Coopers Brewery Limited - Coopers Best Extra Stout

Coopers Brewery Limited - Coopers Best Extra Stout

Beer Club featured in U.S. & International Variety Beer Club International Beer Club

Country:

Australia

Alcohol by Volume:

6.30%

Coopers Brewery Limited - Coopers Best Extra Stout

  • Alcohol by Volume: 6.30%
  • Bottle Size: No
  • Serving Temperature: 50-55° F
  • Suggested Glassware: Wide-Mouthed Flute Glass, Pint Glass or Mug (clear or opaque)
Let's try to dispel some misconceptions about stout. Many people think there's just one type of stout: "Guinness". In fact, there are many variations of the stout style, with Guinness being just one: Irish Dry Stout. Other stout styles include Milk/Cream Stout, Sweet/Tropical Stout, Oatmeal Stout, Oyster Stout, Imperial or Russian Imperial Stout, Foreign/Extra Stout, English Stout and a relative newcomer, American Stout. Foreign/Extra Stout is brewed bigger, with higher alcohol content and richer/roastier malt flavors than the variety you're most likely to encounter (Irish Dry Stout). Similar to the genesis of India Pale Ale from Pale Ale, Foreign/Extra Stout was brewed bigger so that it would better survive the long journey to "foreign" territories in the export market. Now, this may have many people thinking "woah, more alcohol/bigger-bodied than a Guinness? That must be super strong!" Truth is, the Guinness you generally find on tap at your local bar is a mere 4.2% ABV, which is actually less than Budweiser (5.0%), and the same as a Bud Light—which should help settle the popular misconception that dark beer is always stronger than paler beer… simply not true, there's no steadfast rule relating color to alcohol strength. Coopers Best Extra Stout is a true-to-style beer that offers an aromatic nose; look for bold notes of espresso, black licorice and black currants with a faint yeasty mustiness. Expect the coffee-like flavors to be even more pronounced in the flavor profile, especially as it warms, with high levels of roastiness and a touch of vanilla and licorice. Hop presence works with the roasted character to enhance the overall bitterness, but there's a low level of hop aroma/flavor. Finishes roasty with a touch of sweetness kicking in very late.

Coopers has a few recipes on their website for cooking with their beers—their Best Extra Stout, with its deep chocolate flavors, is great with chocolate cake, especially a chocolate cake made with the beer, or a hearty stew (recipes for both can be found at: http://www.coopers.com.au/media/files/10.pdf & http://www.coopers.com.au/media/files/13.pdf)
The Coopers Brewery was founded in 1862 just outside Adelaide, Australia, in the town of Leabrook. This respectable outfit is the last stronghold of the historic family-owned breweries on the Australian continent. Thomas Cooper, a Wesleyan preacher from Yorkshire, England, immigrated to southern Australia and founded the brewery at a time when big breweries dominated the local colonies. His brewing career was initiated much by accident when his ailing wife requested that he make a restorative ale—from an old family recipe—to be used as a tonic. Turns out the ale was well received not only by his wife, but by locals for whom he provided samples. Appreciated for its taste and perceived medicinal attributes, demand grew enough for Thomas Cooper to start his famous brewery, which today remains as the sole independent brewery in Australia to survive the entire 20th century. Interestingly, as a Wesleyan preacher, Thomas Cooper felt that pubs were sinful places (though he wisely saw no evil in beer—after all, it was the tonic that aided his wife's health). Thus, for most of its history, the brewery owned no pubs, and today they own only one, the Earl of Aberdeen, in the old center of Adelaide. A brewery with no pubs, while commonplace in the US microbrewery revolution, is a very rare scenario for established overseas breweries. This apparent lack of an "automatic market" seems to have been critical in avoiding takeover bids over their history. And we like to believe that Thomas Cooper would have been a fan of our beer of the month clubs for this very reason—no pub necessary to enjoy these fine brews, right? We're major fans of Coopers and their true-to-style beers. Last time we featured the brewery, back in late 2005, we had reported that they were under threat of losing their long-held independence. A competing brewery (more of a conglomerate actually), had launched a hostile takeover bid. Coopers, while family-run, does have shareholders, and if a majority of them approved the deal, it would have been adios to independence. But we're happy to report that the Coopers family (and their shareholders) were ready for the fight, and they have proudly maintained their independence as a family-owned and operated brewery. Join us in lifting a pint to their continued independence! For more information about the brewery, check out their website at www.coopers.com.au (and check out their cooking with beer recipes).
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