With the fifth annual Tampa Bay Beer Week fully under way, it seems appropriate to check out the newest year-round offering from St. Petersburg's biggest — and currently expanding — brewery, 3 Daughters.
Stern Line Stout is the fourth beer in 3 Daughters' canned lineup, representing a relatively uncommon style in the world of canned beers. Stern Line is an oatmeal stout, which is a variation of sweet stout developed in England about 60 years ago. The style faded into obscurity over time, until it was revived by Yorkshire's Samuel Smith's Brewery in the '80s.
Unlike most sweet stouts, which rely on the addition of lactose, oatmeal stouts contain oats, which provide proteins, fats, and gums that give it that characteristic velvety mouthfeel and subtle sweetness. This is not a dry stout; it's lightly sweet, chocolatey and, most of all, fantastically smooth.
Stern Line is a great example of the style and one of only a handful available in cans nationwide. It's lighter in body and alcohol than an imperial stout, while fuller and richer than a dry stout. It's less sugary than a milk stout, while still possessing a pleasant sweetness to complement its bright cocoa-and-coffee notes. Drink this one while the weather's still mild, and celebrate another great year of Tampa Bay beer.
Justin Grant, Times correspondent