JBU > Introductory

What’s in the Stout?

There are so many different stout styles, are the names of the style actually an ingredient contained in the beer? Let’s find out!

What’s in the Stout?

I was drinking a Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro and offered a sip to my friend.

She said “Wait, I’m lactose intolerant. Does it have milk in it?”

“I don’t know. I mean I know Oyster Stout has real oysters, so I’d assume it does.” I replied. We went with the better safe-than-sorry approach which was fine because that meant more for me, but it got me thinking:

Does Milk Stout Have Milk?

Normally, Milk Stout does not contain actual milk, but it does contain the sugar lactose which is what most lactose intolerant people are intolerant of. It simply does not get broken down and digested because their body is missing or doesn’t produce enough of the enzyme lactase that can break it down. Those who are allergic to milk are usually allergic to whey or casein which is not present in Milk Stout, but I’m not a doctor, so use your own judgement. You know your body best.

Maybe it gets boiled out like alcohol in cooking?

Nope, sorry it does not get boiled off in the process. During fermentation, yeast breaks down the other ose sugars (glucose, sucrose and fructose), but the same thing that prevents it from being digested by those who are lactose intolerant also prevents it from being broken down by the yeast. The yeast that can break it down is not present in the beer brewing process and so it stays in the beer giving it the intended characteristic sweetness and fuller body.

According to Tom Anderson on the Alcohol Stack Exchange:

“The amount of lactose in a milk stout varies, but it seems that it is likely to be in the range of 5 to 13%; that is, in a (568 millilitre) pint, there may be anywhere from 28 to 74 grams of lactose. The lactose concentration in milk is about 4%, so this is the equivalent of 700 – 1850 millilitres of milk. Rather alot!”

In short, we strongly suggest you take your Lactaid before drinking a Milk Stout.

Some of Our Favourite Milk Stouts

Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro











Fernie’s Java the Hut











Does Oatmeal Stout Have Oatmeal?

YES! There are oats in your oatmeal stout. In cooking, oats are used as a thickening agent and become oatmeal when they are cooked. When oats are cooked and become oatmeal they are easier to use in the fermentation process. Oatmeal Stouts have a characteristic rich, smoothness and give you that full sensation. You know the one… it’s the same one you get when eating a warm bowl of oatmeal on a cold winter day. For further reading check out Stephen Galante’s fabulous and informative article Oatmeal Stout: Style in Brew Your Own.

Some of Our Favourite Oatmeal Stouts

Ninkasi Oatis












Wellington Cereal Killin’ Stout











Does Vanilla, Coffee and Chocolate Stout Have Vanilla, Coffee or Chocolate?

I put these together because their answers are similar. The flavour and aroma of vanilla in beer is usually imparted by actual vanilla whether in bean form or as an extract. On the other hand, the flavours of chocolate and coffee in beer while sometimes enhanced by putting in beans, cocoa or extract is actually produced by the roasting level of the malts. The specific one most often used is called…Chocolate malt.

Some of Our Favourite Vanilla Stouts

Saltspring Island Ales Creme Brulee Vanilla Stout












Cigar City Brewing Vanilla Hazelnut Marshall Zhukov’s












Some of Our Favourite Chocolate Stouts

New Belgium Salted Belgian Chocolate Stout












Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout














Some of Our Favourite Coffee Stouts

Cervejaria Seasons Cirilo Coffee Stout











Canuck Empire Creekside Coffee Stout











If I B U I’d Seriously Read More

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The Best Gluten-Free Beers to Try

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