I had a lot of fun with my first style of the month selection, it was great to compare and contrast similar beers and try many that I had missed. I’m glad I started with porter, one of my favorite styles and a perfect beer for February (even if parts of this month were unseasonably warm). In doing this I’ve realized that even though current beer culture is obsessed with hops there are still a number of breweries making amazing dark and malty beers. Here are a few superlative awards, any porter that I’ve reviewed in the past was eligible, and the links lead to the full review. Cheers!
Local beer that is a staple of the style: Smuttynose Robust Porter. Just a delicious beer, one of my all time favorite versions of the porter style.
Local classic that gets overlooked: Geary’s London Porter. Geary’s has taken some flak for being stuck in their ways (though there are a few signs that is changing), but this is a beer they need to keep brewing. Also, love that it is a sessionable offering.
National beer that gets overlooked because it is so widely available: Founders Porter. I think that says it all, just a great beer that you can find in any decent bottle shop.
Craziest ingredient added to a porter (while still making a delicious beer): Foolproof Peanut Butter Raincloud. It has been brought to my attention that other breweries have made peanut butter flavored beers, but I was very impressed with how well this worked, mixing the subtle PB flavor with the natural chocolate notes from the roasted malts.
My favorite beer that I tried for the first time due to porter month: Riverwalk Winter Porter. This was mentioned in a number of “best new beers of 2015” articles and it’s definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of the style.
Proof that hop-focused breweries can also make must-try malty beers: Maine Beer Co. King Titus. Take a break in your search for Lunch and Dinner and have this malty brew for dessert.
Proof that oats aren’t just for stouts: Trillium Pot and Kettle. Another brewery that is more famous for it’s hoppy beers but makes a stellar version of the porter style. The addition of oats add that hearty full body you crave on a cold evening chilly weather.
Best porter with a little twist: Bog Iron One Down. The addition of cherrywood smoked malt adds a subtle smokiness, contributing depth and complexity.
My favorite Baltic porter: Jack’s Abby Framinghammer. Also wins the award as the easiest drinking beer with double digit ABV. Tons of flavor and 10% ABV but still smooth and clean.
My favorite coffee porter: Night Shift Awake. There are a number of coffee infused porters on the market and this was my favorite, just enough coffee flavor and aroma to complement the tasty beer without overwhelming it.
A close runner-up in the coffee porter catagory: Rising Tide Waypoint. This was a very close second to Awake, also a must try for fans of the style.
My favorite porter: Mayflower Porter. No crazy ingredients or out of whack ABVs, just a well crafted and delicious beer. Also serves as a base for amazing beef stew!