Every once in a while, we stumble across a very earnest question that makes us chuckle: “Does a milk stout spoil?” (*chuckle*). Truth be told, there’s no milk in your milk stout. Also referred to as cream stouts or—per the BJCP—sweet stouts, these wonderfully roasty brews take on elevated milky sweetness from the addition of lactose sugar during the brewing process, hence the style’s name. But to be fair, sometimes it does tastes like someone dropped a shot of milk in your pint. Tried-and-true versions, like Left Hand Milk Stout, have championed the somewhat esoteric style for years, but more recently, we’ve seen an influx of milk stouts and we can’t be happier. Big roast and chocolate, milky sweetness and a creamy swallow—there’s a reason why we love them so much. You will too when you check out seven of our favorites to grab right now.
Narragansett Autocrat Coffee Milk Stout
If you’re from Rhode Island, you drink Autocrat coffee milk (it’s a rule). Narragansett teamed up with the popular coffee syrup company to brew this beer, modeled after the ubiquitous coffee milk drink. It’s everything you’d imagine: Powerful java notes and a touch of dark chocolate, with a sweet, creamy finish.
Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro
We didn’t think this stalwart milk stout could get any better—then the Colorado brewery bottled it using a proprietary (and very hush-hush!) nitro carbonation system. Minds blown. The beer’s milk chocolate and gentle roast flavors float across the tongue in one airy, fluffy swallow.
Sun King Cowbell
OK, technically this is a milk porter, but it’s too good not to include in this list. This velvety sipper packs big milky flavor, with dark grain and chocolate undertones. It tastes just like milk at the bottom of a bowl of cereal. Sudden genius pairing idea: Cowbell and Cocoa Puffs.
Brau Brothers Moo Joos
The use of old-school British ale yeast blends figs into a wash of dark chocolate and sugary milk, while a hefty dose of oats gives each sip an ultra-silky mouthfeel. It’s not your traditional milk stout, but we can’t get enough.
No Label Elda Milk Stout
This one’s brewed with 10 different malt varieties, and it shows: A near-chewy swallow carries pronounced coffee, chocolate and toast across the tongue. Way deep down in the profile, pick out perfectly subtle milky-sweet threads.
Milwaukee Polish Moon
From the brewery: Adding sugar to this beer is “almost like adding sweetener to a giant cup of coffee.” That’s dead on: Sugary cream laces a wash of fresh-brewed coffee and grainy, roasted malts, before a bitter java finish caps off the swallow.
Remember Yoo-Hoo? Allow us to introduce you to Moo-Hoo. Graduate up from children’s chocolate milk and pop open this spot-on recreation. It tastes exactly like the drink you washed down all those PB&Js with in elementary school, but with a slightly grain, beery kick in the finish.