I’d Tap That: Otter Creek’s Couch Surfer is one house guest you won’t want to chase away
Glassware: While many high alcohol by volume stouts are meant to be enjoyed slowly, oatmeal stouts are lighter in ABV and great to enjoy in larger quantities. Glassware that allows for convenience at the pub and allows the beers to warm slowly are perfect. The top choice is a nonic pint glass glass and while many may say there is no time for the use of a shaker pint glass, enjoying Couch Surfer out of one may be just the ticket to get the beer from glass to gullet as quickly as possible!
Description: Couch Surfer pours a dark black with light brown highlights and dark beige head that recedes and leaves behind a good amount of lacing. The aroma is filled with roasted malt notes of bitter dark chocolate and coffee with slight hints of earthy hops and oats. The taste is extremely pleasant and is very smooth, sweet, and rounded to start before bitter notes of coffee rush in followed quickly by sweet chocolate before a slightly bitter quality enters to finish out the experience with subtle touches of oats. The medium body and mild carbonation give this beer an incredibly smooth and silky quality that is just what a world class stout should possess. This is an extremely easy drinking oatmeal stout that seems to have something for everyone and is still kept in perfect balance despite the wide array of sweet and bitter flavors. Couch Surfer is a must try beer for all stout lovers!
Food Pairing: While stouts are typically looked at as dessert beers, many, such as Couch Surfer, are also great with a wide variety of dinner pairings. Try pairing Couch Surfer with a delicious steak, your choice of cut, the natural sweetness of the meat will perfectly match with the sweet chocolate malts while the iron within the beer and meat will really key in on the umami taste receptors. Seafood is also great with this beer, specifically mussels or oysters. The salty flavors from the seafood are an excellent counterpoint for the semi-sweet malts and provide just the right balance of salty sweet for a dinner that you may never want to end. Of course this beer is great with desserts due to the roasted malt character bringing forth notes of chocolate and coffee. Try pairing this with coffee cake, death by chocolate cake, cinnamon buns. Try pairing with some French toast topped with vanilla bean ice cream and maple syrup for a divine brunch!
The Final Word: Otter Creek has gone through a renaissance of sorts with a line of new fantastic beers hitting shelves as well as a complete overhaul of the artwork. The brewery has seen a renewed vision for the brewery and the beers and consumers are lucky enough to reap these benefits. Otter Creek has released some world class collaborations with breweries like Jack’s Abby (Joint Custody) and a phenomenal DIPA with Lawson’s Finest (Double Dose) these beers combined with their year round and seasonal lineup have taken Otter Creek into new and delicious territory in craft beer. Couch Surfer is just one shining example of the brewery’s new look at themselves as a brewery and must be tried by all fans of great stouts!
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.
Brewery: Otter Creek Brewing
Beer: Couch Surfer
Style: Oatmeal Stout