10 Great California Stouts

Top 10 California

Food GPS beer editor Sean Inman chooses 10 great California beers by style.

Now that we are firmly in the grip of our mellow California autumn, it is time to turn our attention to the stout style of beer. I am not talking about the imperial or barrel aged. No, I refer to the humble stout that is just that, stout.  And this is just in time for International Stout Day, which is November 8! Here are my 10 Great California Stouts, choices that span the style from our state’s breweries.

1. Kern River Brewing – Class V

Is it an oatmeal stout, milk stout or imperial stout?  Kern River might be known for hops but this is a “Class”y stout.  I love the tan-colored lacing that collects on the side of the glass of this coffee aroma-d stout.

2. Alpine Beer Company – Captain

Another brewery who gets props for hops but who make a mighty fine roasty stout.  I get a great amount of smoky and coffee notes from this one.

3. Beachwood Brewing – Kilgore

Brewed with English dark malts and with rye, this American Stout is velvety and smooth.  And it has garnered a 96 out of 100 on the RateBeer website.

4. Figueroa Mountain Brewing – Stagecoach

This beer has picked up bronze medals in competitions in both 2012 and 2011.  Who am I to argue with that consistency?  A nice combo of chocolate, coffee and a touch of smoke.

5. Hangar 24 Craft Brewing – Small Stout

Yes, this is made from the second runnings.  But it is second runnings from Pugachev’s Cobra.  So this may be a session stout but add the recommended nitro dispense and most people wouldn’t even know.



Sean Inman

Find more of Sean Inman's writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.

Blog Comments

As Rasputin is not on the list, who will take this seriously


In the intro, Sean made a point of saying he was steering clear of Imperial stouts, though he did make one exception: Speedway. Do you like Old Rasputin better than Speedway?

So, I could have put any 9 beers on the list + Rasputin and the list would have been kosher? That is a great beer though.

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