If you’ve ever wondered at the appeal, the urge, the drive to attend Fort George Brewery’s Festival of the Dark Arts, if you’ve heard wisps of the mythology and the mystery and the epic weirdness or even seen a few pictures and wondered, you know, WTF, maybe I should dress like Jack Sparrow and make my way through 80 exquisitely unique stouts on a cold mid-February Saturday in Astoria, Oregon. You should. It’s rather astonishing how often you’ll reach bliss at the one-day stout craft beer festival. It almost matters not from which brewery room you inhabit — Festival of the Dark Arts is an equal opportunity soul enricher. In your admiration for the magical menagerie of art and macabre entertainment — the ice, glass, ink, and fire craftspeople — you’ll also taste the very best in craft brewery-made stouts, including 20 or so from Fort George proper. If you don’t have tickets to this year’s Festival of the Dark Arts, Peaks & Pints can, at least, offer you a taste of five Fort George stouts that will pour at their stout fest next Saturday, as our in-house Friday flight, Peaks and Pints Beer Flight: Fort George Dark Arts Stouts.
Peaks and Pints Beer Flight: Fort George Dark Arts Stouts
Fort George Nilla the Thrilla
Astoria is full of great coffee, but according to Fort George Brewery, the best coffee — and the coffee that is geographically closest to them — comes from Sleeper Coffee. Sleeper has been open down the street from Fort George for less than a year and they’re already making the brewery employees roughly 100 lattes a week. Nilla the Thrilla is a vanilla latte stout on nitro with a whole bunch of specialty coffee from Sleeper — 35 pounds of it — plus Guatemalan Vanilla Beans, flaked oats, Crisp Pale Chocolate and Roasted Barley malts, for a silky-smooth s’mores treat but with Nilla Wafers, chocolate and a small bit of marshmallow flavor.
Fort George Velvet Fog
Velvet Fog is a smooth, refined stout with a cool blast of vanilla, soothing, familiar black tea, and a final gentle kiss of lavender. Think London Fog cocktails without the bourbon.
Fort George Coconut Cavatica Stout
Fort George Brewery at the mouth of the Columbia River in Astoria, Oregon, excels at dark craft beers, such as its Cavatica Stout. The Latin root of Cavatica is cave, crevice, abyss, or a dark place. Just like a stout should be. Fort George brewers dump in black barley and Munich malt to get a molasses like heft. It offers a big head of sandy foam and the resolute sweetness of raisins, cocoa, and candied walnuts. Coconut Cavatica is their beloved, best-selling Cavatica Stout infused with a staggering amount of coconut.
Fort George Kiss The Bing
This chocolate cherry inspired stout was a complete accident. One slow January morning, Fort George brewer David was descending one of the many stairways at Fort George with a tray of volatile stout samples when he collided with another employee transporting a large quantity of frozen Bing cherries to the lab for testing. It was a huge mess. There were cherries in the stout, and stout all over the cherries. Bing! Kiss the Bing is an imperial chocolate cherry stout with Tanzanian cacao nibs, frozen Bing cherries, and Brazilian vanilla.
Fort George Churro Stout
It’s a fact that the churro is the best thing you can fry. And now it’s the best thing you can drink, too. Fort George brewed this rich, sweet, cinnamon vanilla stout with six gallons of Oatly vegan vanilla soft serve ice cream mix plus vanilla beans from the Congo and Ceylon cinnamon powder.