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Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Bridge Too Far? Introducing Meat Stout

I haven't mentioned this explicitly, but there are a couple blogs you should be reading: Zythophile, by Martyn Cornell, and Shut Up About Barclay Perkins by Ron Pattinson. Both are historians, and both delight at slaughtering sacred cows. Sample killing: Cornell on the stata of myth surrounding Pliny the Elder; Pattinson on the barleywine strength "mild ales" of yore (lesson: milds weren't always weak).

But it's not all high fiber. Sometimes one of these blokes stumbles across an amazing historical curiosity, and today, Cornell offers us "meat stout." It is not a euphemism:
What lay behind the invention of Meat Stout? According to one Blackburn historian, Colin Pritt, “It is rumoured that the natives complained about the gravity or quality of the stout, so the brewer threw a side of beef, or similar, into his next brew and it gave it more ‘body’. They then added some meat product to the brew ever after (probably offal, as it was cheap).”
Cornell includes two advertisements for Mercer's Meat Stout, but you'll have to click through to see them.

Oregon brewers have lately gotten experimental. You can't swing a dead cat without knocking an oyster stout off the table. But meat stout? I challenge our local brewers to give it a try. The next Brothers' Reserve perhaps? A Hopworks seasonal? Perhaps a joint venture with Le Pigeon or Beast. Just one warning, offered by Cornell, though: mind the fat, otherwise it will "give you rancid off flavours as it ages."


1 comment:

  1. I guess this gives a whole new meaning to the term "barnyard funk".

    On a more vegetarian friendly note — I know there was a recently released beer here on the east coast based around one of Ron Pattinson's sheets that attempted to recreate those "milds" of yore. I have yet to get my hands on the stuff as it sold rather quickly.