Stout is a polarizing beer style. While some savor it, others run screaming at the sight of a glassful. For one reason or another — the dark color, the coffee-like roasted flavor, the heavier mouthfeel — many want nothing to do with stout. And that is perfectly fine. If they do not like it, they do not need to drink it; nobody should feel forced to drink beer they do not like. A taste for stout, much like any other beer style, is acquired through curiosity, experience and the quirks of each drinker’s distinctive collection of taste buds.
For those who do like stout, November’s beer of the month, Toppling Goliath’s Rover Truck, is sure to please those quirky taste buds.
Pour Rover Truck into a favorite pint glass. Its color is opaque black. A finger-width of buttery, tan-colored, tight head will leave a skim and thin ring around the edge. The aroma is dark, enticing and velvety smooth with scents of roasted malt, coffee and dark chocolate.
Rover Truck’s flavor mostly mirrors the aroma with roasted malt, espresso-like coffee and chocolate. There is also a hint of molasses and scents of dark fruit emerge as the beer continues to warm. The roasted malt coats the taste buds in a lasting, coffee-like bitterness. Though the mouthfeel is not as thick and creamy as other versions of the style, Rover Truck still has a smooth, velvety body.
Alcohol Content: 5.7 percent ABV.
Food Pairings: Pair Rover Truck’s roasted character with roasted/smoked meat and chocolate. The roasted flavor should also provide a nice balance with Portobello mushrooms and spicy Asian dishes.
Where to Buy: Rover Truck can be found at most major beer retailers. Look for Rover Truck on tap at a handful of local establishments, including The Sanctuary, The Mill and 30hop. (All of Toppling Goliath’s tap accounts can be found on their website, tgbrews.com.)
Price: $3 per 12-ounce bottle, $10 per four-pack of 12-ounce bottles.
Casey Wagner works and lives in Iowa City. This article originally appeared in Little Village issue 187.