Is There Milk in Milk Stout?

Written by: Kelly Donovan

If you’re looking for a new beer to try and are intrigued by the illustrious milk stout, you may wonder if it contains milk.

Milk stout does not have milk in it; instead, it only contains the sugar derived from milk. However, this sugar negatively affects lactose intolerant individuals who should avoid milk stout.

In this article you will learn if milk stout contains any dairy, if there are non-dairy alternatives to a milk stout, and whether or not you can derive the health benefits of milk from a milk stout.

Does Milk Stout Contain Any Dairy?

The only dairy product found in milk stout is the sugar extracted from milk called lactose.

Lactose is what gives milk stouts their sweet, creamy flavor.

The profile of a milk stout is likened to a combination of beer and coffee with cream.

Other stouts are considered dry and made from only grains, while milk stouts have a touch of sweetness thanks to lactose.

Many milk stouts are made by smaller craft beer brewing companies and boast either milk, cream, or even chocolate milk flavor.

However, some more prominent brands, such as Samuel Adams, make milk stout.

Any grocery store that sells beer or taproom will most likely have at least one milk stout available for purchase, especially during the winter when they are most popular.

This video from Hops & Bros goes into more details about the basics of milk stout.

Are There Any Non-Dairy Milk Stout Alternatives?

Local craft brewers aiming to cater to vegan and lactose intolerant customers have created milk stouts from plant-based milk such as almond milk, coconut milk, and soy milk.

Taprooms across America, from Denver to Boston, have gotten onboard with the dairy-free milk stouts.

Plant-based milk stouts still have the same sweet flavor as milk stouts, thanks to the richness in taste and natural sweetness of dairy alternatives like coconut milk

To achieve the same creamy taste and sweet flavor, some brewers add vanilla or cacao powder along with soy milk and almond milk to enhance the experience.

glass of milk stout next to bottle of guinness

Does Milk Stout Have the Same Health Benefits as Milk?

While cow’s milk has many health benefits, including necessary vitamins and minerals like potassium, thiamin, and calcium, milk stout cannot say the same.

Despite its name, milk stout only contains the sugars within the milk.

All other ingredients in milk known to be health benefits are stripped away before being added to the brew.

Although the name might imply that you are getting your calcium for the day, milk stout is still a beer with added lactose to give it a rich, creamy flavor.

In fact, dairy-free milk stouts may contain more benefits than true milk stouts.

Non-dairy milk stouts contain the milk alternatives themselves, which are rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, and more.

If you want to choose the best beer for a dairy flavor without the addition of lactose, non-dairy milk stouts are a better choice.

About the Author

Kelly Donovan is a freelance writer. She enjoys helping people reach their wellness goals by educating them about how food plays a role in their health.