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Kelsey drinks beer: Stark
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Reformation Brewery's Stark Toasted Porter - photo by Austin Steele

I used to scoff at people who drank dark beer during the spring and summer.

I realize now that I was being an idiot.

Where did I get this preconceived notion that they should only be reserved for the colder months?

Maybe it’s because of the beer’s heaviness, which suggests it will have more calories, alcohol content and heartiness.

These are dark beer myths.

Porters, dunkels and stouts can reach as low as 5% alcohol by volume. I typically drink schwarzbier like water during Oktoberfest — it’s that light.

I’m not saying that all dark beer is this way. Imperial stouts, barley wine and Belgian quads can get in the double digits.

The point I’m trying to convey is that dark beer deserves to be appreciated and consumed during all seasons. Beer snobs, don’t try to tell anyone otherwise.

Reformation Brewery’s toasted porter, Stark, offers the perfect example of a non-desserty dark brew perfect for drinking year-round.

The recipe includes toasted malts, which give the beer scrumptious notes of coffee and dark chocolate. It balances bitterness with maltiness, making it a smooth and easy-drinking brew.

Jessica Miller, spokeswoman at Reformation Brewery, said its best paired with s’mores, grilled beef, barbecue, salted caramel and chocolate desserts.

I always get excited when I hear about beer that’s brewed with a purpose.

The brewery’s co-founder and brewmaster, Nick Downs, brewed Stark with the purpose of raising awareness and support for Cambodian Heritage Camp, which he shares a personal connection with.

The camp, which is located in Colorado, hosts Cambodian-born adoptees and their families for four days in mid-July.

“We loved (Stark) so much, it became a part of our year-round offerings,” Miller said.

Since this is one of Reformation Brewery’s core brews, you can find it at most grocery stores around Georgia.

Reformation Brewery’s locations are in Canton and Commerce. For more information about the brewery, visit reformationbrewery.com.

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