11/3/19: Odd Side Ales' Hipster Brunch Stout

11:22 AM

Welcome to maple season post number two! I'm halfway through my NaNoWriMo word count for the day, so I figure now might be a good time to take a break and look at another maple-flavored beer.

Today's offering comes from Michigan's Odd Side Ales. I'll admit, I've had this beer a time or three before. I got wind of it and asked my dad, who spends a good deal of his time in the Mitten State, if he'd seen it. A few days later, he told me he'd nabbed a four-pack.

So, since I've had it before, I'm drinking this beer at room temperature--I've found that sipping on it when it's any colder dulls the flavors. Now, without further fanfare, here we go: Hipster Brunch Stout.

Grand Haven, MI's Odd Side Ales (here's their "ABOUT" page) was founded in the city's old piano factory in 2010. Since then, the brewery, which is focused on bringing high-quality, unique beers to the masses, has undergone three expansions. They're now operating out of a 44,000 square foot brewing facility.

Hipster Brunch Stout, found on Odd Side's "All Our Beers" page, is an 11% ABV stout bourbon-barrel aged stout that's been brewed with maple syrup, bacon, and coffee. Sounds like a mighty fine breakfast to me.

There's a lot of chocolate in the bouquet. In fact, that's predominate aroma. Under that, I get maple and bacon. If there's supposed to be coffee here, I'm not picking up on it. And that's all about all I get. It's a really sweet nose that's tempered by the savory smokiness of the bacon. It definitely screams "breakfast," or, I guess, "brunch." Purrl cat gave my bottle eleven whiffs, which means the beer's pretty okay by her.

There's a bit more to unpack in the stout's flavor than its nose, but not a whole lot. I get chocolate and bacon, maple and coffee (it's here, but not super prominent), and banana along with a sweet milk stout sugariness. Overall, although this doesn't have the overt mapliness I look for in beers that tout maple syrup as an ingredient, Hipster Brunch is well-crafted.

In the mouthfeel arena, the stout is velvety smooth. I mean, sure, there's some carbonation, but it's incredibly mild. Velvety is the adjective I chose, and I stand by that choice.

My dad and I split a bottle of Hipster Brunch earlier this year on a warm, summer Saturday. We tried it cold at first, and we were each fairly unimpressed. It wasn't until we'd let our glasses warm that the stout's flavors started coming to the fore. Sure, it's a cold November day, but it's all summer here in my living room right now as I'm working on my bottle of the stout.

Although I do wish the maple was more pronounced, this is a very confident beer. Odd Side's crafted a fine breakfast brew with Hipster Brunch Stout. I'm giving my bottle a 8.5/10. If you get some, be sure to bring it up to room temperature before breaking into it!

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