Try This Beer – Main Street Brewing Co. Stag & Pheasant 2016
Two weeks ago Main Street Brewing Company in Vancouver released the 2016 version of their Stag & Pheasant Imperial stout in wax dipped bottles. You need to try this beer.
In years past the Stag & Pheasant was always a good beer. It was well-crafted and hit all the notes you’d expect from an Imperial Stout: heavy on the roasted tones, loads of those more concentrated malt flavours that tend to show up with a stronger stout like dark chocolate and rich fruit, coupled with a full-bodied almost chewy mouthfeel and a boozy hit to boot.
As you may be able to tell by that description of previous versions of the Stag & Pheasant, the beer was not for everyone. There’s certainly a niche audience for an Imperial Stout in general, and this one was no exception. Sometimes even those of us who love this style simply want something that’s easier to drink.
Why the recommendation?
Which brings us to the question: why am I recommending you try this beer?
Two main reasons:
First, and this may develop into a common theme of this series, the 2016 Stag & Pheasant is fairly limited. So once this beer is gone, it’s gone until this time next year. This limited availability should urge you to go out an pick up a bottle while you can. The nice thing is that the distribution is reasonably wide – just earlier this week I saw a few cases at a local BC Liquor Store location whose craft beer selection is known to be lacking.
The second and perhaps more important reason to try this beer is because the 2016 iteration of the Stag & Pheasant is so much more drinkable and accessible than any previous year I’ve had it. When I had a glass from the brewery it came with all the aromas of a strong stout but the alcohol felt lessened (though it actually wasn’t at over 9%) and some of the intensity was brought down in favour of a balanced, yet strong beer.
Instead what you find in the 2016 Stag & Pheasant is an Imperial Stout that you can share with friends or family that, while it will still be intense for most beer drinkers, will also be an excellent stepping stone into the Imperial Stout category and still offer something deliciously balanced for those who already love the style.
If you really want to kick it up a notch, there’s an even more limited release of the Stag & Pheasant aged in bourbon barrels available at the brewery for the real stout enthusiast.