Ready to mix the drink menu up at your brewery? Serving an original milk stout beer is a great way to get customers in the door during cold winter months!

Milk Stout Beer: A Sweet Treat with Endless Flavor Options

A perfected milk stout beer recipe is a must-have beverage on your craft brewery menu!

Looking for a fun dessert drink or a new flavor to round out your craft brewery menu? Look no further than the milk stout beer. This beer is gaining in popularity thanks to delicious flavors that appeal to a wide variety of beer drinkers. If you’re ready to try something different in your brewing repertoire, here’s a case for trying your hand at brewing a creamy milk stout beer.

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While it may not be the first brew that comes to mind when you think of craft beers, the milk stout beer is a great addition to your menu. First introduced in the 19th century, milk stout beer is a classic English brew beloved by many both abroad and in the United States.

The fun beverage originally gained popularity for its sweet flavor profiles and made headlines for its supposed “health benefits” thanks to the addition of lactose in the brewing process. While the jury’s still out on the health factor, the beer appeals to a wide range of pallets, making it a great choice to round out any tasting flight.

Craft beer drinkers all over embrace milk stout beer as a delightful dessert brew full of smooth, sweet, and luscious flavors reminiscent of a decadent treat. Tasty interpretations such as caramel, chocolate, and coffee assert this versatile beer as a top pick among loyal brew drinkers, as well as those who are looking for a beer outside the norm.

Milk Stout Beer: Great for Dessert and So Much More

Milk stout beer is a delicious sweet brew that's perfect for winter months

Via Flickredwin

Milk stout beer isn’t your average dessert drink; this beer is different from any type of craft brew on the market. Brewed with lactose, this beer’s distinctive sugary taste is developed from the same sugars that give heavy cream and whole milk their sweetness. The resulting beverage is similar to a porter. Most variations of milk stout beer are creamy in consistency with a foamy head (a little like a homemade milkshake) and carry little to no bitterness at all.

Not only is milk stout beer refreshing but it’s also a great alternative when looking to satisfy a sweet tooth. Dessert lovers today can enjoy different types of recipes depending on their cravings; notes of hot chocolate, oatmeal, strawberry shortcake, and chocolate chip cookie dough are just a few of the delicious flavor profiles milk stout beer has to offer.

But this beer isn’t all sugary sweetness. There’s a depth and comforting flavor to the milk stout beer as well. The rich notes pair well with red meat, especially if there’s a hint of sweetness in the sauce. This beer is also perfectly enjoyable on its own or in lieu of desert. A milk stout is filling, but it’s a nice balance to finish off a meal—like enjoying coffee after dinner.

Variety within the beer options offered at your brewery and throughout your menus has never mattered more. “The modern alcohol sector is specially designed to promote variety…” reported The Atlantic. Thinking outside the box is key to finding continued success in the beer industry. With a vast amount of creativity and brainstorming, the perfect milk stout beer will elevate your brewery business today!

The Healthy History Behind Milk Stout Beer

Originally invented in the late 1800s by John Henry Johnson who patented his idea for a healthier brew, the idea of a milk stout beer was made popular thanks to blue collar workers who would add whole milk to their ports in order to make them taste more “nutritious.” While this wasn’t exactly today’s Jamba Juice smoothie, the flavor caught on and was touted as a health elixir.

Many consumers truly believed a well-made milk stout beer was the best thing for expectant mothers who needed help with milk production and breastfeeding. While others appreciated the beer as a simple way to improve their overall health.

According to the Kegerator.com, many advertisements for milk stouts came with endorsements and recommendations from medical professionals. In fact, in the mid-20th century, the slogan “Looks good, tastes good and, by golly, it does you good,” had caught on to promote milk stout beer to all.

What wasn’t realized at the time was that the milk stout beer was brewed with only lactose (milk sugar). This, of course, negated all the nutritional benefits and vitamins associated with dairy, such as thiamin, riboflavin, vitamins B12 and D. Mothers and even children drank up, believing they were getting healthier with every sip. With words like “nourishing” and “invigorating” on their labels, it’s no wonder consumers had false hope.

A classic milk stout beer is dark in color with rich and sweet flavor profiles

Via Flickredwin

It wasn’t long until the British government realized a change had to be made. In the late 1940s, English authorities ruled that labeling these brews with the word “milk” was misleading to consumers and was no longer allowed. While sales of the relabeled beverage declined in the health community, beer drinkers still enjoyed the tasty brew, simply calling it stout.

In contrast with UK ruling, the United States and several modern American breweries all over print the word “milk” on their beer bottle labels even today. The word milk represents the novelty of the beer as well as the extensive history behind the unique brew enjoyed by so many. Informed craft beer drinkers understand the sweet stout’s name now refers to the brews creamy and smooth texture.

Milk stout beer originally stood out on the shelf from the rest of the competition because the beverage was a type of brew no one had ever seen before; today, this truth still stands. Milk stout beer is a unique beer choice marching to the beat of its own drum. Hop on the creative wagon and brainstorm a few flavor profiles unlike the rest to impress your new customers today!

What Is a Modern Milk Stout Beer?

Milk stout beer is also known as creamy stout or sweet stout. This is a traditional UK beer typically dark in color, thicker in consistency, chocolaty in aroma and sweet in taste. Contrary to popular belief, many of these brews do not actually contain milk. Milk stout beer is however, typically fermented with lactose (the sugar found in milk and dairy products) and because of this ingredient, the distinct dessert notes are maintained throughout the brewing process.

Milk stout beer often includes fruity and malty notes. It is categorized as a dark British beer. The heartwarming and rich beer is not necessarily considered a seasonal brew but is definitely enjoyed more often during the winter months. Spiced flavors such as gingerbread, pumpkin spice, and chai along with hints of brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla offer comforting tastes and flavors typically desired around the holiday season.

These amazingly sweet beers usually range from 3.2 to 6.3 ABV and are mild in taste. They’re an easy-sipping beer. Those beer lovers who are looking for something a little stronger can take their pick at the few brands of milk stout beer with ABVs above 10.0 including Hardywood Park Craft Brewery’s Trickery measuring in at a whopping 13.50 ABV and their Kentucky Christmas Morning, a seasonal milk stout beer with an ABV of 10.60. There’s a milk stout type for everyone to enjoy. When formulating your own sweet stout recipe, the brewing possibilities are truly endless.

A milk stout beer works well on tap. When mass produced, it’s often bottled although a few modern variations today are sold in cans. Interestingly enough, these beers can be stored anywhere since there’s no actual dairy in the brews themselves (only lactose) and they have a very long shelf life due to their low levels of carbonation. All types of milk stout beer tend to age extremely well as flavors continue to develop over time. These beers are a great cooking ingredient when whipping up desserts such as cakes, pastries, or grown-up “no root” beer floats! These dessert beers work perfectly in brownie batters and puddings too, and add depth and sweetness to chili, stew and meaty dishes.

Today, craft brew drinkers appreciate a tasty grown up glass of “milk” in beer form. Many brewery owners put their own twist on the traditional milk stout beer with the creation of original recipes that put a twist on popular flavor profiles like Fallen Brewing Company’s Salted Caramel Milk Stout, Black Hog’s Coffee Milk Stout, Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company’s Tom Green Cherry Milk Stout, River Horse Brewing Company’s Oatmeal Milk Stout, 4 Hands Brewing Company’s Chocolate Milk Stout and so many more.

Add a Milk Stout to Your Menu

SommBeer says, “…brewing is an ever evolving art and a science.” As a brewery owner, you can become as creative as you like. The more brewpubs and microbreweries that pop up around your area, the more important it is you push yourself and your flavors to the next level. An original milk stout beer is a fantastic place to start!

If you’re looking for a change from the typical pilsners and ales, round out your menu with a milk stout beer–the dessert beverage your brewery’s been missing. Just as pumpkin ale pairs well with the autumn season, the cold winter months are an ideal time to release your first milk stout beer. The sugary, sweet flavors and rich body are everything your customers crave when the weather’s cool, so what are you waiting for? Now’s the time to serve up liquid heaven and attract new patrons. From cakes to cookies, pies, fruits and pastries, there’s plenty of flavor inspiration to go around.

Customers are always drawn to breweries who dare to be different and offer something out of the ordinary. Developing your very own milk stout beer recipe is a smart way to promote your brewery, diversify your brew options and mix up the flavor profiles offered on your menu.

According to The Atlantic, “Craft breweries have focused on tastes that were underrepresented in the hyper-consolidated beer market.” Milk stout beer is an underrepresented taste in the beer market. Now’s your opportunity to impress customers and blow them away with some killer flavors that offer up a new perspective on beer!


Featured image courtesy of Flickr user Club Soda Guide. All images licensed for use via CC 2.0 or Pixabay licensing.