Beer of the Month: Bear Republic Big Bear Black Stout

Here's a big bear hug of a dry stout. It pours dark, dark brown, virtually opaque, with a medium tan head. The nose is fairly malty with a hint of molasses, but it's also piney and a little peppery.

On the palate, it's less sweet than the nose would suggest — in fact, hoppier than sweet, with a long, dryish, medium-bitter finish. Big Bear Black Stout actually registers 55 International Bittering Units, which is well up in IPA territory, though it's not as bitter as many a West Coast insane IPA (if you're in the mood for insane hoppiness, try Bear Republic Brewing Co.'s Red Rocket Ale). It's also fairly strong, 8.1% alcohol.


Its massive maltiness combined with a relatively dry effect makes this a substantial food beer. It would go with big flavors, macaroni and cheese, even with roast beef.

Quick sip


A sort of IPA with lots of roasty flavors: big, rugged and dry, like fine sandpaper on the tongue.


$4 to $4.75 per 22-ounce bottle

Where to find it:

Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463,

; Wade's Wines in Westlake Village, (818) 597-9463,

; Beverage Warehouse in Los Angeles, (310) 306-2822,

.; Beverages and More ( and Total Wine ( stores.