Yesterday I had Reason Beer’s Strange Currencies porter, and it got me thinking, what are some of my favorite American Porters? Porters developed in London and are dark in color featuring brown malt. American variations include all sorts of experimentation, including high hoppiness as well as the addition of chocolate or coffee. Porters range from medium-brown to black and are warm in the winter. Some of my favorite American Porters include several beers from Virginia.
Edmund Fitzgerald – Great Lakes Brewing Company
The highest-ranked American Porter, according to Beer Advocate, is the Edmund Fitzgerald from Great Lakes Brewing Company out of Ohio. The Edmund features the chocolate-coffee and bold hops flavor that defines the American Porter. Brewed with roasted barley malt, the Edmund is a five-time winner at the Great American Beer Festival. Although brewed year-round, I prefer it in the fall when the weather starts to turn.
Woobie – Rocket Frog Brewing Company
Moving back to Virginia, a collaboration between Rocket Frog and the Black Ale Project produced Woobie. If you’re a veteran, you know what this is, the most excellent blanket ever. They load up on the chocolate flavor with just a little bit of coffee and vanilla. What’s cool is that they donate a large portion of the proceeds to Hope for the Warriors.
Porter – Port City Brewing Co.
Another one of my favorites is the aptly named Port City Porter. The porter has a bittersweet coffee-chocolate flavor that’s robust, yet refreshing. Like Great Lakes above, they’ve won several awards for their Porter, including a bronze at the 2019 European Beer Star awards. If you go to their brewery, GABF awards cover the walls; it’s pretty impressive.
Death Before Disco – Left Hand Brewing Co.
Easily the American Porter with the best name, Death Before Disco from Left Hand Brewing out of Colorado, is another one of my favorites. Black in color and brewed with Centennial Cascade hops, this porter has a unique dark berry and rich chocolate flavor.
Strange Currencies – Reason Beer
Lunsford Vanilla Porter – Preyer Brewing Co.
Coming out of my former home state of North Carolina is Lunsford Robust Porter from Preyer Brewing Company. The Lunsford Robust Porter is just a simple, standard American Porter with chocolate and coffee flavors with an assertive bitterness. While nothing stands out as unique in the taste department, it is very well done and was my top-rated Porter for years until Strange Currencies joined it.
Samuel Adams Holiday Porter
I figured I would include a porter you can get almost anywhere, Sam Adams Holiday Porter. This beer is brewed in the more traditional English style with a more malty flavor than most American Porters. They use five variety of malts to produce a dark robust flavor. If you’re looking for an excellent place to start your porter journey, this is it.
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