Monday, November 15, 2010

Tonight at Office Hours: Robust & Baltic Porter.

Tonight at Office Hours with the Publican (that's me), we resume our BJCP-oriented discussion of Porter.

Last Monday, there was time for English Brown Ale and Brown/English Porter, as well as our first ever session recording, which as I write is being rendered into a podcast.

As Eric and Ben search the Public House's bottled stocks for appropriate provisions, here are the BJCP descriptions for tonight's menu:

12B. Robust Porter
12C. Baltic Porter

Robust Porter samples will/should include Sierra Nevada, BBC Dark Star, Stone Smoked Porter and (perhaps) some Alaskan from the stash.

We used to have more examples of bottled Baltic Porter than we do now, but there should be enough for rock and roll tonight: Flying Dog Gonzo, Zwiec, Baltika, Sinebrychoff, and draft NABC Ancient Rage that I'll pack from the garage keg box at home.

I wrote the following passage in high summer, 2006. It summarizes my feelings about Baltic Porter, which is one of my personal faves.


Some will suggest that Baltic Porter isn’t appropriate for the hot and sticky Ohio Valley summer, but my view is that any time of the year, different styles of beer work in different contexts.

While mowing the lawn? Well, I’ve never consumed beer while cutting grass, so I wouldn’t know. Perhaps Samichlaus isn’t the best choice for such an occasion.

Afterwards, following a spell of rest and regeneration in the air conditioning? It seems to me that once the heat and humidity have been removed from the equation, almost any beer has a chance of tasting good.

It’s all in the mind, anyway. To hell with tiki bars and palm fronds; think pebbly beaches with cool summer breezes, brick-laden seaports and trays of smoked eel and pickled herring.

At any rate, I’m a longtime of Baltic Porter precisely because the style is nebulous and all over the stylistic map. As the BJCP description indicates, English-style Porter and strong Stout may well have been the original impetus for dark beers brewed in these countries, but German lager brewing techniques have long since modified the plan, with results that vary from place to place an provide much tasting adventure.

No comments: