Ardent’s path to an imperial milk stout has been a long one.

Our cellarman Steve loves milk stouts. Production manager Chris has a lot of experience brewing them. Co-founder and general manager Tom, however … well, let’s just say he prefers other beers.

Earlier this year we installed two new, smaller 15 bbl fermenters, intended solely for new experimental beers. Enter a regular occurrence in the brewery: Tom asks Steve what type of beer he'd like to brew into them, Steve answers imperial milk stout, Tom sighs. Repeat.

Despite Tom’s initial protests, Steve and Chris eventually win him over. One morning, first thing, Tom walks up to Steve. “Ok, I’m open to brewing a milk stout.” But he includes a challenge: make sure the beer and any variants are definitively our own. 

Ardent’s mission is to give every style of beer its due. We don’t hate any style. So we worked hard to put our own spin on the imperial milk stout and give it a high-quality, thoughtful execution from beginning to end.

This is the first milk stout we’ve made. In fact, it’s the first sweet stout we’ve made—a definite departure from our Dark Rye. For the variants, Steve researched spices and ingredients from around the world (cendol, anyone?) and experimented until we found something scalable, sourceable, and, of course, delicious.

Our imperial milk stout is sweet, chocolaty, and a little sticky, but with enough roast presence to remind you that it's definitely a beer, not liquid candy. We’ll also be releasing a Mexican hot chocolate imperial milk stout (and maybe one more variant that we're still perfecting) and a few fun pins with more experimental adjuncts.

River City Wood Fire Pizza and River City Kettle Corn will be here, and we’ll also be holding our third annual Beer Craft Market featuring local crafters and makers. Come enjoy some beer, grab some food, and do a little holiday shopping!