Having a place like the Fort Street Brewery 15 minutes away helps immensely. FSB, as it is sometimes called, is constantly brewing new stuff. According to their website, they have tapped over 200 beers. That's alot of beer. I was first there in March 2005 (shortly after it opened) and have since tried "only" 24 beers there.
Last night, I had a chance to go to dinner with some friends. #502 was the Brownout and it was, without a doubt, the best beer I have had at FSB.
By the time I got the glass, there was still a bit of tan head left. I am not suggesting the service was bad and it sat there at the bar before it was brought out - I'm saying that the head did not last long (the photo was taken after the head had finally left). The aroma was very sweet while the color was a deep brown. I have had beers that look black and this fell short of that. Deep brown, but certainly not black. On the palate, there was a brief bite of a mild carbonation but that soon gave way to a spectacular and sweet caramel taste. It was noted by both my buddy and I that we expected the beer to be much heavier in body than it actually was given it's color. It was not at all like a porter, but it was certainly heavier than a lager, for example. Not creamy. Not syrupy. Just not light, either.; somewhere in between. The documentation suggests chocolate tones, but I did not taste any (nor did my friend). The finish was slightly dry while the sweetness lingered.
5 out of 5. A super beer.
I'm sad to say that I will never be able to enjoy this beer again. By the time I finished my first glass, my sinuses swelled up. Every now and then, I have a beer that seems to set off my allergies. Sucks to be me....