There’s a pretty funny page on the Beer Syndicate blog that “predicts” future craft beer trends. The latest prediction I saw was a brandy-barrel-aged 60 shilling ale brewed with monkey bread fruit, tamarind and fermented to The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Well, that’s never going to happen. But it’s pretty funny because craft brewers love to take avant-garde chances—heck, our whole Lips of Faith series is inspired by your willingness to discover awesome new flavors possibly outside of your comfort zone. But sometimes, it just feels good to roll with the classics. That said, let me introduce you to Portage Porter, our newest spring seasonal.
For those of you who’ve ridden down the river of avant-garde beers so long that you’ve forgotten what a straight-forward malty beer tastes like, portage over this way toward a rock-solid robust porter. No tricks, no ingredients you’ll have to Google, and no struggling to explain to your friends the heady concept behind this beer.
From sip to swallow, Portage is pretty much textbook: Silky washes of toasted bread, coffee and dark chocolate segue into a dry, clean finish that’s ushered in by prickly roasted malts and hops. It’s like a party in your mouth, but a considerate one that cleans up after itself.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a party without food, and robust porters are a must-sip alongside rich, meaty dishes. Pop open a bottle of Portage while digging into a bowl of chili (and make sure to add a dash of beer to the chili, too). The beer’s dark malts will deepen the flavor of the meat, while its drying finish makes quick work of each fatty bite. Then, as the season transitions into warmer weather, drink a few pints with grilled treats like porterhouse steaks, sausages and hamburgers for similar effect.
It’s a new year, and we have plenty of crazy things coming up. But for now, we’re kicking back with a classic. Row on over and join us.
Here’s to a new calendar year, and plenty of new beers — Chris