The beer:Gorilla Warfare, Sixpoint Craft Ales, Brooklyn, New York
The pub: Bark, on the corner of Bergen Street and Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, New York
What you need to know: We touched on the deep history of porters last week, with our discussion of a more British-style offering from DC Brau. American Porter, much like American Pale Ale, descends from the original American craft brewing movement, which, much like the Napa Valley wine movement, attempts to push flavors to a bigger and bolder place. For porter, this can mean a lot of things, either in the elevation of roasted malts above the traditional balanced mix of caramel, pale and roasted malts, or in the addition of more hops to complement selfsame roasted malts.
Sixpoint Craft Ales is a rapidly expanding brewery founded in 2004 in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn. Up until last year, Sixpoint only distributed their beers in kegs. In June, they rolled out canned versions of their “main line” beers- Sweet Action cream ale, Righteous Rye, Bengali Tiger IPA, and the Sehr Crisp lager, with a seasonal offering joining the canning line- right now, that’s their Resin Imperial IPA.
So, About this Beer: The beer pours a deep, dark brown with a pale tan head, which lasts, in a very thin layer, through the entire pint. Big roasty aromas with a little grassiness from the hops meet you as you bring it up to sip. Mouthfeel is about medium. There’s some body to this beer, but you’re not chewing it. Taste starts with some malt sweetness before quickly giving way to the twin roasts of the barley and coffee, fading finally to a lingering, pleasant hop bitterness.
The Verdict: Most coffee beers are sweet stouts, which makes sense- coffee plus sugar is a standby in most diners/homes/coffee shops. The use of an American Porter’s big, roasty bitterness to match Gorilla’s notoriously strong coffee in this case is particularly inspired. Beware though, as the strong-ish alcohol content (7.5% ABV)means you can’t session this through the day, but it’s certainly worth the purchase when you see it at your local. I highly recommend it.