Some of you have heard the rumor: we’re putting out a Porter. Well, it’s true, our first batch of Old Neighborhood Porter is complete, and ready to hit the bottling and kegging stations. If you visit the Tap Room, you'll find it on tap-- be one of the first to come and get it! We’re all really happy with the way it turned, and I think you’re going to be too. Ahhh, the perfect beer to release just as Fall is finally settling in. So, I thought I’d give you a bit of background on Porter- so the first time you enjoy a Mother Earth Brewing Old Neighborhood Porter, you’ll know a bit about the style’s history.
First off, a disclaimer. Most of what I know about Porter is accepted as ‘fact’ in the beer world… but who really knows what happened a couple hundred years ago? I won’t bet my brewery on it all…So just sit back, read, enjoy, and share this lure about Porter (collected by Alexia Chianis.)
Porter’s distinctive history only adds to its mystic and enjoyment. Porter is said to be the first beer designed to meet the demands of the public, created by blending a variety of old and new ales. Transportation workers of London fell in love with porter, and the “new, old beer” was thus named. Creating this beer required patience. The “old” ale demanded ageing before being merged with the “new” or fresh ale. After some time, brewers began manipulating the porter recipe in an effort to produce porter faster, while minimizing storage requirements. Brewers reduced the amount of ale they aged, but increased the length of time aged (usually over 18 months.) This highly aged ale was then blended with the “new” ale, and produced a well-liked porter. Typically, recipes stipulated one part “old” ale to two parts “new” ale. In the early 1800s, an enormous vat containing porter ruptured and sent hundreds of thousands of gallons of porter into the streets, killing some eight people along the way.
It seems that just as quickly as porter became popular, it began to lose favor with the general public. By the late 1800s and early 1900s porter lost a large portion of its market share to lighter ales and lagers. When it was produced, it tended to be on the mild side. In modern times, porter is often considered the stepchild of beer. Thankfully, the microbrew society has taken porter under its wing and values porter’s uniqueness. In fact, many brewers are anxious to test their creativity when making porter varieties.
Today, a typical American brewed porter will range in color from dark brown to nearly black, have a moderate bitterness and a roasted aroma. Although in the past porter was commonly more than 7% alcohol by volume, today it is generally in the 4-6% range. Plan on consuming this beer with respect. Porter is an intense beer, commonly balanced with meats such as beef. Porter is also found paired with dessert. As porter is often made with a touch of chocolate malt, this beer makes an especially lovely partner to chocolate-based desserts. Serve porter with a diverse cheese plate at your next dinner party, and you’re such to make a name for yourself. Try serving “tasters” as many people are reluctant to experiment with a full pint of this brew.
While it’s unlikely porter will ever return to the near stardom status it once enjoyed, it will most surely retain its attention-grabbing charm. Make no doubt about it, this is a beer that must be tried at least once, and admired always.
You’ll be seeing Old Neighborhood Porter on shelves, and in your fav dining and drinking stop soon. -Oh ya, remember, it's now on tap in the Tap Room too!
Peace, Love and Beer………………………………………..TM
PS. Thanks for helping us SELL OUT of the Collaborative Beer Dinner with New Belgium Brewing at Chef and the Farmer! **If you missed grabbing a ticket, stop by the Tap Room about 5p-7p on Thursday Oct. 7th and meet and greet the guys behind New Belgium Brewing.