Beer of the Weekend #38: Hub City Oatmeal Stout

We opened presents tonight at my house so I thought Beer of the Weekend would make a special Christmas Eve appearance. The beer tonight is Hub City Oatmeal Stout brewed by the Hub City Brewing Company of Stanley, Iowa.

This is the first Iowa brew featured on BotW. I had Millstream’s Windmill Wheat in September (finally finishing the sixer in the last two nights) but didn’t give it the proper tasting treatment. Hub City brews are only available at choice, quality beer sellers in the state and region; it’d be hard to find in California. One of those choice, quality, regional beer sellers is at the corner of Gilbert and Market Streets in Iowa City, across from the famous Foxhead: John’s Grocery, where I picked up Oatmeal Stout last night.

At the same time I’m sampling HCOS I’ll be helping my mom make our traditional German chocolate dessert by crumbling graham crackers with a rolling pin. Let’s see how well I can multitask with beer.

Serving type: Six 12-ounce bottles.

Appearance: Wait…was there supposed to be no head? I poured the first beer and got absolutely no head on top. During my early beer drinking days, when I was 18 and 19, I didn’t believe in head (um…) and strove to pour pints without any bit of lacing on top. I was very good at it. At a kegger once I drew a beer from the keg without allowing any head to form on top. When I turned and walked inside I overheard one of the guys sitting on the porch say, “Did you see that? That guy had no head on his beer!” No head is all fine and dandy for imitation beer, but a perfect pour will produce about a finger or two of foam at the top of a real beer. I was stunned and though I’d done something wrong, but a lot of other HCOS reviewers have had the same experience. Even when swirled no foam or lacing developed. But enough about the head. The color was opaque black.

Smell: Very enticing roasted malt aroma blended with cocoa.

Taste: It’s very diluted. The roasted coffee malts from the smell are present, but the mouth-feel is lager thin. I expect a stout to be a bit thicker. At the end there is a hint of cocoa sweetness.

Drinkability: Due to the light mouth-feel this is a very drinkable stout, but it’s not complex by any means.

Fun facts about Hub City Oatmeal Stout:

-Serving temperature: 45-50°F.

-Alcohol content: Unknown. BeerAdvocate has no knowledge of its ABV and the Hub City website is in the process of being built.

-Hub City Brewery is named for Oelwein, Iowa, five miles from the brewery. According to the carrier, the city was the hub of three major branches of the Chicago Great Western Railway and earned the nickname “Hub City.” The carrier says, “Our beers pay homage to this historic Iowa town and the romantic era of the iron horse.” Hub City’s motto is, “Ride the Rails.” This is the second train-related beer sampled by BotW.

The Quiet Man’s grade: As much as I hate dissing a beer from the home state, Oatmeal Stout is weak. It’s unique but for the wrong reasons. C+.

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