Know your drink, and drink what you know.
This is the time of year we turn to the darker beers like Porters.
The style known as ‘Porter’ has changed every generation during its three year history. At first it was a beer made largely from a moderately kilned “brown” malt, which gave it a rich toastiness and full body. When brewers working with a hydrometer discovered how inefficient this was, they switched over to the more extract-rich pale malt, in about 1780. This left them with a problem of how to achieve the former dark brown color, and various preparations of burnt sugar, though largely illegal, were employed. This dramatically changed the taste of the beer.
In 1817 a man named Daniel Wheeler invented a roasting kiln for making black malt, which solved the coloring problem, but changed porter once again. Throughout the nineteenth century, stout flourished at the expense of plain old porter, and the gravity, bitterness, and color were largely stripped out of it. By World War I it was barely breathing.
Thanks God it made a comeback. Here’s one I enjoyed recently.
Speakeasy Ales and Lagers is a microbrewery located in the Hunter’s Point neighborhood of San Francisco, California.
Style: American Porter / Baltic Porter
Gravity: degrees P
Alcohol: 7.50% alcohol by volume
Attentuation/body: Medium / Full
Color: 17-30 degrees SRM
Bitterness: b/w 20-40 IBU (low to medium)
“Tasting Beer: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Drink”, Randy Mosher. [Link].
Beer Advocate Profile http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/559/54913
Ratebeer.com Profile http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/speakeasy-payback-porter/69343
Of course, wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speakeasy_Ales_and_Lagers