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Survival "7-Grain" Stout | Hopworks Urban Brewery

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123 Reviews
Survival "7-Grain" StoutSurvival "7-Grain" Stout

Brewed by:
Hopworks Urban Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The seven grains: Barley (Egyptian), Wheat (Mesopotamian), Oats (Egyptian), Amaranth (Aztec), Quinoa (Incan), Spelt (Mesopotamian), and Kamut (Egyptian).

Finished with 15 pounds of cold-pressed Stumptown 'Hairbender' espresso.

2011 - Finished with 15 pounds of cold-pressed Stumptown Organic Holler Mountain Coffee.

2012 - Finished with 20 pounds of cold-pressed Stumptown Organic Holler Mountain coffee.

35 IBU

Added by josiahschlender on 06-06-2008

For Trade:
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Reviews: 123 | Ratings: 322
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Interesting bottle picked up in vancouver. A lot of interesting grains that yield a cerial of tastes, yet it doesn't all integrate together. Expresso and coffee so if you are a coffee drinker you probably liked this better. Dark and lacey despite a small head. big roast, above average mouthfeel of course. In a word, roasted grains.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to black13 for sending me this one!

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a 2 inch puffy tan head that settles to a thin cap. Thin foamy rings of lace mark the drink down on the sides of the glass. Smell is of brewed coffee, coffee grounds, and grain aromas. Taste is very heavy on the coffee flavor, almost like a strong coffee that some coffee grounds got into. There are also some grainy flavors but I have never had amaranth or kamut so I have no idea if these are present. Bitter coffee ground flavors stick around after each sip. A low level of carbonation with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good stout that is heavier on the coffee than the grains. Still a solid brew that I am glad I got to try.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.67/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber. Wow, 7 different grains - so, this is like, healthy?

This beer pours a very dark, bordering on black, cola brown hue, with niggly amber highlights, and two fingers of fast-disappearing creamy beige head, which leaves a few swaths of chunky and blotchy lace around the glass in the process.

It smells of mildly roasted caramel malt, bitterly dry coffee, semi-sweet nutty chocolate, and musty earthy, leafy hops. The taste is bittersweet cocoa blended with dry coffee grounds, some oatmeal/wheat/hippie cereal graininess, and a touch of further bittering earthy, mineral-esque ash, the meek weedy hops bringing up the rear.

The carbonation is fairly soft, just a trilling frothiness for the most part, the body medium-light in weight, for the style, generally smooth, and more than a tad creamy. It finishes still on the sweet side, the acrid nature of the coffee retreating, leaving the mixed bag of malt and cocoa pretty much large and in charge - the weedy, earthy hop blend not really a contender.

Overall, a decent enough stout - smooth, sure, but silky, not so much. The different grains get lost in the mire, with only the barley, wheat, and oats standing out in their typical manner. If this thing had to survive on the other four, the whole house of cards would come tumbling down. Still, drinkable and enjoyable for what it is - a brewing geek marketing gimmick.

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Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a darkest brown color capped by an inch of foam that is surprisingly light colored for a stout (must be the malt bill); leaves a few shards behind

Smell: Not sure I would be able to pick out the ancient grain collection without out prompting from the label, but the beer sure does have a range of cereal smells in addition to chocolate and blueberry tones

Taste: Chocolate and coffee tones, up front, with the cereal grains adding another dimension through mid-palate; after the swallow, some sweeter, blueberry flavors complement the breakfast cereal theme; the coffee returns in the aftertaste to send you on your way

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A very drinkable stout; I like that it is full of flavor, has a grain bill twist and a low ABV

Thanks, gkatsoris, for the opportunity

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.62/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by drabmuh. Thanks, Matt.

Pours a near black color with a thin tan head and a bit of a collar as the small head settles down. The nose brings forward a pretty good amount of coffee plus a nice bit of roasted malt. Fairly-strong roast throughout. The taste carries this a bit further and is almost a bit too roasty without much else in the way of complexity. Slight coffee presence, but that's about it. Feel is pretty good with a medium body. Overall, a pretty decent beer though there wasn't anything all that special about it. I liked their IPA much more.

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Photo of superspak
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into pint glass, late 2012 bottling. Pours crystal clear almost opaque dark brown color with a 1-2 finger dense tan head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of big roasted coffee beans, milk chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, caramel, oatmeal, toast, light char, and roasted earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great balance and complexity of roasted notes with plenty of coffee presence. Taste of roasted coffee, chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, light char, oatmeal, toast, caramel, and roasted earthiness. Fair amount of coffee bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of coffee, chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, light char, oatmeal, toast, caramel, and earthiness on the finish for a bit. Very nice balance and complexity of roasted flavors with coffee; with a good bitterness/sweetness balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy and smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent American stout style. Very nice balance and complexity of roasted and coffee flavors with the multiple grains used; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ the Hopworks Urban Brewery (Portland, OR) on 9/4/11. Served in a mug.

Pours black, with a ½ finger of burnt mocha colored head. This retains with a rich ¼ finger that has a nice flare-up to it, leaving back a sturdy cascade of spotty froth. Espresso jumps right out in the aroma, with an underlying layer to this of green citrus notes and a touch of cocoa and caramel sweetness. I’m enjoying the focus on the roast and hops here in the nose.

The taste is green citric bitterness melding with a maltier base of chocolate and caramel sweetness. A flush of delicious roasted coffee character comes across the backend, leaving this dry and burnt feeling with a touch of lingering hops. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a sharp and mouth-filling feel to the carbonation that really pops the entire roast and hops here on the palate. There is more of smoothness to this on the underside though that helps keep this more approachable overall.

Wow, this was good Stout, with those lush flavors just seeming to literally jump out of the glass here on draft. I became a big fan of Stumptown coffee during this trip, so I wasn’t surprised to find out that this ended up being finished with it, as the coffee character here was my favorite part of this. It was maybe a little too coffee heavy at times, as I really didn’t get any of the nuances from the multitude of grains used in this but whatever. Stouts this rich and flavorful are always appreciated when I find them.

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Photo of mactrail
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours an attractive ruby-tinted dark brown in the tall goblet. A low beige head caps the brew nicely. Some silky oatmeal consistency.

Well, the word for the flavor is "grainy." Interesting persistent spicy tang. Lots of blackened malt, or dark toasted amaranth, or some such. I wondered what the other unusual charred flavor was, and looking at the label, it's coffee. Some sweet malt offset by the rather bitter finish.

An interesting quaff, and I'm glad to see the experimentation with the non-traditional fermentables. Though I think the jury's still out on the oddball grains. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Bottleworks in Seattle.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out a clearish, dark brown, near black body with a well-sized, frothed, khaki-colored head.

Smell: Hearty and fulfilling - it's like the reunion show of some long ago canceled television sitcom. Retired, aging, has-been grains sitting alongside barley and wheat, who's beer careers have been on an unprecedented meteoric rise, to share memories and swap stories with limited commercial interruption.

Taste: The Survival Stout utilizes more well-known grains including barley, oats, and wheat, but it also contains a number of ancient, oft-forgotten grains: amaranth, spelt, quinoa, and kamut. Starts with a flavor of fine dark chocolate syrup with touches nutty oats, molasses, Dutch cocoa, and with a background taste of crisp, blackened grains. Medium degree of sweetness throughout. Also, there's a buildup of smooth, tasty espresso. Meager earthy hop character and bitterness, with more perceived bitterness attributed to the grains than the hops. Finishes dry and roasty.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is velvety to a point. Yes, yes, it is.

Drinkability: Somewhere, in a secret, candlelit room, the uninvited, unwelcome Rye Grain sits alone brooding. From floor to ceiling, the walls are plastered with iStockphoto.com stills of the various grains all X'ed out with bright red lipstick. This won't, this cannot end well. Survival Stout, with its wide array of various grains and added cold-pressed espresso presents a rich, inviting complexity and yet there's a very, very sensible ABV%. Recommended!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

"Mankind's prospects of survival were considerably better when we were defenseless against tigers than they are today when we have become defenseless against ourselves."

--Arnold Toynbee

Glossy mahogany with burnt umber accents along the edges of the glass. Despite the rainy and overcast morning, it appears as though this oatmeal stout is opaque. Not bad at all for 5.3%. The pale caramel colored head looks wonderful, as do shredded sheets of sea foam lace.

The nose gives no indication that such a wide variety of grains were used. Doesn't matter, because this is a fantastic smelling stout. Along with the usual chocolatiness of black and roasted malt, we have floral hops and a jaunty amount of java. Could this be anything other than delicious beer?

Survival "7-Grain" Stout is, indeed, tasty beer. That isn't the least bit surprising since IPA and Crosstown Pale Ale are very good as well. The brewers didn't just use coffee... they used 'cold-pressed Stumptown Hairbender espresso'. Sounds pretty intense. To H.U.B.'s credit, this offering isn't overbalanced in that direction.

The malt backbone is just big enough for the style and ABV. Truthfully, they need to add about 25% more malt for more flavor depth. Flavor intensity is pretty impressive already. It's amazing how much bitterness 35 IBUs imparts when malt sugars are on the low end. These guys have no qualms about using the little greens cones... which is a very good thing.

Flavors include chocolate wafers, charred coffee beans, a little dark caramel, bitter black tea leaves and few shavings of white grapefruit zest. What the beer isn't: brown sugary, fruity, smoky or anise-like. Again, the exotic grains aren't noticeable and actually come across as a bit gimmicky.

The mouthfeel suffers due to the shortage of malt sugars. I hate to be too hard on a beer with this ABV, but it really needs to linger longer. Carbonation is fine; no changes needed there.

Hopworks Urban Brewery continues to impress this BA. I've now had three of their beers and have enjoyed each and every one. If you like hoppy stouts that also include coffee, Survival "7-Grain" Stout will do you right. And wake you up.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at HUB, Portland, OR

Poured a dark brown-black with a thin tan head. Roasty aroma, dark malts, bits of smoke, coffee. More of the same in the taste basically, big on the roast, dark malts, lightly toasted oats, notes of coffee and cocoa, subdued sweetness, but mostly just roastiness. Medium body with some bitterness left in the mouth. Decent overall.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to johnmichaelsen for sharing this -enjoyed chilled from the bomber shared with abru17.

the color is deep brown with crimson hues and thick 3 finger cream with very good retention. The smell is a mix of roasted and slightly spiced with mild caramel and currant odors. The feel is good with nice tinges of roasted malt and subtle hints of sweetness gentle fruity yeast.

The flavor is good with nice coffee accent and mild hop bitterness with creamy malt which is toasted with some dried fruit flavor from both the coffee and yeast with nice tinge of herbal hops that balances the grain flavor which has sweet and earthy flavor that adds to the cold pressed coffee which is more cocoa-like than bitter coffee. The overall impression was a very good stout, I like the unique combination of ingredients and flavors that it brings with some nice currant and coffee in the taste.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Thanks to hopsbreath and the Support Your Team! BIF for this bottle!

Enjoying the Survival stout after a blackout in my building (I hate it here in NoVa...). It pours a slightly translucent ruby-highlighted black-brown topped by about a finger of ecru foam. The nose comprises coffee, bitter chocolate powder, roasted malts, blackened oats, and a dash of black smoke. The taste is dominated by the roast and the coffee, with the toasted oats maintaining the darkness. It's nice and charry, without being overbearing. The body is a solid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth, almost watery feel. Overall, a very nice, rather dark-tasting stout, without being overpowering or too thick. A very nice, very drinkable dark beast, with sessionability to boot.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer is dark brown to black with a tan head that breaks and forms a halo of bubbles around the outside of the glass.

Lots of roast / coffee in the nose of this one, mild sweetness, roast wins.

Beer is medium bodied and has a strong roastiness throughout the beer. As an extra in a recent trade I'm pretty happy with it but overall it's a strong, bitter, coffee stout. I'd have it again but it was an above average beer to me in a style that I have a hard time really getting into, I can appreciate a good example but otherwise I'm fine.

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Photo of stevoj
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at PreFunk. Sharp peppery taste, pours out black with small beige head. Aroma is normal stout dark malt, roast grains. Slick, slippery mouthfeel, lingering pepper/spicy finish. Spiciness is a nice touch to what is an otherwise solid stout, lip smacking good

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Photo of tempest
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber, this stout is pitch black with a tan head. The 7-grains are intriguing, but the star of this beer is the Stumptown espresso beans. The malt does get an unusual earthy, spicy taste from all the grains, but those beans deliver smooth java taste that reminds me of the best iced coffee I've ever had. Stout lovers looking for something different, or anyone that likes coffee beer, should check this out asap.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of bu11zeye.

Pours black with a light brown head. The aroma is strong coffee with some roasted malt. The flavor is strong coffee with some bitterness as well as some chocolate. You also get some nutty characteristics. Medium mouthfeel but a little more watery than I expected. Very drinkable. Great beer.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to msubulldog25 for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a nice black color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger plus tan head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with a very nice coffee note, toffee/caramel. The taste is slightly sweet/bitter, malty, with lots of coffee notes, with toffee/caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a pretty tasty brew, my first from this brewery, thanks Brian.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 16oz tall can into my Selkirk Abbey tulip. ABV is listed at 5.8% and the can doesn't say "7-grain", but it's definitely Survival Stout with coffee, so -- I assume it's the same beer.

Appearance: black body with some brown highlights around the edges. Head is a finger of frothy tan foam. It's an attractive beer.

Smell: plenty of coffee aroma with a little chocolate underneath. This beer does a good job of employing the coffee element without being too astringent or harsh. I like it.

Taste: coffee is more subdued in the flavor than in the aroma, which works well here. The overall effect is a light mocha with a hint of vegetal, earthy hops. It's a very smooth stout that I quite enjoy.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good carbonation and a nice creaminess for the style. I quite like it.

Overall: this beer, while good at the beginning, manages to keep growing on me. It's just a delightful and drinkable stout that, while not overly complex, is well-wrought and smooth as can be. Kudos!

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Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Concordia Alehouse today.

The SGS pours the expected blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is likewise attractive, showcasing considerable licorice, dark chocolate, coffee grounds and light vanilla. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this at most moderately sweet stout, but with some nice underlying hoppy bitterness as well. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a fairly long, coffee ground and licorice finish. Drinkability is pretty good, and you really have to hand it to HUB that they managed to get this amount of flavor into such a low alcohol beer.

Nothing earth shattering here, but this is still a very solid offering from the folks at HUB.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.74/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a thinnish dark brown with excellent carbonation leaving a nice tannish head

S: Pretty faint, some grains perhaps

T: Espresso, chocolate, raostiness, Earthy

M: Has a chcoolate, espresso and bitter cocoa finish with some hop bitterness

D: Good

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Photo of beertunes
3.62/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared a 22 with some friends. Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a nice solid black, with just hint of red around the edges. It had a thin cap of dark khaki head that had surprisingly low retention and very light lace.

I'm not a coffee person, but the amount of coffee in the nose is just right. There's a very solid grain scent supporting the the coffee and spice notes. On the tongue, the grains, coffee and trace of hops were very well combined and balanced.

The body was good, but way too thin for a stout. Drinkability was very good, I could have easily drank the entire 22 by self without getting bored.

Overall, a nice brew. Certainly worth trying if you see it and, perhaps, some effort to get.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bottle poured into pint glass mar14 2011

A fairly dark until I held it to the sun where the reds so dark it could pass for purple, thick mocha head hangs around for a few minuets but leaves no lace

S sweet milk chocolate and cold dark roasted coffee

T what I smell but with a little raisin and a dark malty goodness that works well with some faint hops

M gets creamy fast from the bubbles, thick enough to please and lingering flavors

D pretty good for something I could drink all day without falling over

I could see myself drinking this again its working well for me right now so I'd say its worth a try

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Has equal parts brown and black. Thin beige head. 1/3". Plenty of roasted notes bringing out coffee tones.

Taste is the same way, but the roast is not such that it creates a bitter acrid feeling, it still has plenty of smoothness. Oats? Very drinkable, not over the top, absorbs the alcohol. Just a real sessionable chewy no frills stout that is quite crushable.

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Photo of bark
4.11/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The colour is black, the low head brown.

The smell is loaded with lots of coffee and cocoa. Dry and elegant with hints of unidentifiable hops.

The taste starts off with coffee flavours and a somewhat artificial bitterness. Lots of cocoa/dark chocolate. Semi-sweet notes of coffee candy. The mild bitterness is well incorporated. The aftertaste is smooth with notes of instant coffee and American hops. The bitterness grows and gets drier in the finish.

The carbonation is a bit too strong, the bubbles small. The liquid is quite light.

A elegant fresh coffee stout with well hidden alcohol.

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Survival "7-Grain" Stout from Hopworks Urban Brewery
4.01 out of 5 based on 322 ratings.
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