Tapped into Craft Libations and Victuals Big Bear Black Stout
Spencer: Bear Republic opened in wine country, Sonoma County in 1995. In 1996 they were named “Small Brewing Company of the Year” and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year” at the Great American Beer Festival. The beer that put them on the map is the Racer 5(India Pale Ale) but we sampled the Big Bear Black Stout. Weighing in at 8.1% ABV this is definitely a “Big” beer! Lots of caramel and roasty flavors finish this smooth Russian Imperial Stout with the addition of Centennial and Cascade hops. If you are looking for a deep black stout with a nice brown head then this is your winter companion. The old saying in wine country is that it takes a lot of beer to make good wine.
Tim: We had this not only on The Less Desirables, but on our sister show, The Beer Dads. We found it to be a unique brew. It’s dark and creamy like a stout should be, but it also had a bitterness that was reminiscent of an IPA. This was not an overpowering trait as it sometimes can be. It was a welcome addition to the mix. The higher ABV was a bonus, as well. More bang for your buck, not only in alcohol content but all the flavor conditioning the brew gives your mouth. It’s better when you let it warm slightly, it brings that beautiful IPA/stout mix to the forefront. I rated it 4 stars the first time I had it (The Beer Dads) and it went up to 4.25 stars the second (The Less Desirables). It gets better as you go on. Highly recommended.
Spencer Davis is owner of his family’s company, City Beverage, which has been selling fine beer and wine since 1946. They’re located at 915 Burke Street in Winston-Salem and on the web at www.citybeverage.com. Tim Beeman is co-owner, co-host and producer of The Less Desirables Podcast and The Less Desirables Podcast Network ft. The Less Desirables, Tart & Tangy Triad, The Beer Dads, Electric Camel Pod and Fan Interference podcasts. Find out more on their Facebook page or
Try it locally at: Stumble Stilskins, Cooper Ale House and City Beverage to name a few local places.