To answer your first question: Yes, this is beer with milk in it. Sort of, anyway. Milk stouts are made by adding lactose, the sugar in cow's milk, to a base of dark, chocolaty malts. Brewer's yeast can't ferment milk sugar into alcohol, so it hangs around to give the brew extra heft and a soft, creamy sweetness. Done right, the results can be extraordinary, and the Widmer Brothers have done it perfectly. Widmer Milk Stout is a smooth, black and complex brew that uses a heap of Cascade hops to avoid turning out anything like a milkshake. The final product clocks in at 50 bitterness units, double the hoppiness of the famous but overly sweet version from Colorado's Left Hand Brewing. This just might be the new standard for milk stout, and it's available for $6 at Fred Meyer. Milk that for all it's worth. Recommended.
Culture editor Martin Cizmar writes about food, beer, jam bands, country music, gangsta rap, bikes, cannabis and the outdoors. He’s originally from a smallish city in the part of Ohio that was once part of Connecticut and has worked as a reporter at dailies in Michigan, Virginia and Arizona and as music editor at the alt-weekly in Phoenix. He’s a passionate advocate for unfettered access to public lands, the repatriation of Oregon wolves, increased urban density and good machaca burritos. He is unwelcome in the cities of Salem and Lake Oswego.