March 15, 2008

Four porters in honor of George Washington

George Washington's birthday was last month so this post is a long time in coming. On February 18, we drank four porters to celebrate the former president's birthday. Jay R. Brooks of Brookston Beer Bulletin wrote about Washington's love of porters in his Chronicle column. Washington's favorite porter, according to Brooks, was Robert Hare Porter brewed in Philadelphia. Robert Hare was also the "first porter brewery" to open in the U.S. in 1775. In his article, Brooks wrote about Anchor Porter, Deschutes Black Butte Porter, Sierra Nevada Porter, and Eel River Porter. We drank Eel River, Butte Creek, Deschutes Black Butte, and Anchor porters. Although we did not rank the beers, we rated them by asking whether we would buy them again (see table below photos).

Porter brewery
Label/ bottle
Brew color

Alc. %
Location Organic? Purchase again?
Eel River
Standard bottle ("stuby screw top"), not the most inspired label
Dirty reddish brown; dark caramel
How is this different from an amber; forgettable, no porter nose

Fortuna, CA
Yes (California Certified Organic Farmers)
Butte Creek
Standard bottle (tall); label has a woodcut feel; like the farm imagery
Definitely darker, "inky" with a bit of head
Rich (like a Sheaf stout); closer to a stout but not as creamy as a Guinness, sour end

Chico, CA
Yes; Maybe/yes
Deschutes Black Butte
Distinctive bottle; cool landscape label
Between Eel River and Butte Creek in color; yeast on the bottom
Carbonated taste up front; sour, yeasty with a slightly sweet finish

Bend, OR
Yes; Maybe/yes
Anchor Porter
Distinctive bottle (short, pear shaped); like the trademark anchor
Ruby colored pour; very dark (darkest of the four)
Malt nose, fruity, chocolate malt end, sour with chocolate end; citrus zest; banana

Not listed
San Francisco

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