There are pros and cons to being a contract brewer. The lack of a physical brewery means fewer start-up costs and eliminates some of the headaches that come with maintaining a space. There are also many negatives, you need to run things on someone else’s schedule, and you don’t have your own space for tasting and sales. There is also the possibility that the place you brew can go out of business and leave you in a tight spot through no fault of your own. While news of brewery openings is currently much more common than breweries shutting down, a local exception was Watch City Brewing Company in Waltham, which unexpectedly shut down last summer. This closure also effected Portico Brewing Company, an upstart contract brewery that was producing all of their beer at Watch City. Fortunately Portico found a new home at Ipswich Brewing Company, and now they have started distributing their beers in bottles as well as on draft. Portico makes traditional beer styles with a twist, usually a key ingredient that is unexpected for the style. One of Portico’s flagship beers is Fuzzy Logic, a German style Kolsch brewed with Belgian yeast. Fuzzy Logic is available year round on draft and in 12 oz. bottles.
Portico Fuzzy Logic pours a hazy deep yellow with a solid white head. The scent is pretty mild, a little spicy yeast. The Belgian yeast leads the flavor too, touches of apple, pepper and pear. This is balanced by a full dose of lighter malts, notes of crackers and crusty wheat bread. The hops round out the flavor with some earthy and grassy flavors. Fuzzy Logic is light and easy to drink, and moderately alcoholic at 5.4% ABV. The finish is crisp with a mild estery aftertaste from the yeast. Portico Fuzzy Logic is a solid beer, easy to drink with good flavor, but I am not sure what makes it a kolsch. If I didn’t read the label I would have assumed this was a saison, I don’t know that the use of German hops qualifies the beer as a kolsch. I guess the brewer has the power can call their beer whatever they want. Hoppy Boston score: 4.0/5.