In this beer blog, we are going to sample one of my favorite porters in the craft beer world. It is Sierra Nevada Porter. If you read my earlier beer blog posts on their beers, you know the history of this California craft brewery. If you have not, please, read them to get to know one of the legends in the craft beer world. Let us get into this porter.
This porter has a black color with a semi on light brown color head. The smell has a burned to slight notes of chocolate. The taste has a creamy roasted chocolate with a roasted malty to dry chocolate aftertaste. It is pretty drinkable for the beer style.
Here is a description from the beer bottle:
Sierra Nevada Classic Porter is a testament to roasted malts which give it a rich bittersweet and roasted coffee like flavor. This all-American adaptation of the traditional workingman’s ale is well-balanced and a perfect complement to a variety of foods.
Before Sierra Nevada was a reality, nights were spent perfecting homebrew recipes and dreaming of starting a brewery. One of our favorite beers was a porter. Made before roasted malts were readily available, we spent time in the kitchen roasting barley for our own malt. The result is big malt flavor – rich, bittersweet, and roasted.
Here is a description from their website (www.sierranevada.com):
Porters were invented as a fortifying drink for the rough-and-tumble working class of London’s bustling markets. It was brewed for good folks with calluses on their hands, doing work that needed to be done. We salute those working-class heroes with our classic Porter, brewed in the hop-forward American style and featuring a depth of malt flavor and complexity with roasted notes of black coffee and cocoa.
Origin of Porter
The origins of porter are shrouded in mystery, but most agree that by the middle 1600s there were many beers of various styles referred to as porters not because of a singular flavor characteristic, but because of their intended audience—the hardworking folks shuttling gear in England’s bustling markets. In fact, porter as we know it today—roasty, dry and dark as midnight—would have been impossible to achieve because efficient and reliable malt roasters weren’t invented for another hundred years. One thing is certain though, porters developed alongside the Industrial Revolution and as brewing technology improved, so did the technique and quality of the beer. Porter was the first mass-produced style of beer and the beer that helped build the mighty British brewing industry. It will forever be associated with London’s working class.
Stout versus Porter
While the exact origins of porter are hazy, the development of stout is more straightforward. By the 1700s bolder, high-alcohol versions of any style of beer were referred to as “stout” or strong. By then, porter was far and away the most popular beer style in the British Isles, and clever breweries began advertising the stronger versions of their beers as “stout porter.” By the late 1800s, regular porters had fallen out of favor and stout porter, or simply stout, took their place. There are many different varieties of stout ranging from the light bodied, low-alcohol Dry Irish Stout to the vicious, rich and strong Imperial Stout.
Here is their website and twitter addresses:
In the end, Sierra Nevada is so beyond under rated to us here in midwest and east coast. I am not sure on how they are viewed on the west coast. I believe pretty highly. I just feel most craft beer drinkers just see Sierra Nevada as the brewery that makes one really good brew, which is their Pale Ale. I love their Pale Ale but they offer so much more to their beer drinkers. This porter is one of their finest brews that they make. I can enjoy this beer in any season. It is pretty drinkable and full of flavor. I highly recommend this beer. Go get some! Drink it! Enjoy it! Metal it! \m/
Bill DJ Weiser