Saturday, April 14th, 2018

Tournament of Beer: Northwest Porters First Round April 14

Ron Swarner


Tournament-of-Beer-Northwest-Porters-First-Round-April-14Tournament of Beer: Northwest Porters First Round April 14

Over a three-week period, Peaks and Pints pits 64 of the Pacific Northwest’s best in a malt-to-malt battle of porters. This is a tournament, folks, not a playoff. Each match is do or die — one misstep and you’re out of the dance. Wort didn’t cool fast enough, left sediment in the conical fermenter too long, and you can pack your brewers paddle and go home. Sure, there are plenty of brewers wearing “Porter > Avocado Toast” T-shirts who can brew a mighty fine batch of porter. The Northwest’s finest porter purveyors brew it perfect every time.

The Tournament of Beer: Northwest Porters hosts competitions Monday through Friday up to the championship game Saturday, April 28 live at Peaks and Pints bottle shop, taproom and restaurant in Tacoma’s Proctor District. Without further ado, let’s take a gander at yesterday’s results. After the weekend break, eight new Northwest porters go at it around 9 a.m. Monday, April 16.

Below is a recap of yesterday’s action. Eight new porters will do battle Monday, April 16.

Friday, April 13, First Round Northwest Porters Games results


  1. Sunless Year, Holy Mountain (1421 Elliott Ave. W., Seattle) vs 10. Profanity Hill Porter, Schooner Exact Brewing (3901 First Ave. S., Seattle)

“Holy crap, we won!” Except the gang at Schooner Exact Brewing Co. didn’t say “crap.” Besides, they probably won’t swear when they discover their Profanity Hill Porter beat Holy Mountain’s Sunless Year barrel aged Baltic porter. After all, the South Seattle brewery has been brewing this delicious seven different malt, chocolate and walnuts flavored porter since it opened in 2012. Schooner Exact’s Profanity Hill Porter effing moves into the Second Round with 61 percent of the votes, although we didn’t say effing.


  1. Robust Porter, Reuben’s Brews (5010 14th Ave. NW, Seattle) vs 15. Peanut Butter Porter, Lucky Envelope Brewing (907 NW 50th St., Seattle)

It won a gold medal at the 2014 Washington Beer Awards. It won a gold medal at the 2014 Euro Beer Star. It won a gold medal at the 2015 Washington Beer Awards. It won a gold medal at the 2015 World Beer Championships. It won a bronze medal at the 2016 Euro Beer Star. It won a gold medal at the Brussells Beer Challenge. Reuben’s Brews’ Robust Porter has caused co-founder Adam Robbings back problems. It’s a lot of medal to wear around one’s neck, and we didn’t even mention all the awards. Reuben’s Robust Porter held a slight lead over the also award-winning, peanut-y, chocolate-y Lucky Envelope Peanut Butter Porter grabbing 55 percent of the vote and a date in the Second Round.


  1. Braggadocio, Breakside Brewery (820 NE Dekum St., Portland) vs 12. Organic Tree Hugger Porter, Laurelwood Brewing (6716 SE Milwaukie Ave., Portland)

It wouldn’t have shocked us if Ben Edmunds very first homebrewed porter made the Tournament of Beer: Northwest Porters. His Braggadocio hasn’t been brewed for quite some time and not only did the public seed it high into this tournament but it also smoked the worthy and delicious Laurelwood Organic Tree Hugger Porter. That’s Breakside Brewery. It’s on fire with a ton of brewing medals and folks running to grab a pint of the brewery’s latest and greatest before it blows the keg in 20 minutes. The Braggadocio lives on, at least in the Tournament of Beer, with a whopping 77 percent of the vote and advancing to the Second Round.


  1. Top Sail Porter, Full Sail Brewing (506 Columbia St., Hood River) vs 13. Working Girl Porter, Fort George Brewery (1483 Duane St., Astoria)

The dreaded green pepper flavor (easily the most common off-flavor when tasting coffee beers) can wander in and straight up ruin our day. Almost as bad, to us, is when the brewer doesn’t go far enough and the coffee presence is nominal at best. Fort George’s Working Girl Porter works. Here’s how it works: The Astoria brewery takes its Panamax Porter and adds five pounds of Working Girl Coarse Ground coffee in the mash tune and kettle, creating a light coffee aroma. And oh girl, the coffee. Flavor is earthy and coffee-dominated. With additional hints of chocolate and rye malt, this porter is well balanced and fantastic at any point in the day. Working Girl Porter took the wind out of Full Sail’s Top Sail Porter, sailing into the Second Round with 71 percent of the vote.

Let’s weed through the malts. The following are advancing to the Second Round:

Profanity Hill Porter, Schooner Exact Brewing

Robust Porter, Reuben’s Brews

Braggadocio, Breakside Brewery

Working Girl Porter, Fort George Brewery

OK, the Tournament of Beer: Northwest Porters picks back up Monday, April 16. Take the weekend to explore the participating porters.

Monday, April 16 Tournament of Northwest Porters action

Game 1: 5. Imperial Maple Porter, Backwoods Brewing (1162 Wind River Hwy., Carson) vs 12. RCW 70.160, Three Magnets Brewing (600 Franklin St. SE, Olympia)

Game 2: 4. P-51 Porter, Wingman Brewers (509 1/2 Puyallup Ave., Tacoma) vs 13. RIP Porter, Heathen Brewing (1109 Washington St., Vancouver)

Game 3: 7. Power House Porter, Sockeye Grill & Brewery (3019 N. Cole Road, Boise) vs 10. Snowboarder Porter, Boise Brewing (521 W. Broad St., Boise)

Game 4: 2. Guilt, Selkirk Abbey (6180 E. Seltice Way, Post Falls) vs 15. Big Jilm, Post Falls Brewing (112 N. Spokane St., Post Falls)

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