This is a stout? Really? No? What?

Norman Miller

There are some things that are generally accepted in the beer world, such as stouts are supposed to be black in color. Every beer judge in the world will tell you that’s true.

Everyone may have to rethink that because Night Shift Brewing’s Snow is a stout like you’ve never seen before – a white stout that is the color of a pilsner.

Snow is a 3.5 percent alcohol by volume “white stout,” brewed by the little Everett brewery. Originally it was brewed for the Beer Advocate Extreme Beer Fest, where every brewery was required to bring at least one beer that was less than 4 percent ABV, said Night Shift’s Rob Burns.  

“We had to come up with something new, but still make it extreme,” Burns said on the Seacoast Beverage Lab Podcast on Monday.

Night Shift decided to see what would happen if you brewed a stout without chocolate malts or other malts. They use oat and wheat malt to provide body, and get roasted flavor from whole coffee beans. Burns said the beans, still being whole, do not add color the beer.

The result is a beer that still has a stout-like body and flavors, but is yellow. I knew it wasn’t black when I bought it, but it’s still a shock to the system when you pour a stout into your glass and it’s yellow.

I had trouble wrapping my mind around it, and it took me nearly a whole bottle to decide if I liked it or not. I didn’t take any tasting notes for an in depth review, but I did enjoy it. It had a nice full mouthful, and strong coffee flavors. It was not as smooth as I’d like, but overall, I’d give it a positive review.

I’m just wondering what Night Shift will come up with next? A black pilsner? A blueberry less blueberry beer? The possibilities are endless.