I’ve been focusing more of my reviews on underrepresented and underappreciated beer styles, as I promised at the beginning of the year. This very much includes one of my favorite beer styles, the classic British porter. Most American versions of the style seem to be mini-stouts, nearly black in color and favoring big roasted malt flavors. I think this has been partially to blame for the drop in popularity of the porter style, many breweries instead make stouts that they can load with sweet adjuncts and/or age in bourbon barrels (not that you couldn’t do the same with a bigger porter). Stout actually started as a sub-style of porter (“stout porter”), and there are quite a few other porter sub-styles that are still brewed today including robust porter (higher ABV and darker), baltic porter (brewed with lager yeast and cold conditioned), and the less common brown porter. Brown porters are kind of a mid-point between brown ale and porter, with a little more hop character than the former but lighter color than the latter. I’ve seen very few local examples of this sub-style, so I was excited to try Quart Order brown porter from Barewolf Brewing in Amesbury. Barewolf Quart Order is available on a rotating basis on draft and in 16 oz cans.
Barewolf Quart Order pours deep brown with a small off-white head. The aroma is mild, just a little roasted malt. The flavor is malt forward, notes of brown sugar, chocolate and molasses. This is balanced by a touch of earthy and herbal hops. Quart Order is medium-bodied, smooth and not overly boozy at 5% ABV. It finishes with a hint of sweetness and a little roasted malt flavor. Overall this is really good, plenty of flavor without being overdone, perfect for the change from winter into spring that is (hopefully) coming soon! Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.
Previous Barewolf Reviews: