Category Archives: Porter

Berkshire Brewing Drayman’s Porter

Berkshire Brewing Co.
South Deerfield, MA
Drayman’s Porter
6.2% ABV / 36 IBU

Holy hell, it has been too long. I am back, I swear it. It’s not that I haven’t been drinking – I have! A lot! As much as I can. Inspiration struck the other night, and a bomber of this stuff in the fridge was just calling to me. “Open me,” it said. “Drink me, and enjoy. But share it with the world. With all your countless fans.”

“I will, talking beer,” I said. “I will.”

This beer lets in no light, save for what trickles in from the top as the honey-colored head subsides. All but black, the muddy brown curtain obscures any view of the gentle carbonation.

A few of these and you'll need to carried

A few of these and you’ll need to be carried.

The nose has caramel, milk chocolate, and the cold smell of a concrete floor – like a garage or basement that has been cleaned but is perpetually damp. Some minor vegetal aromas appear, but are overpowered by the cool sweetness.

The first sip starts smoothly, with very little carbonation. There is a softness, but no coating of the mouth or acrid bitterness from the toasted grains. The sides of the tongue get touched with some sparkling but evanescent green hop bitterness, but everything gets ironed out to the back of the palate with chocolate milk, sourdough, and a touch of mocha.

I may have served the first pour a bit too cold, but it’s an easy drinker and a smooth 6.2 percent, which lacks any of the roasted char and sticky alcohol apparent in so many bulkier US porters.

Don’t Forget to Tip the Porter

The porter has now been in the primary fermenter (it sounds cooler to say “the primary fermenter” than “the huge bucket”) and we’re about to switch it over into the carboy. This allows us to remove sediment, lets the yeast to absolutely finish its process, and lets us stare at our five gallons of delectable goodness through the clear walls.

I’m going to sterilize the siphon and the carboy and prepare to take a hydrometer reading. We’re hoping to start the IPA while the porter is still growing up. As of our last post, we figure we’ve got around 150 bottles and growing, as Vin purchased and consumed two Zappa double deuces, and I’m halfway through a Saranac sampler. (DIGRESSION!) The Adirondack Lager (formerly Saranac Amber) is a nice example of American brewing. It uses the very liberal “amber” designation well, and hints at both a hoppy bite and an almost creamy maltiness. The Saranac Pale is one of the best go-tos for a good, clean hoppy beer. It’s not as bitter (in a good way) as Sierra or other Cascade brews, but it has similar body, head retention, color, and lacing as a Sierra. Right now, I’m onto the Saranac IPA. It pours with an aggressive head that leaves beautiful ringing, dripping lace. It has distinct biscuit and bread tones in the nose and finishes with a touch of alcohol and citrus notes.

OK, back to the task at hand. Stand by for more porter info. Vin and I are going to try to get this done before we get too… unfocused. This brew will be RTD by the time I get back from Trinidad on February 5th.