This week's Sunday Night Suds takes a decidedly international turn and looks at the Coopers Brewery Best Extra Stout.
I had purchased the Coopers Best Extra Stout about six months ago during my first post-Pesach beer run in Chicago, but had forgotten about the beers until a recent conversation with Lawrence Barker, the very knowledgeable GM at Le Marais. We had been talking beer and pairings and looking over the quite diverse beer list at (in my opinion) the finest kosher steak place in NYC when I noticed that the list included Coopers Pale Ale. We started to talk about this very underrated brewery and some of the finer beers that it offers (including the Extra Strong Vintage Ale which goes $24 for a four pack) when I remembered that I had this at home. It was at that point that I decided to review the Best Extra Stout for this week's post.
I am sure that some of you might be asking - how is this beer still good if its an Australian import which you purchased in April. Well, let me add to your confusion - this beer does not contain a manufacturing date or even a best before date - instead it bears a "best after" date of October 31, 2008. Why? Let me quote the explanation given by the folks at Coopers on their website:
Under Australia’s food laws, any product that lasts more than two years in the bottle does not require a best before date. The best after date was introduced to ensure that the minimum two weeks required for secondary fermentation has expired before the bottles are distributed for sale... Coopers Pale Ale, Mild Ale, Sparkling Ale, Dark Ale and Best Extra Stout are at their optimum upon leaving the Brewery but will still develop and mature, for in excess of twelve (12) months if stored in cool and dark conditions.
The Extra Stout poured a dark black almost cola like color (my son Moshe thought I was drinking soda) with an eighth of an inch tan head. Although this is billed as an extra stout it was quite drinkable and even Mrs Kosher Beers appreciated it, despite the fact that she is not a big fan of stouts.
No, you cannot chug this brew and it was a bit strong even for my wife's bison cholent. Still, if you are looking for a thick hearty beer to drink after a nice meal or even in between courses, this would be a good choice.
Coopers Best Extra Stout is under the kashruth supervision of Kosher Australia. For the experts take on the Best Extra Stout, please click here http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/491/2131 .
As always, please remember to drink responsibly and to never waste good beer unless there is no designated driver. Also, if you've tried this beer or any others which have been reviewed on the kosher beers site, please feel free to post your comments (anonymous comments are acceptable).
Finally, I would like to acknowledge a lead from Mottel who turned me on to the fact that New Belgium Brewing Company beers of Fort Collins, Colorado are under the kosher supervision of the Scroll-K of Colorado. I subsequently followed up with Rabbi Rosskamm who confirmed that many of the New Belgium brews (including the legendary Fat Tire) are under the Scroll-K. I hope to get a chance to sample some during my next trip to the Midwest (they are not available in the NY area to my knowledge). I have added them to the Semi-Annual Kosher Beer list (click here to see the updated list http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2009/09/kosher-beers-semi-annual-kosher-beers.html).
If you have seen this post being carried on another site such as JBlog, please feel free to click here to find other articles on the kosherbeers blogsite. Hey its free and you can push my counter numbers up.