California- Oatmeal Stout- With its deep, dark brown-black color and thick, full-bodied, velvety-smooth mouth feel, its mocha character, and strong yet subtle hop bite, Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout is one of the thickest, richest, and most complex stouts on the market today.
Oatmeal Stout is named for the use of oatmeal in the grist. The oatmeal ingredient is not intended to be a sweetener, but rather it contributes to Oatmeal Stout’s body and enhances a silky or smooth mouth-feel. Variations in body, smoothness and sweetness are found across various examples of Oatmeal Stout beer, though beers of this style generally exhibit chocolaty, nutty, coffee-like aromas and flavors from roasted malts and roasted barley, with low to medium bitterness. Oatmeal can add complexity to the brew, including some earthiness and a bit of grainy texture. Hop aroma and flavor are typically low, and hop bitterness is moderate, which allows the malts to take the lead in the best Oatmeal Stouts. Expect the color to range from medium-brown to black.
Ken Allen started the Anderson Valley Brewing Co. in the lower level of a brewpub called the Buckhorn Saloon in Boonville, Calif., in 1987. The new brewery quickly faced rising demand for the smooth-tasting beers from its small brewhouse. In 1996, the brewery moved to a larger Boonville facility, and production grew rapidly, with the brewery producing twice the amount of beer in 1998 that it had in 1997.
With this exponential growth, Anderson Valley Brewing broke ground on a new state-of-the-art, three-story, Bavarian-style brewhouse in 1998, with 100-barrel and 86-barrel copper kettles that Allen had rescued from defunct German breweries. In August 2000, the gleaming new brewhouse went online.
In 2010, Allen sold the brewery to industry veteran Trey White, and Fal Allen, who had served as general manager from 2000 to 2004, returned to Anderson Valley Brewing as brewmaster. He has focused on innovation and quality, introducing the Bahl Hornin’ Series of draught brews, expanding the barrel-aged program and increasing brewing capacity.
Other Anderson Valley beers include Hop Ottin’ IPA, Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout, Poleeko Pale Ale, Boont ESB and Boont Amber Ale. Boont Amber is an ode to balance, with a deep copper color offset by an off-white head. Its slightly sweet malty backbone is balanced perfectly with a subtle hop bite and aroma and a wonderfully fruity yeast profile. Named “the best beer brewed in Northern California” by the San Francisco Bay Guardian, a beer like this is perfect with any meal and is enjoyable night after night.
Source: Anderson Valley Brewing Co.