Don’t be afraid of the dark… beers

When it comes to beer, one thing I hear too often is “I don’t like dark beers.” My usual response is “why?’ It’s almost always followed by an incredulous, “because it is dark.” So today I am here to debunk the myth of disliking dark beers; its time to stop being afraid of the dark and embrace a whole new world of amazing beers.

At Colby, one is usually subjected to a tidal wave of Nattys and Keystones. So when first encountering a beer of substance, one trembles and dislikes it. What I’m preaching on my beer crate is to stop cowering and instead be excited and embrace it. So with that in mind let’s delve into what dark beer really is.

Dark beer gets its hue from its malts. Weather kilned, stewed or roasted, these cereal grains give beer a lot of its flavor. Something American adjunct lagers (college beer) don’t utilize. College beers are actually made of corn, rice, and other beer impurities. With that in mind, we now know that dark beer does not mean a certain flavor profile or an exact style; it’s nothing more than a color. The styles are a different story. Dark beers can be ales or lagers, from all over. There are dozens upon dozens of “dark” beer styles that range from the well-balanced and nutty English Brown Ale, to the heavy and sweet German Doppelbock.

These darker malts allow for more sugars to be processed by yeasts creating bigger beers with higher alcohol contents and therefore more complex bodies. The more body in a beer, the more room there is to load it up with flavor. So the initial “Woah” is expected when you make that fateful leap of faith to good beer.

Some “dark” beers you should check out are:

• Bar Harbor Cadillac Mountain Stout

• Ayinger Celebrator Dopplebock

• La Trappe Quadrupel

• North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

• Samuel Smith Taddy Porter

• Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron

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