Today is Baltic Porter Day, an event started by the Polish brewer and porter fan Marcin Chmielarz. In 1977, beer writer Michael Jackson penned the existence of porter brewing in Poland in his World Guide to Beer. Jackson is credited with inventing the expression, “Baltic porter,” the name by which the style is now known, even in Poland. The Baltic porter is a traditional English style, developed by the British in the 1800s for export to their buddies in the Russian Court. The Baltic porter is an interesting breed, because while it’s a porter in name and flavor, it’s not an ale. All Baltic porters are lagers, meaning they’re brewed with a strain of yeast that ferments for longer times at colder temperatures and contributes a cleaner, crisper flavor to the brew. The Baltic porter is a dark black beer, sometimes with garnet and ruby highlights. It is known for an assertive chocolate malt that imparts sweetness and often hints of toffee, licorice, and roast, and it can be quite strong, ranging from 7.6 to 9.3 percent. Today, Peaks & Pints presents an in-house flight of Baltic porters — a flight we call Peaks and Pints Beer Flight: Baltic Porter Day.
54°40′ Brap! Baltic Porter
In 2015, Bolt Minister founded 54-40 Brewing Company in Washougal, Washington, with a desire to share good times with family and friends over easy drinking craft beers. Its 54°40′ name is derived from a 1862-1864 negotiation between the U.S. and Britain regarding establishing the Canadian border of the Oregon territory, which was achieved by compromise at the 49th parallel. Their Brap! Baltic Porter is a rich, crisp, and warming lager combining a rich malty sweetness with chocolate.
Buoy Baltic Porter
Born from dark winter nights in the icy northern latitudes, Buoy Beer‘s Baltic Porter crosses the boundaries between rich and crisp, smooth, and brisk. Lagering below freezing for thirty days and thirty nights evolved the resonant flavors of coffee, filberts, and bittersweet chocolate into a beer perfect for those all at sea.
Old Stove Escapism Baltic Porter
For over 110 years, the Pike Place Market has been home to generations of dreamers, makers and doers who admired this community and became part of it. For Old Stove Brewing co-founders, Chris Moore and Brian Stan, their Pike Place Market dream became a reality early in 2016. What began with exciting “what if” conversations and sketches on bar napkins became full-scale plans to present to both the Pike Place Market PDA and Market Historical Commission. After many conversations, Old Stove Brewing was granted approval to become the anchor tenant of the MarketFront in 2017. Old Stove’s Escapism Baltic Porter offers dark fruit sweetness and bitter roast.
Wayfinder Gravity Drop
Baltic porters are fermented with lager yeast, and aged to properly develop and round their flavors, so it takes both skill and patience to properly pull the subtleties out of this somewhat rare style of beer, which Wayfinder Beer did. Their Gravity Drop Baltic porter has intense chocolate, fig and caramel aroma that drinks warmly and falls off the deep end. It’s rich, elegant, and warming to the bone.
Põhjala was founded in Tallinn, Estonia at the end of 2011 by four Estonian beer enthusiasts and homebrewers. Scot and former Brewdog brewer Chris Pilkington joined the crew and contract brewed the first Põhjala beer, Öö Imperial Baltic Porter, in 2013. In April 2014, Põhjala moved into their own brewery in Tallinn’s Nõmme district. Named for “northern realm” in Estonian, Põhjala became the largest craft brewery in the Baltic states. Öö hits the nose with clean burnt sugar, immediately giving way to rich dark fruits – plums, raisin, and fresh cranberries. Eventually, a roasted smokiness emerges, like a distant bonfire on the horizon. Initially the espresso-like acidity is balanced by a sweet taste of caramelized toffee. As your glass warms up you should expect to taste redcurrant, mixed with a dark chocolate, washed down with a slight alcoholic warmth.