Big Drop Chocolate Milk Stout

English | Cymraeg

A review of Big Drop Chocolate Milk Stout

ABV: 0.5%
Calories per bottle: 155 (47 per 100ml)
Score: 5 out of 5

Picking a beer is a matter of taste, and we don’t all agree on what’s tasty. For some, stout is nasty stuff, like burnt toast in a glass. For others, it’s a taste-bud adventure on a highway of delicious roastiness. Since sales of dark beers are on the up these days, it seems that more of us are leaning towards the second of these two positions…which is good news for Rob Fink.

Back in 2015, Rob decided to give up alcohol, and went on a scout for decent alcohol-free beers. Like most of us, he didn’t have much luck. So he decided to make his own. Working in partnership with Johnny Clayton, formerly of Wild Beers in Somerset, the first fruit of their labours, this chocolate milk stout, was launched in 2016.

“Sorry?” we hear you say, “A beer made from chocolate milk?” Not quite. It turns out that milk stout is called milk stout because it’s made with lactose, the sugar you get in milk. As for the chocolate, that’s a type of dark roasted malt; although this beer also does have coco nibs (crushed cocao beans) in it, to make it extra chocolaty.

Of all the alcohol-free beers we’ve tasted, this the one mostly likely to leave you wondering whether you’ve just knocked back a regular beer by mistake. Whatever depth of flavour beers normally get from alcohol, this one gets is from somewhere else. Maybe it’s the cocao nibs. Maybe it’s the fact that it hasn’t been brewed and de-alcoholised; it’s been made just like an ordinary beer but has only got to 0.5% ABV. However they do it, it’s a triumph.

The only draw-back with this beer is the price. At £29.99 for 12 bottles from Dry Drinker, we reckon it costs about £4.37 a pint – quite steep for an on-trade purchase with no duty on it. As sales go up, hopefully the price will come down.