Thanks to that amazing response I got on soliciting your picks for best porters to include in my book, I think I'll continue the experiment. Today, let's try stouts--all except imperials (your dries, sweets, oatmeals, and exports are all good). We'll do imperials as their own thread. The guidelines are the same: The beers need to be great examples to illustrate the style (and delicious), but also need to be relatively available to people who will read the book, and at least some of the beers have to be available in every region of the country. Finally, they should be regular, established beers that will still be in production when the book comes out.
There are so many good ones out there that it's hard to narrow them down. Clearly one of the classic Irish dry stouts should be in there, and Guinness Foreign Extra. Beyond that, I'm open to suggestions. I'll do my best to sample every beer that gets suggested, so tell me the beers I shouldn't miss.
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