Home' Hospitality Business : HB OCT 2016 Contents Fortunately, it wasn’t long before the advent of “Black Patent Malt”;
a kilned barley that was produced using a patented process similar to
roasting coffee. This allowed brewers to produce a dark beer using
largely pale malt and just a small percentage of the darker (and non
diastatic) black patent malt, with perhaps a smaller amount of the less
efficient brown malt thrown in for flavour.
WHERE STOUT COMES IN
Often noted as being very similar to a Stout, the or igin of Porter and
Stout has been intertwined since the beginning.With Porter being as
popular as it was, there were many different strengths of Porter available.
In addition to your classic Porter, there was also a stronger “Stout
Porter”. Over time, Porter was dropped from the moniker altogether
and the two beers went their separate ways.
With the onset of World War I, new taxes on malted barley led to
lower and lower ABV levels on British beer. Ireland, not having the same
restrictions, continued to produce Porters that were higher in alcohol.
Soon, the infamous Irish Brewery, Guinness, realized that they could
avoid additional taxes by using unmalted “Roasted Barley” (the grain
that gives Stout its signature roasted flavour) rather than malted “Black
Patent” barley (traditionally used in Porters). This auspicious shift to
Stout, coupled with the move to a less potent Porter in England, would
drive Porter out of fashion by the early 1900s. By the 1970s it was all
but extinct.That is, of course, until craft brewers began to revive the
style in the 1980s and the beer once more ascended into popular ity.
BUT WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE?
The history of Porter aside, it is a decidedly delicious beer. Where a
Stout may be so roasty as to be unapproachable to some, a Porter tends
to str ike the palate as chocolatey, or nutty. As such, it tends to have a
more universal appeal, despite it’s somewhat intimidating colour.
There are three distinct var iations on the Porter style. The milder
English Brown Porter, the stronger and more intense Amer ican (or
Robust) Porter, and the often misunderstood, and typically more
alcoholic, Baltic Porter. As var ied as these three takes on the style might
be, the unifying quality of each is that it is roastier than a Brown Ale,
but less astr ingent than a Stout.
Fortunately we have a number of delicious examples of Porters brewed
r ight here in New Zealand. Let’s take a look at some of the more highly
regarded examples of the style being produced here at home...n
MIKE’S VANILLA COFFEE PORTER,
BY MIKE’S BREWERY
Also topping the list of New Zealand’s most
highly regarded Porters is Mike’s Vanilla Coffee
Porter. Clocking in at 8% ABV, this pitch-
black Robust Porter is loaded with rich coffee
and vanilla, offering a unique twist on this
classic style. It’s unofficially a desert beer that
somewhat ironically pairs well with breakfast.
While many tend to avoid dark beer because
of past impressions left by significantly more
intense and ashy Stouts; Porter is a beer that
should cause any dubious beer drinker to take
a second look. They are delicious, chocolaty,
flavourful beers that pair well with foods
ranging from blue cheese to barbecued meat.
Moreover, Porter is a beer style so rich with
history as to instantly transport any would be
beer drinker to an eighteenth century English
pub. It doesn’t get much better than that.
POT KETTLE BLACK, BY YEASTIE BOYS
“Pot Kettle Black”, is what the dynamic
Yeastie Boys Brewing Company classifies as
a “South Pacific Porter”. It’s another highly
regarded New Zealand Porter and it’s no
surprise that it’s one of the company’s biggest
sellers as well as one of New Zealand’s
most widely awarded beers. PKB, as it is
affectionately known, is a juxtaposition of
beer styles: fresh and hoppy, yet dark and
rich with malt. Yeastie Boys is proud of the
fact that it’s a beer “that has converted many
a person [into Porter fans] who’d formerly
professed a fear of dark ales”.
ELEMENTAL PORTER, BY RENAISSANCE
“Elemental Porter” is brewed in the modern
‘robust’ style. It is a rich, full bodied, brew
with plenty of dry, dark chocolate and roasty
malt flavours, that gradually gives way to a
cleansing hop-driven finish. Porter happens to
be Renaissance Co-Founder, Andy Deuchars’,
favourite beer style, and it shows in the
fact that Elemental Porter is currently New
Zealand’s highest ranked Porter
Hospitality BUSINESS | October 2016 | 63
BEER IN FOCUS
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