Denton Beer Scene: Audacity's Black Widow Imperial Stout at The Bearded Monk

The world of craft beer has grown exponentially over the last few decades with local breweries, brewpubs, and craft beer retail stores sprouting faster than weeds. In the recent year or two, you’ve probably noticed and visited a few new craft beer stores in Denton that not only sell craft beer but allow patrons to enjoy a beer with company or fill growlers for on- or off-site consumption. We foresee this as a growing trend, which is why we created a Growler Fill Up Locations Index for quick & easy reference.

Last Saturday, I paid a visit to one of Denton’s newest establishments, The Bearded Monk. Upon stepping foot into the small but rather spacious store, I was expecting that of a traditional convenience or liquor store: sterile yet cramped. It was the complete opposite.

The entrance opened up into a common area complete with couches, quaint tabletops, and a corner stage for the occasional music performance. The Bearded Monk was hosting their monthly market catering to local design, craft, and apparel artists. Tables were arranged around the main entrance showcasing an array of great local maker’s goods from intricately etched wood carvings to hand-knitted beer koozies.

Passing by display cases and walls filled to the brim with craft beer in almost a library-esque fashion, I was greeted by the shop’s manager/co-founder, Ben Webster. Staring blindly at the hand drawn chalkboard slates of which beers were available on draught, Ben was quick to offer suggestions and inquire of the specific styles of beer I generally enjoyed.

I'm in Denton. I want local.

Image courtesy of Christopher Swain

Image courtesy of Christopher Swain

I opted for Audacity's Black Widow Imperial Chocolate Stout. The beer arrived blacker than night, little to no head, and with some lace gripping the sides of the glass. The initial smell aroused notes of roasted malts, coffee, and fruit. As stouts begin to fully develop and open up as they warm, new aromas of caramel and bitter chocolate became prominent.

Upon initial sip, the beer had a slight bitterness from the chocolate but ended with a sweet, milky aftertaste. The mouthfeel was light for an 8.8% ABV stout and carbonation was soft and velvety. With each sip, the balance of chocolate and roasted malts kept me coming back for more.

This brew would the perfect accompaniment to tart berries, a slice of chocolate pecan pie from West Oak Coffee Bar, or any dessert really.

As Audacity has recently started canning their beers and selling to local retailers, we hope this beer is next on the list so we can see it being a frequently go-to stout. We hope a barrel-aged version Black Widow is in the works, and that it will make an appearance sometime in the near future. (hint, hint!)

With Bearded Monk’s knowledgeable staff, welcoming décor, and vast array of various styles of craft beer, I think I may have found a new favorite craft beer hangout spot.