Monthly Archives: March 2012

“Porter” History you can Drink

The Porter is one beer style that can be traced back to its very beginnings.
First brewed in 1722 by a man named Ralph Harwood and served at the Blue Last Pub
in England. Mr. Harwood brewed Porter to make it easier and faster to serve than three or four thread beers, which is beer pulled from three or four different taps. Mr. Harwood
decided to put the ingredients from those three or four beers into one beer and call it
Entire or Entire Butt.
Porter than became one of the most popular beer styles in the world in the middle to late
1700’s. Arthur Guinness started out brewing Entire Butt at St. James Gate Brewery Dublin in 1759, which later evolved into the stout. The name porter was first used in the 18th century from its popularity with the street and river porters of London. The Porter style started declining in popularity by the late 1800’s and almost disappeared in the 1900’s. Their demise was due to the popularity in paler and lighter ales and pilsners being brewed. Porter made a come back because of the home brewing and the craft brewing community that revived the style in 1960’s and 70’s. Thanks to a few concerned brewers porter is now a widely drank beer style again in the U.S. and England.
There are three different styles of Porter the Robust Porter, London Brown Porter and Baltic Porter. Their aroma and flavor profiles are listed below.

Robust Porter
A medium to full body in a balanced beer that has a noticeably coffee-like dryness, and may have a malty sweet flavor that comes through in the finish. Chocolate and black malts add a sharp bitterness, but do so without adding roasted or charcoal notes. There can be a little roast barley character with a hop bitterness presents and hop flavor and aroma noticeable. A low fruitiness and esters due to the clean fermenting ale yeast. The color is deep brown with red hues to black.
Here are some great commercial examples to try Anchor Porter, Sierra Nevada Porter, Black Hook Porter. Great Lakes Edmond Fitzgerald Porter, Pikes Porter, Rogue Mocha Porter, and Left Hand Black Jack Porter. Alcohol can range from 4.5 – 8% a.b.v..
Brown Porter
A bit lighter than the robust, with light to medium body and generally lower in alcohol. The malt sweetness is low to medium and well balanced with the subdued hop bitterness. No strong roast barley or burnt malt character. Color is medium to dark brown with reddish tones. No real hop aroma and flavor with a touch of fruitiness from the ale yeast used. These are the commercial examples to try Samuel Smith’s Taddy Porter, Fuller’s London Porter, Dublin Plain Porter (only in Dublin), Yuengling Porter, Stegmeter Porter, Flag Porter, and John Labbatts’s Porter the alcohol content is 4.5 – 5.5% a.b.v..
Baltic Porter
Baltic porter is brewed in the U.S., Finland, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Denmark and Sweden. Baltic Porters are brewed with Lager yeast and aged giving them a clean rich flavor. The aroma has a great complexity of rich malty sweetness with hints of caramel, toffee, nutty and/or licorice notes. The flavor is malty sweet with a blend of deep malt, dried fruit and roastiness, which is balance with mostly noble hops. The commercial examples are Southampton Imperial Baltic Porter, Great Divide Smoked Baltic Porter, Browar Okocim S.A. (Carlsberg), Smuttynose Baltic Porter, and Alaskan Baltic Porter the alcohol content is from 5.0% – 9.5% a.b.v. (Serving Temp for Baltic Porters are 42 degrees).
All three styles of these porters should be tried. You will taste their uniqueness and experience the real history that made this beer style so great. “Cheers”
The Ale Guy

Home Brewed Baltic Porter


Posted by on March 31, 2012 in The Ale Guy, Uncategorized


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Beer Town: Session beers

Breaking News

Beer Town: Session beers breaking out all over  | accessAtlanta.

Session Beers are so over looked and misunderstood in America. We think that more is better more alcohol, more hops, more this, and more that. But session beers are more, more flavor and more enjoyment. This is a beer to be consumed, by its style in complexity and intrigue to make the taste buds dance and the mind to be clear to ponder.
In England session beers are the norm every brewery brews one or two and are found in pretty much every pub. There are a few session beer styles out there but you need to know what to look for.
Beer styles for people new to beer are the attributes that make up the beer. Such as the color, alcohol content, hop bitterness, flavor, ingredients and sometimes country of origin. The beer styles that are in this group but not limited to so called sessions beers are English Ordinary, and Special Bitters, my favorite English Milds, Scottish ales 60 and 70 shillings and a Berliner Weisse. Most people wouldn’t think of a Berliner Weisse Bier as a session beer but I would surely categorize it as one.
All of these session beer styles are hundreds of years old these beers are nothing new. What they were was that the mega-beer companies of our country hid them from us. With the public becoming more educated and our thirst for real beer the breweries are pulling old tricks out of their new mash-tuns.
As an Ale lover these are some of my favorite beers that I drink and once you try a few session beers you will be an Ale Lover too. “Cheers”

My own home brewed Mild 3.8% alcohol, 20 IBU, and color 17 (SRM). Delicious

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Posted by on March 7, 2012 in The Ale Guy


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A Pint of Ale

I went out for some fresh air and of course a pint. Being in West Palm Beach for a few weeks I went downtown to Clematis Street by Night. The city offers an outdoor festival every Thursday with a band, food, arts and crafts and a car show. I didn’t real go down there for that but a place in the heart of all the festivities. The place is called World of Beer.

World of Beer is a very difficult place for a beer geek like me to go. There is so much beer to choose from 40 some odd taps and 600 varieties of beer in the bottle. If your a real beer geek you have to have a plan before you get there and you have to stick to it. My plan was to have a real English ale a Bitters, Mild (hard to find) or an IPA.
Well I get there and the place is packed, they have a special tasting going on for Dog Fish Head. They had 60 minute, 90 minute, 120 minute, The Midas Touch, and about 5 more which I had most all of them before. Nothing against Dog Fish Head and Sam Calagione they have definitely change the way America drinks beer for the better. But I remembered I had a plan and I stuck to my guns.
Well I looked through their English beer selection and found a beer I haven’t had “WOW” just what I’ve been searching for. The beer is called Ruddles County Ale made by Ruddles Brewery in Sufford England.
Like most beer companies in the World Ruddles Brewery is owned by Greene King Brewing Company. Greene King also owns Old Speckled Hen, Belhaven, and the old Hardys and Hansons brewery. For you beer geeks out there the Hardy and Hansons used to brew Thomas Hardy Ale a Barley Wine style beer very hard to find and expensive.
Let me get back to the original beer Ruddles County ale. This beer was everything I expected. The beer had a great big floral hop aroma with hints of caramel, and toffee malt sweetness. The color was a beautiful amber with red highlight and a frothy white head. As you can see from the picture below.

The beer had a crisp hop bitterness with a smooth distinctive flavor of dark toffee and caramel with a malty sweet finish. The mouth feel was a medium body with a spot on low carbonation level and creamy smoothness. The alcohol was 4.7% which to me was an Special Bitter style ale. This is a great session beer something to sit and chat with the mates and enjoy. “Cheers”
The Ale Guy

To find out more about beer style please visit the Brewer Association 2012 Style Guidelines or for a more detailed description of beer styles visit The BJCP Style Guidelines PDF

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Posted by on March 2, 2012 in The Ale Guy


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