Under Pressure Brewing Company
A century or two ago in the English speaking world porter and other dark beers nearly ruled the beer market. Technological innovations and the sweep of pale lagers and IPAs across the beer landscape has knocked porter down a few notches but it remains a beer worth seeking out and Under Pressure Brewing Company's English Porter exemplifies the reasons for the style's resurgence. At 5.4% alcohol by volume it is a style you can stick with all day and with 29 International Bittering Units it has just enough bitterness to balance the rich malts and not interfere with the fish and chips you wish you were eating. Co-owner and co-brewer Lori Ertl won several medals with this recipe in national home brew competitions. One sniff of the beer as you pour will tell you why. My can is fresh - five days old. The first whiff takes me back to the bakers area of places such as Vancouver's Granville Market or Toronto's Kensington Market as you absorb the bready, biscuit aromas with a deft touch of roast and a light touch of toast. The sugar aromas cover a wide swath of caramel from light to dark and a pleasant dash of nuts. Malt leads the aromas with earthy, medium low hop aromas. It pours bright brown with ruby highlights under a moderate medium tan cap with fair retention and a very fine bead. The malt is above average with rich bready, biscuit flavors lightly touched by roast. Nuts, mild treacle, and toffee complete the layered and nuanced malt flavors. There is not much chocolate and hop bitterness is medium low - just enough to accent the malt and keeping the beer from being cloying. The beer dries slightly on the finish with just the right amount of woody bitterness. The head gives the initial drinks a rich creaminess that settles down as the head dissipates. The body is medium and the carbonation is medium to medium low carbonation. The beer's rich flavors make for a satisfying, delightful libation and with alcohol in the pale lager range, you can drink it all night. Under Pressure Brewing Company's English Porter is another beer that showcases the malt and shows that Under Pressure Brewing knows what they are doing around a mash tun. Their English Porter is maltier than many but well done and in my book, rates 87.
Go to English Porter Reviews for a brief discussion of the style, links to book reviews, links to reviews of similar beers, food pairings and glassware recommendations.