Port Brewing Dawn Patrol Dark

On Monday night, the other half and I headed to the Hulmeville Inn for a Philly Beer Week event featuring Cigar City. It was insanely packed and about three deep at the bar. Since we were starving and the chances of us getting a table were slim, we decided to head to Memphis Taproom for dinner instead. They had a Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey event earlier that day, so I got to try a bunch of beers from them that were left over.


ABV: 3.2%

Style: English Dark Mild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our version of an English Mild Brown, Dawn Patrol is perfect for anyone who started their day before the sun rises and is ready for a beer before anyone else is finished for the day.”

Random: This is the base beer for The Lost Abbey Red Poppy.

This beer poured with a two finger, tan head that dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown color with no visible carbonation due to the lighting in Memphis Taproom. The nose had notes of coffee and roasted malts with pronounced raisin. The taste was incredibly complex and at such a low ABV. There was toast, roasted malts, coffee and then some raisin in there for good measure. It had a medium thick body with high carbonation. The sip finished long and toasty. This was just an outstanding beer that I’m glad I got to try. According to the menu at Memphis, it’s a rare find in Philly.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Port Brewing Santa’s Little Helper

Happy New Year! I spent the week between Christmas and New Year’s down in DC and Baltimore with the other half and just got home last night to way too much snow and freezing temperatures. I still have one more day before I have to go back to work, but then it is back to the grind. So, here’s a review of a holiday beer a little bit out of season.

ABV: 10%

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Santa knows who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. This is one seriously naughty but nice beer. Black as coal that he’s known to leave for those children who haven’t behaved, but smooth and sweet like good kids who leave Milk and Cookies for the Jolly Old Fat Man.”

Random: My Eagles lost last night to the Saints, so I have to figure out who I actually care about in the playoffs now.

This bad boy poured with a finger of tan head that dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a dark, inky black with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose had lots of bourbon, oak and vanilla on it. Some roasted malts and dark chocolate came up next. The taste was even better than the nose. I got lots of warm bourbon and oak notes initially, that was followed up by roasted malts. There was some dark chocolate present, but it was not all that bitter. There wasn’t a significant coffee presence either. Given the ABV, I expected this brew to be really hot, and the booze was there, but not as strong as expected and not until the end. The body was thick and viscous with light carbonation. It had a long finish with a lot of bourbon. This beer was outstanding. I think it could use a touch of age to tame the heat from the booze, but that would be my only complaint. I would have this one again in a second.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Port Brewing High Tide Fresh Hop IPA

Another late night at work for me. I am so counting down until end of quarter is over. I’m interviewing a temp tomorrow and I’m hoping that she’s good so that it can take some pressure off of me. Given how my last round of temp interviews went, I’m not all that optimistic. Out of 6 interviews, one person showed up. For some reason, I thought people needed jobs? I guess not. Anyways, I’m trying to drink through the beer fridge before making another beer run. I picked this one up awhile ago, so let’s see how it fared.

ABV: 6.5%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Each and every fall, we experience a coastal experience in San Diego known as the ‘Super High Tide.’ This happens later in the Fall Season when the tidal swings reach a range of about 8 feet in difference between low and high tides. When this happens, there are days when the tide just gets too high and flattens out the surf. The lineups shut down and surfers are left to wait until the High Tide recedes. While waiting for the tides to shift in your favor, might we suggest a High Tide IPA? Brewed only once each year to coincide with the Hop Harvest in Yakima Washington, High Tide IPA is made with 180 lbs of Fresh Hops per batch that are plucked from the vines and sent straight to our brewery. We skip the whole drying and processing stage which means the hops are ultra fresh and full of flavors we can’t normally get. Like grapes, Hops are only harvested one time each year and as such, we make what we can when we get them. The recipe is very simple and basic with an emphasis on the variety of hops we select each year. Lately, we have selected Centennial and Chinook hops for our High Tide IPA. We used Centennial at the end of the boil and Chinook for the Dry Hopping. Now that we have brewed High Tide, we will sit and wait for the ultra High Tides of Fall to arrive knowing full well that we have sufficient stocks of great beer to get us through the flattest of sessions. We hope you’ll stock up too.”

Random: I still love the song “Kids” by MGMT. Whenever it comes on Pandora, I totally rock out.

This one poured with a two finger white head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear straw yellow with very light carbonation visible. The nose had some piney hops, alcohol and some citrus right after. The taste had some definitely hops with pine resin and then lemon zest with grapefruit. Some grass came through right after with tropical fruits. There wasn’t a huge amount of bitterness, but it was crisp and pleasant. The body was medium thickness and some of the carbonation has left the beer with time. The finish was long and a bit oily with some pine bitterness. This was a really enjoyable beer that had moderate alcohol. It’s a nice brew for both the hop head and hop newbie alike. This is definitely worth a shot.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Port Brewing Hop 15

What a day. It was a pretty busy day at work, even with a callout. My closer called out, so I knew I was going to be stuck there until the last driver finished. The last driver finished crazy early (around 5 PM). But, of course, there was another issue, so I was working in the car and at home until about 7:30 PM. After I finished with all of that, I turned on a History Channel documentary and settled in to update the blog.

ABV: 10%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Welcome to San Diego- Home to Hop Heads on every corner and THE best place in the world to live if you enjoy Humulus Lupulus and the smell of a well hopped beer.
This is Southern California, it’s the place where Blind Pig started the Imperial IPA revolution and San Diego Brewers have continued to be at the forefront of its evolution. Today, fans of Double IPA come from every corner of the globe in search of many of the world’s best and most incredibly well hopped beers. It’s no secret that you can find many of them at Port Brewing as well. Like you, we love these beers and mostly we enjoy the happiness they bring us. First brewed in 2002 to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the Pizza Port in Solana Beach, Hop 15 was imagined and designed by Tomme Arthur and Jeff Bagby as a celebration of 15 years of ‘Good Beer Brings Good Cheer.’ Hop 15 has 15 different hop varieties added to the beer every 15 minutes. Over the years, Hop 15 has racked up numerous accolades. It has won a bronze medal in Imperial or Double India Pale Ale at the Great American Beer Festival. It also was named Alpha King Winner in 2004 and 2008, and received a first place award at the Bistro Double IPA beer festival in Hayward, CA. Hop 15 remains won of the stickiest most resinous beers we have ever tasted and for that, we are thankful it is on tap at our brewery each and every day.”

Random: I am now over a month backlogged. This is going to take a long weekend of updating…I can tell.

This one poured with a huge, three finger tan head that dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the tulip glass. The body was a dark, burnt orange color with heavy carbonation visible throughout. The nose was really big hops with grapefruit and pine and a touch of malt at the end. The taste was not quite as hoppy as expected. I got some citrus and lemon zest. Malt quickly came up as well to back it up. The booze was nicely integrated into the brew. The body was medium thickness with high carbonation. The finish was long with pine resin. Although I enjoyed this beer, it lacked a bit of depth. Despite that, I would definitely have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Port Brewing Old Viscosity

Funny story. One day, my sister decided to meet me in Philly and we were doing some daytime drinking. It wasn’t anything crazy, it was just having some lunch and some beers (well, in her case, cider). We took a picture of me drinking a Russian Imperial Stout and her cider (which if I recall correctly, was a pear cider, so it was exceptionally light). We sent said picture to my mother and challenged her to pick what each child was drinking. My mother responded correctly and then asked why she wasn’t invited. So, here’s another big time stout that reminds me of that day.

ABV: 10%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: This was the LA Times Beer of the Month in January 2009.

Random: I find Mariah Carey’s new song rather annoying. It could be as a result of having to listen to it multiple times per day at work.

This brew poured with a three finger tan head that dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown, almost black color with some carbonation visible. The nose had some dark chocolate and warm roasted malts. Espresso and booze came through as well. The taste was just as strong as the nose. I got big espresso notes, dark chocolate and strong bitterness. The roasted malts were there as well, as was the booze, which was dialed down a touch for the nose. Despite this, it provided a significant warming at the end of the sip. A dollop of smoke was present as well as it warmed. The body was thick and heavy with generous carbonation throughout .The finish was long with bitter coffee. This was a really enjoyable brew and a sipper, no doubt. Go grab this one if you see it.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Port Brewing Midnight Expression

On Friday night, Kate and I went back to The Draft House for dinner. Little did we know that we were walking in on late 50s singles night. It was pretty funny watching these old men hitting on every woman that we saw. Kate and I spent the whole time laughing. This was the first beer that I had there.

ABV: 5%

Style: Schwarzbier

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “It’s not often that a great swell coincides with a full moon. But when they collide, nature affords us a rare opportunity to paddle out long after everyone has called it a day. These moments are a solitary pursuit with empty lineups. But those who carve graceful lines under a full moon understand how things can be dark, lonely and rewarding at the same time. So next time you paddle in from an overcrowded beach break, remember that nothing tastes better than a cold beer after a session. We suggest a roasty black lager for contemplating empty lineups and waves that go on for days. Most likely you’ll long for epic summer swells under moon lit sessions, opening the doors to isolation and empty secret spots on an age trying to pass us by…”

Random: It’s still snowing. Luckily, it’s not sticking.

This brew poured with a half a finger of tan head that dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown, almost black color with moderate visible carbonation. The nose was roasted malts and smoke without much else. The taste was smoke, roasted malts and then a touch of metal. As it warmed, the flavors really improved. After awhile, I also got some pumpernickel bread. The body was thick with heavy carbonation on the tongue. The finish was lengthy with a lot of smoke. This was a good beer, but it was missing something. I wouldn’t rush back to have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Port Brewing Shark Attack Double Red Ale

Katie bought this for me after my first day at the new job. She’s so cute. She lies my clothes out every morning while I’m in the shower and packs me lunch too. It’s very cute. We had to go shopping the week before for work clothes, which wasn’t a lot of fun. I pretty much hate shopping, but she’s very good at picking out clothes and stuff. Anyways, it was nice to come home from work and have this bad boy in the fridge.

ABV: 9%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This is a classic West Coast-style imperial red ale brewed with medium crystal malts, centennial and cascade hops. The color is a burnt amber with red highlights and the aroma has a spicy hop presence with moderate caramel malt accents. The taste is a smooth, malty one with a balanced hoppy finish that includes hints of sweet caramel.”

Random: I’m not a fan of the Giants uniforms. They’re so boring. I think they need an update. Just saying.

I poured this beer into a pint glass and…holy head Batman! It was three fingers high and quite fluffy. It was also cream-colored and took awhile to dissipate and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy chestnut color. The nose was grapefruit up front and then a touch of caramel malt in the background. Yep, this is definitely a West Coast red. The taste wasn’t as hoppy as the nose. It started with some caramel malt and then the hops came out to play. Hello grapefruit. Hello pine. Hello grapefruit zest and pepper. The body was thick with moderate to high carbonation. The finish was long, sticky and hoppy. Wow, that sounded wrong.  The 9% ABV didn’t make an appearance which could be dangerous. I really liked this beer. It was big and bold, which is exactly what I expect from a West Coast Red. Go grab this!

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Port Brewing Anniversary Ale (2012)

It is ridiculously hot. I can’t even take the heat. I heard that tomorrow is going to be even worse. Is it Fall yet? So, this is a review that I wrote up from last week. I’ve only had a few brews from Port Brewing, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the ones that I’ve had. Hopefully this one will be as good as the others that I’ve sampled.

ABV: 10%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A massively hopped strong pale ale brewed to celebrate our anniversary each year. Anniversary Ale is light gold to pale orange in color and offers a potent aroma of fresh pine and citrus with some warming alcohols present. The taste is a thick, chewy hop presence only barely contained by balancing malts. The finish is pure hop expression with a moderate warming alcohol sensation.”

Random: I could never live in Florida. It’s bad enough dealing with this in the Summer.

This brew poured with a huge, three finger white head that was incredibly fluffy and left lots of lacing on my tulip glass. The nose was very fragrant, filled with citrusy hops and pine resin. On the first sip, it was obvious that this was a West Coast IPA. It started with pine and grapefruit, which was to be expected. Then, some tropical fruit and candi sugar sweetness at the end came out. The booze was pretty apparent on the end and lingered into the long finish. The body was oily and towards the thicker side with moderate carbonation. Final thoughts? Not the best DIPA I’ve ever had, but solid. I would have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Port Mongo IPA

I am officially exhausted. I had Fire Academy today and by the end of it, I was just a gross and disgusting mess. But, it was a lot of fun (I do have a pretty warped sense of fun). So, now I’m relaxing on the couch and what goes better with relaxing than having a brew?

ABV: 8.5%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to wikipedia.com, “Mongo is a fictional planet where the comic strip (and later movie serials) of Flash Gordon take place. It is ruled by a usurper named Ming the Merciless, who governs with an iron hand. Mongo is inhabited by different cultures. Some are technologically advanced, but they are falling under the domination of the tyrant Ming. Flash Gordon succeeds in unifying them against Ming, eventually removing him from power.”

Random: I was really excited when I heard that Port Brewing was in NJ. We really do seem to get a lot of great breweries distributing here.

First of all…the head on this pour was ridiculous. It poured with a three and a half finger, incredibly thick, off white head. It dissipated very slowly and looked like whipped egg whites. It also left generous lacing on the glass. The body of the beer was a hazy orange color with lots of active carbonation. The nose was filled with hoppy goodness. It was filled with lots of grapefruit, pine, pineapple and mango. The taste is exactly what I wanted it to be…a lot of pine, some pineapple, and a hint of malt. The body is a little on the oily side with decent carbonation and a medium thick body. Despite the hefty ABV, there really wasn’t a huge alcohol burn. The finish lasted awhile with a bit of bitterness. This was just a fantastic brew. It had lots of in your face hops and great flavors. I would have this again in a second. Get this beer now!

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0

Port Brewing Older Viscosity

So, after two beers at Monk’s, we headed to Jose Pistola’s. I had been there once already (during Philly Beer Week) and had a pretty good time. So, since it was very close to Monk’s and on our path on the pub crawl, we stopped in for a beer. There wasn’t nearly as large a selection at this bar as there was at Monk’s, but there were definitely some solid offerings. What was even better was I found a beer that I couldn’t get in New Jersey. So, despite the fact that it was 12% ABV, I had to order it.

ABV: 12%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “An enormously rich but satisfying beer, Older Viscosity is 100% straight no chaser barrel-aged Old Viscosity — the beer we blend in the production of Old Viscosity. The color is black like asphalt and the aroma is an uncompromising malty nose with dark caramel and chocolate overtones. The barrel aging provides hints of vanilla and American oak. The flavor begins with a coating of rich malts and dark chocolate and finishes in a dry bitter-sweetness balanced by the firm bitterness of roasted dark malts.”

Random: Yummy…barrel aged…

This beer poured with a one-finger, tan head on a dark brown body that you could not see through. Due to the color there was no visible carbonation. On the nose, holy bourbon Batman! Damn, this smelled AMAZING! The nose was a lot of bourbon, followed by hints of chocolate and vanilla with a bit of burnt wood. The taste was much of the same with a lot of intense bourbon. Hints of chocolate came through the silky body that presented with very little carbonation. There was a bit of alcohol burn of the taste that lasted through to the finish. Wow, this was a strong beer. This was a really solid stout that I enjoyed, but there is no way that I could have more than one. This was definitely a boozy stout, but worth a shot!

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0