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Vanilla beer?

  • d

Years ago I tried a vanilla ale at a brewhouse in Nashville and the experience was life-changing. I am a vanilla freak, and this beer was just fantastic. Recently while on business travel I found a vanilla stout at a brewpub on the east coast and I am now in obsession mode. Must... find... vanilla... beer.

Does anyone know of any brewhouses that make a vanilla beer in the LA area? Or a beer retailer that sells bottles? I'm in the LAX area, so south bay/westside is preferred, but I expect I'm gonna have to travel for this...


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  1. I'm a vanilla lover too! Does vanilla beer have a good vanilla taste? Or does it taste like beer with a drop of vanilla extract in it?

    I've tried that Tequiza beer, the beer that tastes like tequila, and it was really awful.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kingkong5

      The ones that I've had range from actually slightly sweet vanilla tasting beer to having a more subtle vanilla smell and aftertaste, but with a more "beery" taste.

      I will try Galco's... I'd heard about it but have never been, and didn't know that they carried beer as well!

    2. I looked for this a while ago and didn't find anything in a bar, but call Galco's in Highland Park, they might carry some by the bottle.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Chowpatty

        Great idea. Galco's has a whole isle of exotic beers and ales.


        1. re: David Kahn

          Ditto on Galco's. They are so nice, if they don't have it, I'll bet they'll want it and try to find it. Keep us posted if you find it!

      2. Okay, you're going to have some trouble tracking this down. Galco's honestly isn't going to have much for you... call ahead and ask because I don't think you'll find any Vanilla brews on their shelves.

        Starting with more locally brewed options... The long definct Pasadena Brewing Company used to feature a coffee vanilla stout, but they closed their doors years ago. And the Thirsty Bear Brewing Company in San Francisco regularly features "Golden Vanilla," but it's a seasonal, and it's probably more of a drive than you were thinking of.

        As to bottled options, there are comparatively few. You can order Breckenridge Vanilla Porter from various vendors online... but, as it isn't distributed locally, the only shop in Southern California that has the slightest chance of stocking it is The Stuffed Sandwich, where they carry some otherwise regionally unavailable brews (I'd honestly be very surprised if Sam had it in stock, so try calling ahead).

        Finally, if all else fails, and you're absolutely desperate... look around for the big 24 ounce bottles of Michelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak on the shelves of your local BevMo. They were a limited release in 2005, but they can still be found in shops with less turnover. Anheuser-Busch was trying to compete with the craft brewers, and met with mixed success. This is a love it or hate it beer... I'll let you make up your mind as to where you stand on the matter.

        Now, if you were looking for more heaviily spiced beers with vanilla notes... there would probably be more options, especially around the holidays... but the generally vanilla would be pretty faint with stronger flavors like ginger and orange peel in the foreground.

        1. OK, this is not a vanilla beer, but if you don't find that I wonder if you'd like Hoegaarten whitbeer (a delicate, creamy, lovely unfiltered Belgian beer brewed with coriander)... it's like the korma of beers to me.

          1. Hi,
            you were at Market Street in downtown Nashville. The beer was a Bohannon's Creme Ale and was probably the most delicious vanilla beer ever made. Unfortunately the brewery shut down and the recipe is a secret. I live here in Nashville and miss the stuff terribly. Never had anything like it.

            1. Beverage Warehouse can't help you, unfortunately.

              I did a search, they have vanilla soft drinks, vanilla rum and a few other vanilla spirits and liquors, but no vanilla ale.

              I'd like to know the answer to this one, too. I'd love to try a vanilla ale.

              1. From Beer Advocate, here are two California Vanilla Beers

                Coffee Vanilla Stout
                Pasadena Brewing Company | Pasadena, California
                Listed as "retired"-probably not out there anymore...

                Golden Vanilla
                Thirsty Bear Brewing Company | San Francisco, California
                Here is a list of other US vanilla beers to look for

                Oliver's Vanilla Ice
                The Wharf Rat / Oliver Breweries Ltd. | Baltimore, Maryland

                Barley's Vanilla Porter
                Barley's Brewing Company | Columbus, Ohio

                Mr. Dexter's Very Vanilla Cream Ale
                Watch City Brewing Co. | Waltham, Massachusetts

                7 Year Itch Cherry Vanilla Stout
                Springfield Brewing Company | Springfield, Missouri

                Aspen Meadow Vanilla Cream Stout
                Gluek Brewing Company | Cold Springs, Minnesota

                Blueberry Vanilla Wheat
                Chicago Brewing Company | Las Vegas, Nevada

                Bourbon Vanilla Porter
                Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant | Newark, Delaware

                Bourbon Vanilla Porter
                Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant | West Chester, Pennsylvania

                Bourbon Vanilla Porter
                Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant | Media, Pennsylvania

                Bourbon Vanilla Porter
                Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant | Wilmington, Delaware

                Bourbon Vanilla Porter
                Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant | North Wales, Pennsylvania

                Bourbon Vanilla Porter
                Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant | Phoenixville, Pennsylvania

                Congorilla Vanilla Bean Stout
                Safari Grill And Brewing Company | Chanute, Kansas

                Dark Side Vanilla Porter
                Empyrean Brewing Company | Lincoln, Nebraska

                Gorilla Vanilla
                Bricktown Brewery & Blackwater Grill | Dubuque, Iowa

                Honey Vanilla Brown
                Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery | West Des Moines, Iowa

                Michelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak
                Anheuser-Busch, Inc. | St. Louis, Missouri

                Mocha Vanilla Stout
                Outer Banks Brewing Station | Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

                Puget Sound Vanilla Porter
                Harmon Restaurant & Brewery | Tacoma, Washington

                Show Dog Vanilla Stout
                III Dachshunds | Milwaukee, Wisconsin

                Southport Cherry Vanilla Ale
                SBC Restaurant & Brewery - Branford | Branford, Connecticut

                Stoney Creek Vanilla Porter
                Stoney Creek Brewing Company | Detroit, Michigan

                Tortuga Vanilla Stout
                Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery | Minneapolis, Minnesota