Sinebrychoff Porter

January 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Finish porter!

According to the Sinebrychoff website,

Porter was the first product of industrial brewing and remained the most common beer category in Finland until Prohibition. Sinebrychoff fermented Porter already in the 1860s, though in relatively small quantities and primarily during winter months. Ab P. Sinebrychoff made Sff Ruunu-Portteri during the 1910s and Sff Porteri was brewed during the 1930s.

Sinebrychoff’s Porter is Sinebrychoff’s oldest special beer. Produced continuously since 1957, the recipe has remained virtually unchanged from one decade to the next. Sinebrychoff’s Brewmasters Nils Sandman and Boris Orlo as well as Laboratory Manager Aarne Rahiala are credited with the development of Sinebrychoff’s Porter. Legend has it that the yeast required for the manufacturing of porter was smuggled in a test tube from the British Isles to the Hietalahti brewery. The yeast was preserved in the brewery’s own laboratory and transferred only several decades later for processing at The Technical Research Centre of Finland’s yeast bank in Espoo.

So a porter from 1957, not that old but, the quality is great and the thing is this.  Porter had virtually disappeared till the 1970’s/80’s when they made a comeback in the US.  For anyone to be brewing porters in the 50’s is pretty cool and this one is good.  A nice heavily malted Baltic Porter Style.  Very nice.

November 15th, 1901 KK

January 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

I cant believe it has taken me so long to write this.  The shitty beers were easy to write about, just crap.  Now I have to work!

Ended the week with a fabulous beer from Pretty Things, November 15th, 1901 KK.  Seriously GREAT!!!!  hoppy, dark, smooth, wonderfulness!  So the name is weird.  It is part of the Pretty Things “Once Upon a Time” historical beer series.  They find beer recipes, from the past, and brew them.  This one is from an anonymous brewer in 1901.

Ron describes our latest offering: November 15th, 1901, London, England KK as a “Burton Ale” that was meant for aging in vats at the brewery. In his book entitled “1909!” Ron says “as long maturation went out of fashion , K Ales became just Strong Ales, that may or may not have had a long secondary conditioning.”

Drink this beer, if you can find it!

Wolaver’s Alta Gracia Coffee Porter

December 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Ok, I don’t know what other people are drinking.  On Beer Advocate people are giving this a B.  I thought it was crap.  I LOVE Wolavers and really want to like this beer.  So much so that I tried it twice.  I thought, I must be wrong, maybe my glass was dirty.  So, I bought a second bottle, took 2 sips and poured the rest out.  I am so disappointed.

The beer looks ok, and even smells good.  Coffee Porter, nothing big here.  But the taste?  It is wicked (Vermont slang) off.  There is no noticeable coffee flavour and if they are going for a smoke beer they need to take some lessons from Brew Dog.  It is kinda like the flavour of what rotting compost smells like.

Ok so Alta Gracia, what is that?  It is way more interesting, trust me.

Alta Gracia is a village in the Dominican Republic where a factory pays living wages, radical aye?

According to the New York Times:

The factory is a high-minded experiment, a response to appeals from myriad university officials and student activists that the garment industry stop using poverty-wage sweatshops. It has 120 employees and is owned by Knights Apparel, a privately held company based in Spartanburg, S.C., that is the leading supplier of college-logo apparel to American universities, according to the Collegiate Licensing Company. For Knights, the factory is a risky proposition, even though it already has orders to make T-shirts and sweatshirts for bookstores at 400 American universities. The question is whether students, alumni and sports fans will be willing to pay $18 for the factory’s T-shirts — the same as premium brands like Nike and Adidas — to sustain the plant and its generous wages.


Santa Castillo agrees. She and many co-workers toiled at other factories for the minimum wage, currently $147 a month in this country’s free-trade zones, where most apparel factories are located. That amount, worker after worker lamented in interviews for this article, falls woefully short of supporting a family.

The Alta Gracia factory has pledged to pay employees nearly three and a half times the prevailing minimum wage, based on a study done by a workers’ rights group that calculated the living costs for a family of four in the Dominican Republic.

While some critics view the living wage as do-gooder mumbo-jumbo, Ms. Castillo views it as a godsend. In her years earning the minimum wage, she said she felt stuck on a treadmill — never able to advance, often borrowing to buy necessities.

Real living wages?  Now that is something to drink to (not this beer but hey)

12 Beers of Christmas – Santa’s Butt

December 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

On the third day of Christmas…

Santa’s Butt?  What?  “Ok beergeekdude, you have gone to far.  Who wants to think of Santa’s Butt for Christmas?  Let alone drink it?”

Well, Santa’s Butt is probably the most notorious of the beers I will be drinking this holiday season.  This is another one from Ridgeway in the UK and Santa and his arse went to court a few years back.

According to“Gary Lippencourt painted a warm image of Claus; the jolly man is sitting atop a large beer barrel (or “butt” in industry lingo) with his back to the viewer, a stein in one hand, and his famous list in the other. The painting wasn’t meant to cause controversy. No, it was meant to be a clever visual pun, perhaps bringing a chuckle, and hopefully sell some beer.”  In 2006, “Dan Shelton of the Shelton Brothers was trying to import into a pair of American states. The label for Ridgeway’s Santa’s Butt Winter Porter, which had the Lippencourt Santa, was officially banned by the state liquor authorities of New York and Maine.” MaverickLabel says, “Dan’s beer is expensive, with the importer quoting in a press release that the average prices are “about five or six bucks a bottle.” No, what seemed to be happening was various state liquor authorities were picking on the proverbial little guy. As Shelton himself put it, banning his beer due to Santa being on the label was “just an easy way to appear to be doing something about [underage drinking] without actually doing something about it.”

Luckly by December 22, 2006,, just in time for Christmas the Maine Bureau of Liquor Enforcement mailed Shelton to inform him of their decision to reverse the ruling against Santa’s Butt Winter Porter.

Santa’s Butt is a nice solid Porter, my favorite style as you well know.  It is not exciting but it is good.  Slightly toasty and warming.  Overall, a great drinkable brew.

Smuttynose Baltic Porter

November 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Good to remind myself that I can drink great beer anywhere, not just in the beer capital of the US, San Diego.  The Smuttynose Baltic Porter was at home waiting for me and it slid down my throat so smooth and nice.  Great solid porter.  They say that this is part of their Big Beer series?  I mean it is a 22oz bottle but big?  It is just solid, and solid is good.

Busy Busy Beer Geek, dude!

August 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

People's Pint Farmer Brown

Ok, so I have been so busy.  I am just going to catch you up with what I have been drinking, with very little content.  I apologize, I will be better.  Really I just need to be more on top of things and blog and drink at the same time.  I am proud to say though that 7 months in and I am going strong.  I have even been better about blogging than I ever thought I would be.

Otter Creek Imperial Series, Russian Imperial Stout: true to style, well done

The People’s Pint Farmer Brown: a beer the dude digs.  Drank this after harvesting squash!  Farmer Dude.

Dark Horse Crooked Tree IPA: a new one to add to the list of beers the dude is a huge fan of.  My friends at Mezze brought this on tap last week and I fell in love.  I’ve been back twice to have more!!  I’d love to sample more from Dark Horse.  If you like hoppy IPA’s?  DRINK THIS!

“Power Pack” Porter: Another tastey brew from Sam Adels and Claire Briguglio (remember the California Steam beer from a few weeks ago?) Well Claire’s mom brought e this one too and is was great!  Look at the head on it.  Nutty brown head, love it!

Rustwagen Hefeweizen: This beer is no longer brewed as Pennichuck Brewing Company, no longer with us.  I picked up a stray bottle in North Adams.  Nice brew.  Nothing special.  It might have been better before being cellared?

Stone Emperial 14 IPA: Stone, the IPA people, bring this great big beer to commemorate their 14th anniversary.  It helped me through a night of building an IKEA bedroom!

Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA Tasting Notes from stonebrew on Vimeo.

St. Nick’s Porter

July 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Another great beer from Andrew’s in Maine.  And… another great ice cream from yours truly.  I am having so much fun with my ice cream maker it is just out of control.  I’m not sure if I have described my mission fig ice cream yet but I soak some dried mission figs in milk then chop them up nice and small.  And those figs some chocolate chips, vanilla extract and sugar to heavy cream and milk.  20 minutes later… ICE CREAM!

This amazing mission fig ice cream is perfectly paired with porters and stouts.  Lucky me, I had two bottles of St. Nick’s Porter from my buddy in Maine.  The St. Nicks is not the best porter.  I had really high hopes for it but it just misses the mark.  There is a real acidic apple flavour.  The aroma is nice and toasted but the flavour just isn’t there.  The colour is nutty brown, with an decent head.  I don’t understand why it is not there but it just is not.  Good thing my ice cream is good!

St. Peter’s Old-Style Porter

April 2, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

St. Peter’s Old-Style Porter has been in my top three for a few years now. And what better way to wrap up “porter week” than with one of my all time faves?

I went to Mezze tonight for my regular “drink with justin” hour. Knowing that I had run out of beer choices, I brought my own. Bartender Matt shared the St. Peter’s Old-Style Porter with me. We discussed the malty sweet aroma, the beautiful long lasting head and the deep black/brown colour.

The flavour is a bittersweet slightly chocolate one. This is an old school porter. It is meant to taste like old and new beer poured together and it does.

St. Peter’s is an interesting brewery. Focused on traditional brewmaking they say, “We brew ‘traditional’ beers – bitters, mild etc. – as well as some more unusual beers such as honey porter and fruit beer. (We are replicating what was common practice up to the Nineteenth Century to add fruits and honey to beers to create special seasonal brews.)” Their website also has a great pairing guide and some recipes for some tastey goodness food stuffs.

The bottles of St. Peters are something to discuss. Until recently this beer came in an oval shaped bottle, the bottles are now round, not sure why the change, but I hear that they are still oval in the UK. The old bottles used to have this message, “Our beautiful flask-shaped oval bottle is a faithful 500ml copy of one produced c.1770 for Thomas Gerrard of Gibbstown, just across the Delware River from Phildelphia.” As for the brewery’s logo, the booklet explains “The raven was the symbol of the Vikings who raided the area well into the Eleventh Century. … The key is the symbol of St. Peter himself.” Thanks to Vermin Brewing for having this typed up as I was trying to remember the story. The green bottles are problematic because of the potential for skunkage (skunked beer from light coming in). But, seriously, they are beautiful bottles.

So, rock on porters. You will see me drink a lot more porters throughout the year, as it is my favorite style.

Utenos Porter

April 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Lithuanuia? Yep, Gotta have a porter from Lithuanuia.

Utenos’ Porter pours lighter than any of the other porters I’ve had this week. Kind of a ruby colour. Smells malty and sweet, like toffee. Flavour is more acidic than the other porters. It actually reminds me of my last homebrew, which was interestingly a porter. It is slightly cidery, maybe figs? The toffee is not really in the flavour as much as the aroma. It’s not great. The mouthfeel is very thin, not like the thick English Porters I’ve been drinking the past couple days. The ABV is 6.8%, high for a porter, which accounts for some of what I am experiencing here.

The Utenos Porter is owned by Carlsberg, the Danish company.

For $2.20 not bad but hey, you can drink better.

The Entire Butt

March 30, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Seriously, that is the name. The Entire Butt was recomended to me by one of the guys over at West Liquors in North Adams. He saw me buying 6 porters and said that this was his favorite and I should go grab one off the shelf. I’ve been hearing about this beer so I ran down the aisle and grabbed one.

According to Salopian Brewery, Butt is “historically the term used to describe a Porter blended from a variety of ales, ‘Entire Butt’ uses 14 different malts and 3 hops to recreate this forgotten style of Porter.”

The genius of this beer is the subtly. Everything is milky sweet and smooth. Nothing stands out and everything is in balance. I’m not a very balanced guy, so though I understand and respect the superiority of this beer, it is not my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, this is an amazing beer. And, to boot it is a fine attempt at recreating a forgotten style of beer, and I’m a sucker for historical attempts. It is almost like it is too smooth for me. I know how dumb is that?

The malts are almost too smooth. The dry finish is too perfect. The slight bitterness is in too much balance with the array of malts. Nothing is off kilter. Seriously, everyone MUST drink this beer. If only for the experience of trying one of the most balanced beers I’ve ever tasted.