11/10/21: Odd Side Ales' Rye Hipster Brunch Stout

4:22 PM

Remember two years ago, when I drank Odd Side's Hipster Brunch Stout? Back then, I'd said my dad was able to find a pack for my in the wilds of Michigan bottleshops. See, I'd seen the beer online and figured it'd be worth featuring in my inaugural maple month; I wasn't wrong.

As fate would have it, my dad also picked up this bottle of Rye Hipster Brunch for me. Tonight's beer, though, was a surprise because, frankly, I wasn't aware of the stout's existence. I've been holding onto my bottle for a bit now (it's officially one year aged), and I'm ready to crack into it.

Grand Haven, MI's Odd Side Ales began brewing in a pub back in 2010 (before I was legally able to drink). Now a decade and a handful of expansions later, they pump out beer and seltzer in their own, enormous brewing facility. Regardless of how they've grown, they're still dedicated to unique, great craft brews.

Rye Hipster Brunch Stout's listed on Odd Side's "All Our Craft Beers" page (about three-quarters of the way down) as an 11% ABV stout featuring coffee, bacon, maple syrup, and rye malt. The resulting beer slumbered for some time in rye whiskey barrels before being packaged and sold. My bottle is largely in agreement with this description, excepting the ABV--the label I'm holding boasts 12.7%.

The biggest note I'm finding on the stout's bouquet is, unsurprisingly, the rye: It's brash, strong, and unforgiving. But, lurking just below this boozy surface are notes of coffee, chocolate, maple, and a hint of bacon smoke. Purrl, after much coercing, gave my bottle five whiffs. This came after a few minutes (and pictures) of her refusing to acknowledge the beer.

I'm finding coffee, chocolate, and maple all vying to be the first flavor present in my initial swig. After this, though, comes the heavy, boozy rye. This hangs about in the incredibly (talking minutes, here) long finish, accompanied first by bacon, then coffee and chocolate, which are followed, at last, by maple, before all aforementioned flavors reside amicably until the finish dies down. By that point, you're set for another pull.

Rye Hipster Brunch's mouthfeel is precisely what I want: robust, full, almost (but not quite) syrupy. Nearly barleywine-esque. When I think of how a boozy stout should drink, it's this. You need to feel the heft of the beer.

I'm a bit bummed at myself for making this post an evening one. Rye Hipster Brunch is actually a breakfast beer. I can just imagine posting up on my porch in the morning one Saturday and breaking into my bottle while the sun rises over the lake across from my house. I'd relish the chill calm of the morning and really take my time getting to know the beer before diving into my post. The sun would rise higher and dispel the fog. What a morning that'd be.

Reading this post, it probably shouldn't shock you when I say that I prefer Odd Side's Rye Hipster Brunch Stout to the base version of the beer. Seriously, this is an experience. It's a little sweeter than it would be to earn my highest recommendation (ironic, given that it's a maple beer during maple month), but it still gets an easy 9.0/10.

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