Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Happy Hour- Black Butte Porter

"The meek shall inherit, well, some pretty dull beers."

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That is the greeting you see when you first visit Deschutes Brewery's website. This craft brewery located in Bend, Oregon, has the goods to back that up. Visitors to the brewery are treated to a 45 minute walking tour of the facility, beer tasting and a little swag to take home with you. Bend is a little bit of a drive from The Little Lake House, but luckily for us Gateway Market in Des Moines carries at least one of these amazing brews. On our recent road trip to Des Moines we stopped in the market to do a little shopping, and grab an adult beverage for later. 

Deschutes boldly chose a dark beer as their first release and "flagship" brew, and that is what we chose to bring home. So totally worth it. Really. 

If you think you don't like dark beers, you're probably wrong. If you refuse to even try one, I feel bad for you- you have no idea what you're missing out on. Totally unlike the widely available American beer we're all familiar with, dark beers bring so much more to the table. 

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Pop the top off a bottle of this Black Butte Porter and immediately you know you've got something really special. The fragrance reminds me of breakfast- the warming aroma of coffee wafting around the house. 

Take a sip from the bottle? Naaaaa.....this one requires a glass. If you know how to pour a beer correctly you'll end up with nice head on the brew. Embrace that. It's like the frothed milk or the whipped cream on your macchiato. The color of this Porter is intense and dark- almost black. Take a big deep breath in and you will smell it too- coffee. Rich and dark roasted and so delicious, it reminds me of really good espresso. 

The second thing I picked up- chocolate. Deep, dark chocolate. 

Take a big, bold sip. Get right in that glass. Get a beer-stache. With a creamy mouthfeel a lot of dark beers are known for, it was like a velvety cup of hot chocolate, but icy cold. Don't be afraid of it- jump right in and experience what craft beer is all about. See if you can pick out those same flavor and aroma notes, or if you get something totally different.

Beer tasting is becoming every bit as popular as wine tasting, and just as technical. The educated beer drinker wants to know how the beer is crafted, what the malts and hops used are, how it was aged, all those things you normally ask a vintner, brewers are now answering. So here is the low down on Black Butte Porter. Malts: Pale, Carapils, Chocolate, Crystal, Wheat.  Hops: Cascade, Bravo, Tettnang. It's alcohol by volume is 5.2% and a 12 ounce serving has 192 calories. Black Butte has won award after award, year after year, and deservedly so.

Of course, I wanted to save one or two for cooking- my brain went wild with ideas as I sipped......but sadly we didn't pay attention and drank them. That's ok- just means we have another reason to go on a road trip! 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 55: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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