Barley's Brewing Company - Firkin Good Ale

Ol' Ron's Surly Oatmeal Stout

Style Guidelines: Named after a surly friend of the brewery, oatmeal adds a rich creamy grain-like flavor to a nicely balance stout.

Rotation Schedule: About every fifth batch of dark beer

Food Pairings: The unreal smoothness and richness of this brew, without being heavy, lends itself to breakfast. Fresh sage sausage links, crisp fired home fries with onions, a few rashers of bacon and a couple of eggs over easy with a few grinds of fresh black pepper. What the heck, pop a few fresh oysters with it, as well. After you're done, and you've had two pints, then you can have your coffee.

Body: Medium
Color: Dark Brown
Grain: British Pale and Black Patent Malt, roasted barley & American flaked oats
Bittering Hops: British Northdown
Finishing Hops: British Northdown & East kent Golding
Original Gravity: 1.056
Estimated IBUs: 22
Alcohol By Volume: 5.6%
First Tapped: December 1993


About the Ale: Oatmeal stout is a stout with a proportion of oats added during the brewing process. During the medieval period in Europe, oats were a common ingredient in ale. However, despite some areas of Europe, such as Norway, still clinging to the use of oats in brewing until the early part of the 20th century, the practice had largely died out by the sixteenth century.

There was a revival of interest in using oats during the end of the nineteenth century, when restorative and nourishing beers, such as the later Milk stout, were popular, because of the association of porridge with health.

By the early 20th century these beers had all but disappeared. When Michael Jackson mentioned the defunct Eldrige Pope Oat Malt Stout in his 1977 book The World Guide to Beer, Oatmeal stout was no longer being made anywhere, but Charles Finkel, founder of Merchant du Vin, was curious enough to commission Samuel Smith to produce a version. Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout became the template for other breweries' versions.

Oatmeal stouts usually do not specifically taste of oats. The smoothness of oatmeal stouts comes from the high content of proteins, lipids (includes fats and waxes), and gums imparted by the use of oats. The gums increase the viscosity and body adding to the sense of smoothness.

Named after a surly friend of our brewery, be sure to toast this resurected style next time you quaff it.

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