blue Palms until Stout Day, but it was a good return. Their featured food for the day was the Chili Cheese Fries — something I’m now craving as much as the beer — which we had as an appetizer. I followed up with their Sausage Plate: a choice of 2 sausages (I had Wild Boar Andouille and Smoked Venison) over a bed of house spiced sauerkraut with caramelized onions and sliced serrano peppers. A great meal, but we weren’t here just for the food.

I let the waitress know that I wanted to try as many of their stouts as I could, in observance of Stout Day. With 7 stouts on tap this day, she first brought me a flight of 4, followed by tasters of 2 more:

My partner for the day’s adventure ordered a full glass of Totality Imperial Stout by FiftyFifty Brewing (10% ABV), and was gracious enough to let me get a sufficient taste of it as well.

I had only ever had the Yeti before, and it was far and away my favorite of the selection at hand. I did notice that it tasted slightly different from when I’ve had it previously; as recently as just a few days earlier. I highly suspect that had to do with the selection of other brews that trickled over my tongue, which also means that my taste of those might change the next time that I have them; but I didn’t dislike any of them regardless. The Class V and the Cow Stout ranked together with the Totality next on this list, followed close behind by the Blue Bridge, the Bulldog, and finally the Speedway. The Speedway was still okay, but I definitely picked up a taste of alcohol…albeit very slight.

Before leaving Blue Palms and heading to the Los Angeles Kings’ game, I was lucky enough to see Erin, The Beer Goddess (@TheBeerGoddess); organizer of The First International Stout Day, my friend of many years, and the person that pointed me towards craft beer. Kudos to her for the effort!

STOP #4 – THE YARD HOUSE (Los Angeles)
You may have read some of my posts about my Yard House Quest, in which case you’d know that after LA Kings’ home games I’ll pop in at The Yard House to work towards completing my quest. Unfortunately, on this night the Yard House was extremely busy and there was no room at the bar. I decided not to forgo waiting for a spot or a table, primarily because I was heading further south for the evening in order to be in San Diego in the morning for breakfast. With as many stouts as they have on tap, it was a hard choice to make, but the responsible and logical one.

 

Overall it was a great day! I got to meet people, see friends, taste GREAT beer for the first time, and also talked to many people about stouts! So what’s next on the calendar? PorterDay? WizenDay? Lets hope it’s good, and it’s soon!!!

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2 Responses to “1st International Stout Day”

  1. You are a true champion of International Stout Day, Darryl, and we admire your dedication to the brew. Thanks for including us in your plans. As for Porter Day, you can have your own special day anytime with our Picture City Porter. Looking forward to seeing you at Ladyface Alehouse & Brasserie again very soon!

  2. Doug Brown says:

    Hey, we observed stout day at my house with the plain old Yeti! We were stout twins, kind of.

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