Best Oatmeal Stouts: Creamy, Smooth, and Delicious

Hey beer enthusiasts! Ever tried an oatmeal stout? These creamy, smooth stouts are known for their rich flavors and velvety texture, thanks to the addition of oats.

Imagine a stout that’s like a comforting bowl of oatmeal, but with all the deep, roasted goodness of a stout. Ready to dive in? Let’s explore the world of oatmeal stouts and find out why they’re so beloved.

1. Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout

Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout is a classic. It’s rich and creamy, with notes of coffee, caramel, and a hint of chocolate. Imagine sipping on a dark, velvety liquid that’s like dessert in a glass—smooth, satisfying, and utterly delicious.

2. Founders Breakfast Stout

Founders Breakfast Stout is a favorite among craft beer lovers. It’s brewed with coffee and chocolate, making it the perfect morning beer (if that’s your thing!). Think of it as the beer equivalent of a mocha latte—bold, rich, and full of flavor.

3. Anderson Valley Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout

Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout from Anderson Valley is known for its smooth, creamy texture and balanced flavors of roasted malt, coffee, and dark chocolate. It’s like a cozy, warm blanket on a cold day—comforting and delightful.

4. Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin

Velvet Merlin by Firestone Walker is a robust oatmeal stout with flavors of roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and a touch of caramel. It’s silky smooth, like sipping on a rich, velvety chocolate milkshake.

5. Breckenridge Oatmeal Stout

Breckenridge Oatmeal Stout is a well-balanced brew with notes of coffee, roasted malt, and a hint of sweetness from the oats. Imagine a harmonious blend of flavors that’s both rich and refreshing—perfect for any occasion.

History and Background

Origins of Oatmeal Stouts

Oatmeal stouts have a fascinating history. They originated in England in the 19th century when brewers started adding oats to their stouts to create a smoother, richer beer.

Oats add a unique creaminess and a touch of sweetness that balances the roasted malt flavors. These beers were originally marketed as nutritious and even had a reputation for being beneficial to one’s health!

Evolution Over Time

Over the years, oatmeal stouts have evolved, with brewers experimenting with different ingredients like coffee, chocolate, and various malts. The craft beer movement has further pushed the boundaries, leading to innovative and delicious variations.

Despite these changes, the core characteristics of oatmeal stouts—richness, smoothness, and a hint of sweetness—remain the same.

Key Regions and Their Influence

While oatmeal stouts have their roots in England, they have become popular worldwide. American craft brewers have embraced the style, adding their creative twists.

European brewers also continue to produce exceptional oatmeal stouts, maintaining the traditional flavors while experimenting with new ingredients. Each region brings its unique flair, enriching the oatmeal stout category.

Characteristics of Oatmeal Stouts


Oatmeal stouts typically have a deep, dark brown to black color with a thick, creamy tan head. They look as rich and inviting as they taste. Imagine a perfectly poured espresso with a creamy foam on top.


The aroma of oatmeal stouts is a delightful mix of roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate, often with hints of caramel and oats. It’s like walking into a cozy coffee shop filled with the scent of freshly brewed coffee and baked goods.

Flavor Profile

The flavor of oatmeal stouts is where they truly shine. Expect rich roasted malt flavors balanced by a smooth, creamy finish. Notes of coffee, chocolate, and caramel are common, creating a complex and satisfying taste.

Each sip is like a decadent dessert, offering layers of flavor that unfold on your palate.


Oatmeal stouts have a full body with a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. The oats add a velvety texture, making each sip rich and luxurious. It’s like drinking a creamy, frothy latte—indulgent and comforting.

Types of Oatmeal Stouts

Traditional Oatmeal Stout

Traditional oatmeal stouts focus on the balance between roasted malt and the smoothness of oats.

They’re smooth, creamy, and perfectly balanced, offering a classic and satisfying experience. Think of them as the perfect comfort beer—rich, smooth, and reliably delicious.

Flavored Oatmeal Stout

Flavored oatmeal stouts take the traditional style and add exciting ingredients like chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and even fruit. These variations add depth and complexity, creating unique and delightful flavors.

Imagine your favorite dessert transformed into a beer—decadent and indulgent.

Other Variations

Brewers are constantly experimenting with new ways to incorporate oats into their stouts. From barrel-aging to wild fermentation, the possibilities are endless.

Each variation offers a new twist on the classic oatmeal stout, providing a wide range of flavors and experiences to explore.

Pairing Oatmeal Stouts with Food

Best Food Pairings

Oatmeal stouts are incredibly versatile and pair well with a variety of dishes. Here are some ideas:

  • Traditional Oatmeal Stout: Perfect with rich, savory dishes like beef stew, roasted meats, and barbecue. The smooth, creamy texture and roasted malt flavors enhance the umami in these dishes.
  • Flavored Oatmeal Stout: Great with desserts like chocolate cake, brownies, and tiramisu. The sweet and roasted flavors of the stout complement the richness of these desserts.
  • Other Variations: Pair with cheese, particularly blue cheese or aged cheddar. The creamy texture and sweet notes of the stout balance the sharp, tangy flavors of the cheese.

Why These Pairings Work

The rich, creamy characteristics of oatmeal stouts complement both savory and sweet dishes, creating a balanced and satisfying experience.

The roasted malt flavors enhance the umami in savory foods, while the sweetness in flavored variations pairs beautifully with desserts.

It’s like finding the perfect harmony in a symphony—each element enhances the other.

Homebrewing Oatmeal Stouts

Basic Recipes

Want to try brewing your own oatmeal stout? Here’s a simple recipe to get you started:


  • Pale malt
  • Roasted barley
  • Chocolate malt
  • Flaked oats
  • Hops (like Fuggle or East Kent Goldings)
  • Ale yeast
  • Water


  1. Mash the grains at 150°F (65°C) for 60 minutes.
  2. Boil the wort, adding hops at the start for bitterness.
  3. Cool the wort and pitch the ale yeast.
  4. Ferment at 68°F (20°C) for about two weeks.
  5. Bottle or keg, carbonate, and enjoy your homemade oatmeal stout!

Tips and Tricks

For the best results, use fresh ingredients and high-quality oats. Experiment with different types of chocolate malt and roasted barley to find your preferred flavor profile.

Pay attention to fermentation temperatures to avoid off-flavors and ensure a clean, smooth finish.

Common Challenges

One common challenge is achieving the right balance of oatmeal flavor without overpowering the beer. Start with a balanced recipe and adjust future batches based on your taste preferences.

Another challenge is ensuring the beer has the desired creamy texture, which can be managed by adjusting the amount of flaked oats used.

Trends in Oatmeal Stouts

Current Trends

Oatmeal stouts are enjoying a resurgence in popularity, with brewers experimenting with new ingredients and techniques. Flavored oatmeal stouts, such as those with added chocolate, coffee, or spices, are particularly trendy.

Barrel-aged oatmeal stouts are also gaining attention, offering complex flavors and a unique twist on the traditional style.

Future Predictions

Looking ahead, we can expect more innovation and creativity in the oatmeal stout category. Brewers will likely continue to experiment with exotic ingredients and hybrid styles, such as combining oatmeal stouts with other beer styles.

Sustainability and local sourcing will also play a bigger role, with brewers using locally sourced oats to create unique and regionally inspired oatmeal stouts.


To wrap things up, oatmeal stouts are a fantastic choice for those who love rich, creamy, and flavorful beers.

Whether you’re enjoying a commercial example or brewing your own, these beers offer a world of complexity and enjoyment. Their versatility in food pairings and their rich history make them a beloved style among beer enthusiasts.

So next time you’re in the mood for something special, reach for an oatmeal stout and savor the experience. Cheers!

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