Cheers!: Speedway Stout, Black Gold from AleSmith Brewing

Checkered flags on a bomber bottle? It must be Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing of San Diego.

AleSmith is another brewery run by a homebrewer – Peter Zien – who wanted to take his award-winning beers to the public. It’s a success story I never tire of hearing.

Speedway is an imperial stout brewed with a locally roasted dose of coffee. Is that the “Speed”way connection? I ask because I don’t know what else Speedway Stout could mean. Is San Diego a big NASCAR town? All I know is that it’s a Navy town and it’s a big craft beer destination.

Ah, titles. Who knows? Sometimes we’re just stuck with them, like ex-wives.

Here is how I ended up with a bottle of Speedway Stout in front of me.

It was another frigid weekend here in Paradise. For a moment I thought I should give the cold the finger with a New Glarus Raspberry Tart (summer in a bottle), but I felt in addition to celebration, I also needed to fortify myself against the cold and other stuff.

Aha, Speedway Stout. That’s the ticket! I can hold a glass of it up to my eye and blot out the entire world with its darkness. Black gold.

Just about every dark flavor you have encountered or imagined seems to be packed into this beer – dark chocolate, espresso, dark pit fruits, charred meat, dark berries, fire-cured tobacco, black licorice, black magic, brown liquors and the Marquis de Sade are just a few of the dark things that crossed my mind as this beer made a transatlantic crossing on my palate with each slow sip.

Now I believe the stories I’ve heard of people camping outside of AleSmith headquarters in anticipation of barrel-aged releases of Speedway Stout. While I don’t see myself camping out anywhere for anything at anytime, I can appreciate the devotion to any iteration of this brew.

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