The topic from Mark Lindner, the Bend Beer Librarian for this month’s Session is simply Porters, one of my favorite styles. Sipping the complex, sometimes intense, roasted malt flavors of a Porter is one of life’s underrated pleasures.
Unfortunately, Porters are hard to find these days. I went to my local bottle shop last weekend in search of a few porters for this Session post. As you might expect, I had numerous of choices of different IPA’s, Saisons, Stouts, Pale Ales, Belgian Ales, Farmhouse Ales, not to mention more than a few different Lagers and even Malt Liquors. I could only find three different Porters and took two of them home with me.
Monday, I poured myself a Maui Brewing Coconut Porter I picked up at the bottle shop that weekend. It’s one of my all time favorite porters. Full of dark chocolate flavors accentuated by the toasted coconut, it tastes like a sophisticated version of a Mounds bar in a glass.
Tuesday was Super Tuesday, where Donald Trump took a commanding lead in the Republican Presidential Primaries. A strong Porter seemed in order. So I went with Heretic Chocolate Hazelnut Porter, which at 7.0% abv, provided the necessary numbing sensation required to remain calm while contemplating thoughts of Trump as President. What a remarkable porter it was. The nuanced roastiness balanced the buttery hazelnuts producing a restrained, sophisticated brew, with the different flavors harmonizing effortlessly. Call it the anti-Trump of Porters.
While I certainly enjoyed these Porters, all three were amped up in one way of another with coffee, nuts, or good old fashioned alcohol. Was there anyplace I could get “just” a Porter?
Well, my local Safeway always has Deschutes Black Butte Porter, one of my ten or so “go to” beers you’ll often find in my fridge. It’s the only porter they ever have at Safeway. Porters are definitely worth searching for. They’re just too hard to find.