A Note on This Beer
When Sunriver head brewer Brett Thomas came up with the recipe for Cocoa Cow Milk Stout back in 2015, he wasn’t setting out to corner the chocolate beer scene in Oregon (although that’s exactly what happened). He was paying homage to his father.
Brett’s dad was a food scientist who worked for Mars M&M, Nestle, and Hershey in the ‘70s. He was a true chocolate fiend. “It was his passion, as craft beer is mine,” Brett says.
That same passion for chocolate is embedded in Brett’s DNA, and after one taste of Cocoa Cow, it couldn’t be more obvious. Swimming in rich flavor from Ghana cocoa nibs, two kinds of Chocolate Malts, and milk sugar — it’s like fudgy, silky-smooth chocolate milk with a dollop of whipped cream… and a completely undetectable 7% ABV.
What started as a tribute brew went on to carve out Sunriver’s niche in the Oregon beer scene. Cocoa Cow has won medals at Bend Brewfest, KLCC Brewfest, McKenzie Brewfest, and the Oregon Beer Awards! It’s become a staple at the brewery, with UT fans giving it a 4.20 rating and saying it’s the best chocolate beer they’ve ever had.
As the Tavour team sipped this decadent treat, we shared fond chocolate-related memories of our own dads. How one dad flings himself backwards on the couch with a glass of chocolate milk every night after dinner. How another brings a giant bag of M&Ms on road trips as the only snack. And how one creates origami from the wrapper of his post-meal chocolate bar.
It reminded us that craft beer means a lot more than what’s in your glass: it’s about the people and stories that it creates. And that realization made Cocoa Cow all the sweeter.
*For the ultimate beer float, plop a scoop of chocolate ice cream in your Cocoa Cow! Totally moo-licious!
Rated 4.20 on Untappd; Medal Winner at North American Beer Awards