Oh yeah, doing another porter review. I love these beers; not too deep, definitely not too light, and there is a ton of things brewers can do to vary these guys. Yes, they are filling. Yes, they can be strong. But c’mon now, put on your big boy pants and get with the program! Try these guys when you see them at the bar or purchase them when you see them in the grocery aisle.
But which beers should you get?
Well, here are five more that you may want to buy or deny:
1. Sound Brewery - Poundage Porter
5.5% ABV 36 IBU
Yeah, I know, I am starting off with a fairly esoteric brewery. Sound Brewery is in Poulsbo, Washington. Know where that is? Neither do I. Neither do the people living in Poulsbo. I Google Mapped it, Google imploded. But really, who cares? If this Poundage Porter is any good, they could make this thing on the moon for all I care. Well, is it good? Yes. Very. Smooth, chocolaty, with a fairly strong roasted bean aura, Poundage Porter is a solid if not excellent beer that will put Poulsbo on the map.
Ehhhh, maybe not. But it is a good beer. Too bad you will never find it.
2. Stoup - Chuck’s Woodshop Applewood Smoked Porter
7.2% ABV No IBU
I have done Stoup beers before. They vary, some are good and some are not good. I guess that is the definition of variation. Anyway, Stoup is in Seattle and they love making tons of beer. The issue is most taste about the same as their other stuff. However that is not the issue with this little guy. This brew is SMoky with a capital SM. Drinking this made me feel like I was in a wigwam smoking a peace pipe with Kevin Costner. I had this beer about 5 months ago and still think there are remnants of that smoky taste in the catacombs of my palette. So is that good? Well, it depend by what you mean by ‘good’. If by ‘good’ you mean tasty and interesting, then I would say yes. If by ‘good’ you mean would I ever go out of my way to order it, I would have to say ‘it depends by what you mean by ‘go out of my way’’. This is getting too confusing. Try one when you see it. It is unique.
3. Wild Ride - Nut Crusher
6% ABV 18 IBU
Oh yeah. Ever want to get your nuts crushed? If so, you are sado-maniac so please stop reading this and get some help. Ever want an awesome dark beer that tastes like peanut butter? If so, you are in for a treat with this offering from Wild Ride. Wild Ride was founded by a Mr. Toad, who recently took residence in Redmond, Oregon. I know very little about this small operation beyond this beer, in fact I am not even sure where Redmond is. But this beer is very good. Sometimes these novelty beers get too cute with the combining taste; the peanut butter overwhelms the senses and makes you want your nuts to be crushed. But that is not the case at all. It has a very nice balance of traditional porter-esque taste coupled with a strong but not overbearing peanut butter taste. It is like eating your Reese’s and drinking your beer too. It really is a fine beer.
4. Structures - Minesweeper Porter
6.5% ABV 55 IBU
Structures is a brewery out of our friend in the north, Bellingham WA. Although the name ‘Structures’ sounds more like a clothing store in the mall that sells ultra-hip garb to white bred urbanites, it is in fact a real brewery. With a confusing name like ‘Structures’, it is natural that they would name their beer something confusing…..Minesweeper. Why Minesweeper? Why not?
I’ll tell you why not, it makes no sense!! Yes, Minesweeper is that lovable game that existed on every PC back in the day; the original time waster at work. But to pay homage to this game with a porter…well….just doesn’t make much sense. Especially with such a derivative and uninteresting offering. This is not a bad beer. But with porters, you can get this level of quality pretty much anywhere. Porters are really great at being the baseline brew for an interesting concoction. You may think with a enigmatic name like ‘Minesweeper’ you would be getting an interesting and compelling beer. Maybe you wouldn’t think that. I don’t know. Who knows what ideas go around one’s mind. Regardless, this is standard fare.
5. Belching Beaver - Peanut Butter Porter
5.3% ABV 30 IBU
I had to put another peanut butter beer on there, just to compare and contrast. Again, porters are a great beer to act as your baseline brew for experimentation. As we saw from Wild Ride, peanut butter and porters can coexist in the same stein. But from our friends from Vista, CA, this is not always a perfect marriage. Belching Beaver is a great name, but if you are going to assume a name with such power like ‘Belching Beaver’, your beer better be powerful as well. Alas, this is not. The front end taste has a ton of promise; nutty, creamy, and full of flavor. But that back end….wow. Thin, watery, nothing to it. This is the Fruit Stripe of beers.