Written by: Nancy Vienneau

Think about all the times you’ve sat down to a burger and a beer. You ‘most always associate it with a good feeling, one of those basic All-American pleasures, right? And, if it happens to be an insanely delicious burger coupled with a phenomenal craft brew, you’ve hit the happiness jackpot.

We found that happy place at Stout burgers and beer, a boutique, Los Angeles-based chain that’s found a home in Brentwood, Tennessee.  Set up as a neighborhood gastro-pub, Stout offers thirty compelling craft beers on tap and some of the best burgers you’ll ever eat.

Pictured Front: R.T.B. ; Back left: Mornin After; Back right: The Stout

The secret is in beef, a 50/50 blend of chuck and brisket, freshly ground in-house daily, liberally seasoned and griddled on a flattop.  The result, a richly flavored patty then gets stacked with incredible ingredients on a locally baked, soft but sturdy bun.

The namesake, Stout Burger (featured pic), comes with components you identify with a terrific steak: onions that have been caramelized for seven hours to a dark candied amber, roasted tomatoes, bacon sparked with rosemary, gruyere and blue cheeses, and a smidge of horseradish cream.  Crowned with rosemary bacon and a sunny egg, the Morning After burger will bring you back from the hangover abyss, especially with the chipotle ketchup to wake you up. In both, the ratio of meat to topping to bun is spot-on; the patty is cooked to a juicy pink with a crusty char. Or in two words: Burger Perfection.

The Low and Slow Chicken Burger

Chicken burgers get special treatment, too. No dry patties, the free-range poultry is freshly ground, seasoned and griddled to the right doneness. The Low and Slow takes on the best of barbecue, piling on slaw, aged cheddar, crispy onions, fire-roasted chilis and the house ‘cue sauce. Try the R.T.B.—that’s short for Release the Bracken—chef Bracken being the creator of this particular fiery dish. Inspired by Nashville hot chicken, but in no way attempting to mimic it, Bracken’s recipe layers the bird with smoked mozzarella, dill pickles, lettuce and chili aioli. It delivers.

You can get any burger “Stout Skinny”—that is, forget the bun, and enjoy your burger atop a salad. We like the simplicity of the arugula dressed in olive oil and lemon, parmesan and onion crisps. The staff will make sure you have a little extra dipping sauce on the side.

Pic by: Stout Burger and Beer

The menu gives general guidelines for beer pairings, but operational manager Caleb Thorne likes to engage you, find out what you like, and make suggestions. You can get any draft in a 4 ounce pour—optimal for sampling. We love seeing several Tennessee favorites in his 30-tap line-up: Bearded Iris, Tailgate, Wiseacre, Mantra Ales. Our preferences run the gamut: Dogfish Head’s 120 Minute IPA, bold enough for the Low and Slow; Anderson Valley’s smooth Cerveza Crema to accompany the Morning After; La Trappe’s amazing Quadrupel from Holland stands strong alongside the Stout burger, and Perennial’s Owen, a Belgian-style saison, does right by the R.T.B.

For all-purpose Stout drinking and dining, we recommend the Belgian golden ale, La Chouffe. An unfiltered blond brewed with coriander and refermented in the keg, its mild yet balanced tastes of spice, fruit and hop make it ideal with any burger.

We like Thorne’s observation. “When you’re drinking a great brew, it’s like you’re sipping intelligence.”

To that, we’ll add: when you’re eating a Stout burger, you’re taking a bite out of happiness.

To visit/contact their Brentwood location:

STOUT burgers and beer 400 Centerview Drive, Brentwood, TN 37027   615-679-0559 stoutburgersandbeers.com