Got Beer? New Brews to Try

Stony Creek Golden Mocha Stout

I’ve never met a Stony Joe before. I’ve met a Stoner Joe, but I doubt this is going to be even remotely like that encounter. For one thing, I don’t have the munchies.

Stony Creek, our beer-making friends from just over the state border, have come up with one of the more interesting coffee beers I’ve had in a while. Just in concept, this one is unique. A Golden Mocha Stout, this brew isn’t afraid to break from type.

The idea of a golden stout is almost a contradiction in and of itself, but it can be done quite well with the right attitude and care. To take that a step further and add cocoa and coffee is just plain revolutionary, though something deep inside my brain keeps denying what I’m seeing. The beer is transparent and clear, but tastes like a stout: Does not compute.

All told, though, this is a pretty good coffee beer. Though I’d have gone with a more light roast flavor to match the golden stout style, I can’t really complain. A beer like this could have gone so wrong in so many ways. It’s actually kind of impressive that it works as well as it does. Besides, I love a good twist, so hit me with your best shot, Stony Joe.

Narragansett’s Unnameable Black Lager

Narragansett’s increasingly inaccurately named trilogy of Lovecraft-inspired beers is getting better and better all the time. I was very impressed with the White Ship, but the Unnameable Black Lager is a very interesting little brew. The beer pours a little more opaque brown than black, but if you don’t mind spoilers, that’s really the only flaw I can find with it.

It pours with a thick caramel foam that has some very sickly sweet notes in the aroma, but there’s also a distinct piney hop aroma that fits surprisingly well with the style.

A less enlightened person might label this a Black IPL, but the hop flavors only really overpower on the first sip, then everything seems to blend together perfectly, giving it a flavor reminiscent of a black pine forest, which is very Lovecraftian. New England is home to a lot of pine, and having a Lovecraft beer evoke those atmospheric connotations is kind of genius.

There’s a welcomed malty graininess that interplays with the hops to give it an earthy grounding. It’s a little bit on the mild side, but I don’t mind that at all. To be perfectly honest, it’s a welcome break from my growing hop palate fatigue.

The 7.5% ABV means it’s quite a heavy hitter, so it can be easy to lose one’s mind very quickly.

All told, this is my favorite of the Lovecraft series so far. While the others have all been good in their own way, this one feels the most complex and complete. It’s much more well-balanced than the Innsmouth Ale or the I am Providence, and more well-designed than even the White Ship. If they keep putting this much thought and effort into their brews, I have no problem going quietly mad on these flavors.

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