Attention beer lovers: February’s Stout Month is back. Vine Street Pub & Brewery is preparing to tap nearly 60 varieties of stout for this year’s 20th annual celebration. Throughout the month, Vine Street (and two of their Boulder locations, Mountain Sun and Southern Sun) will each serve one keg of every type of beer on this month's special stout menu. That’s almost 180 kegs to run dry.
This year's Stout Month has a particular focus: local community. “I wanted to put as many Colorado beers on tap as possible,” says John Fiorilli, the Mountain Sun Breweries’ director of brewing operations. So far, the lineup features 28 Mountain Sun beers and 27 visiting beers from brewers statewide.
Homebrewers got in on the action, too, with the annual Homebrew Contest. Held in December, the contest’s winner gets to brew a batch using Mountain Sun’s facility. This year, winner James Kunz aged an English-style stout on toasted rum-infused oak spirals (he first soaked the oak in Kraken Black Spiced Rum) to create “The KRAKEN.” “The beers are always so cool and we have a lot of freedom to make crazy stouts,” Fiorilli says. Often, the homebrew flavors from previous years' competitions are favored so much by Stout Month patrons that Mountain Sun will recycle a select few beers back into the current stout celebration. Returning favorites for 2013 include: 48 Smooth Chai, Coconut Cream, and Girl Scout (Chocolate Mint) Stout.
Mountain Sun is introducing four never-before-tapped flavors, including two collaborations: The Cherry Chocolate Stout—brewed with cocoa powder and over 300 pounds of Dark Sweet and Red Tart Cherries—was created with FATE Brewing Co. and will premiere for Valentine’s Day. The Mutual Respect Belgian Coffee Stout—a Belgo-American Imperial made with cold-extracted coffee yeast—is the product of their work with Odell Brewing of Fort Collins. “We’re so excited to pour someone else’s beer and to go and brew with other brewers,” Fiorilli says. “The beers themselves come out really cool because you have the opinions of different brewers weighing in.”
Batches are limited in supply, so we recommend grabbing a glass as soon as your favorite keg is tapped—you don’t want to miss out on the stout.
Bonus: If you like craft beer, you'll love our Ultimate Guide to Craft Brewing in Denver.
—Image Courtesy of Will Dozier and PorchDrinking.com.