Brew Review – Santa’s White Christmas Stout by Ten10 Brewing @BrewingTen10

First of all, don’t complain. I know I’m talking about a Christmas beer when it just turned November.

Second of all, we aren’t going to talk about the Christmas as much as we’re going to talk about Barnie’s Coffee and Tea Company. It’s sort of a Central Florida thing, especially if you grew up in the area in the 80s and 90s like I did.

Before Starbucks came in and destroyed everything, the big coffee game in town was Barnie’s. It was pretty ubiquitous, featuring a fair number of stores, including the two-story ‘building within a building’ at the Florida Mall I so fondly remembered. Every so often, I would be able to score one of the outdoor seats on the second floor and watch the mall goers go by.

Barnie’s is still in business, having gone through a few ownership changes and sadly losing that Florida Mall location to the green mermaid monstrosity, but the coffee and tea remain, including their staple Santa’s White Christmas. It’s coffee with a little bit of coconut and a little bit of caramel and a little bit of vanilla and a lot of local love, so that they have to offer the coffee year-round.

That is the coffee that Mike Wallace and the Ten10 team used to make Santa’s White Christmas Stout (Stout, 7.5% ABV).

The story of getting this beer is almost as interesting, since I got it from field producers Steve, himself a former Barnie’s Coffee employee. It apparently never leaves the system, since he just happened to be by and stop into Ten10 Brewing on a visit to Orlando, not realizing the beer was lying in wait for them.

So bring it home they did, and I was able to try a White Stout, a style I’m not totally familiar with, but it’s still a lot of fun.

What is a White Stout, you ask? Well, it’s sort of like a blonde ale, or like a coffee ale, sort of like a stout, but basically something special in between. The beer pours a medium golden color, but the aroma tends to be a big mix of dark notes. Those notes center on the coffee, and some of the white stouts tend to overaccentuate this particular ingredient to replicate a lot of them dark roasted qualities that a chocolate or dark malt provide.

But the coffee used was Santa’s White Christmas, and when drinking the beer you get nice little pips of roasted coffee, a touch of the caramel and vanilla, definitely a little bit more of the coconut, all packaged nicely in a very meaty but mild malt melange.

It’s an interesting beer, in that it is refreshing and light, but the flavors are rich and bold. Mike is a fantastic brewer, I expect nothing less from him, and his celebration of a Central Florida staple is well received and well deserved.

I know Steve continues to be excited about finding the beer, I was just happy to try it.

Drink Florida Craft,

Dave
@floridabeerblog
floridabeerblog@gmail.com

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