Lo and behold, today marks the closing of the Tournament of Beer: Northwest Porters’ First Round. After today’s battles the bracket will officially be down to 32 Northwest-brewed porters, and breweries start hiring cheerleaders. Honestly, it if gets more exciting we’ll start to understand why Dick Vitale is always yelling. Posting and toasting baby!
Without wasting anyone’s time with porter related basketball innuendo, on to a recap of yesterday’s action followed by eight new porters hitting the courts today.
Monday, April 16, First Round Northwest Porters Games results
GAME 1, WASHINGTON STATE REGION
- Imperial Maple Porter, Backwoods Brewing (1162 Wind River Hwy., Carson) vs 12. RCW 70.160 Smoked Porter, Three Magnets Brewing (600 Franklin St. SE, Olympia)
RCW 70.160 went into affect Dec. 8, 2005, prohibiting smoking in all public places and all workplaces in Washington, including restaurants and bars. Washingtonians must smoke 25 feet away from all doorways, windows and air intakes of any protected areas in order to ensure that smoke does not enter into buildings. Clearly Three Magnet Brewing has plenty of smokers as fans. Yesterday, in addition to smoking in the rain, smokers voted for their favorite RCW 70.160 Smoked Porter as the Three Magnets beer grabbed 60 percent of the votes over Backwoods’ Imperial Maple Porter.
GAME 2, WASHINGTON STATE REGION
- P-51 Porter, Wingman Brewers (509 1/2 Puyallup Ave., Tacoma) vs 13. R.I.P. Porter, Heathen Brewing (1109 Washington St., Vancouver)
Maybe Heathen’s R.I.P. Porter was mistaken for Rest In Peace Porter instead of the proper acronym, Real Intense Porter. Most likely, Heathen’s porter lost its game yesterday because it ran into a Washington state brewery know for its porters, with hundreds of porter variants and a yearly Porterpalooza festival to feed them. Whatever the reason, Wingman’s P-51 Porter took off with 89 percent of the vote and will meet Three Magnets RCW 70.160 Smoked Porter in the Second Round.
GAME 3, IDAHO REGION
- Power House Porter, Sockeye Brewing (3019 N. Cole Road, Boise) vs 10. Snowboarder Porter, Boise Brewing (521 W. Broad St., Boise)
In a back and forth match-up pitting two fairly evenly matched competitors (at least in the eye of the voters, it seems), Boise Brewing’s Snowboarder Porter was eventually able to zip past Sockeye’s Power House Porter thanks to a late run — securing 56 percent of the vote. Snowboarder Porter is waxed up and ready for the Second Round.
GAME 4, IDAHO REGION
- Guilt, Selkirk Abbey (6180 E. Seltice Way, Post Falls) vs 15. Big Jilm, Post Falls Brewing (112 N. Spokane St., Post Falls)
Legend has it that coffee was discovered by Kaldi, an Ethiopian goatherd who noticed that his goats became more energetic after eating the berries of the bush and became inspired to chew some himself. Other tales—likely equally apocryphal—credit Sheikh Omar of Yemen, who supposedly tried boiling coffee beans while living in exile in the desert. Whatever coffee’s origin, it was the focus of yesterday’s game between the imperial coffee porters brewed Selkirk Abbey and Post Falls Brewing. Peaks and Pints statisticians called this match-up “Steel Drip.” But let’s get down to beans-wax. These two porters were tied at 4:30p.m. Then, the “Best Dad” coffee mugs were stored away for the “I Can’t Adult Today” mugs, which were full of Post Falls Brewing’s Big Jilm. Indeed, Big Jilm secured 55 percent of the vote and doesn’t feel guilty at all.
Let’s weed through the malts. The following are advancing to the Second Round:
RCW 70.160 Smoked Porter, Three Magnets Brewing
P-51 Porter, Wingman Brewers
Snowboarder Porter, Boise Brewing
Big Jilm, Post Falls Brewing
OK, pour a pint and dive into today’s First Round porter battles. Vote for one porter per game. Voting for today’s porter battles ends at 11:45 p.m. today. Cheers!
Tuesday, April 17, First Round Northwest Porters Games
GAME 1, SEATTLE/KING COUNTY REGION
Team: Two Beers Brewing, Seattle
Player Stats: An overhang means two things to folks: one, it’s a section of rock in which the top part sticks out over the bottom part — basically, the rock is beyond 90 degrees (generally speaking, when climbing an overhang, most of your weight is supported from your arms); two, it’s Two Beers Brewing’s imperial porter aged in bourbon barrels for six months with cocoa, cinnamon and a touch of cloves. The overhang during climbing tastes like halite. Two Beers’ Overhang tastes thick and smooth, with lots of whiskey upfront, followed by some warming and a vanilla finish.
ABV: 12.9%, IBU: 60, Malts: 2-Row, Munich, Vienna, Crystals, Chocolate, Black Patent, Flaked Barley
Team: Elysian Brewing, Seattle
Player Stats: Perseus is one of the greatest heroes of Greek Mythology. He was the son of mighty Zeus and mortal Danae. He is best known as the slayer of the Gorgon Medusa, a fearsome monster, and as the rescuer of the Ethiopian princess Andromeda. Perseus is also a rich, dark, full-bodied and creamy smooth porter brewed by Elysian Brewing in Seattle. Brewed in the style of a robust porter, Perseus pours dark brown with a creamy tan head. Notes of coffee and a hint of smoke hit the nose, as well as the tongue with a little earthy hop.
ABV: 5.4%, IBU: 25, Malts: 2-Row, Black, Chocolate
SCROLL DOWN TO VOTE >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
GAME 2, SEATTLE/KING COUNTY REGION
Team: Fremont Brewing, Seattle
Player Stats: Squirrel! We’re buzzing over Fremont Brewing’s coffee porter, Stone Squirrel. In fact, we’re snuggling up to the Stone Squirrel, enjoying the gentle embrace of rich chocolate, coffee and roasted toffee flavors. It’s brewed with locally roasted, cold-brewed Tony’s Café Carmelita coffee, and chocolate and roast malts on top of a base of pale malt and Yakima Valley Columbus hops. It darts by the nose with chocolate and coffee. It scrambles over the tongue with roasted malts, caramel and coffee. Did we mention the coffee?
ABV: 5.4%, IBU: 25, Malts: Pale 2-Row, Chocolate, Roasted
Team: Lowercase Brewing, Seattle
Player Stats: Lowercase Brewing sits in South Park, but not the one depicted on Comedy Central. Instead of seeing the Rocky Mountains in the background, Lowercase sees the Duwamish River and the Seattle skyline. Behold its hearty porter enhanced with milk sugar (lactose), chocolate malts and aged on Hawaiian cacao nibs. Roasty enough for the dark beer drinker this brew will be sure to satisfy the midday sweet tooth craving.
ABV: 5%, IBU: 30, Malts: Chocolate
SCROLL DOWN TO VOTE >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
GAME 3, OREGON REGION
Team: Deschutes Brewery, Bend
Player Stats: In 1988, Deschutes Brewery opened as a small brewpub in Bend, Oregon, producing only about 300 barrels in its first year. Several expansions later, that number rose to nearly 350,000 barrels last year, making it one of the largest independent craft breweries in the country. The brewery is best known for its Black Butte Porter — one of the first dark beers to win over the craft beer world. It’s so revered that, as a tribute, every year the brewery creates a new barrel-aged imperial version with special ingredients such as figs or chiles. Much like the extinct volcano it’s named after, Black Butte Porter is captivating. The aroma bears a hint of nuttiness, followed by the unmistakable smells of rich yet soft milk chocolate. Black Butte Porter is slightly bitter in the first sip, but mellows out with a chocolate and roasted finish. As creamy and chocolaty as it should be, this is the porter all other porters strive to be.
ABV: 5.2%, IBU: 30, Malts: Pale, Carapils, Chocolate, Crystal, Wheat
Team: Oakshire Brewing, Eugene
Player Stats: After Oakshire’s brewers drank a 2 Towns Ciderhouse’s cinnamon and nutmeg cider aged in bourbon barrels they knew the flavors needed to be a part of their lives. Hello Imperial Spiced Apple Porter. After treacle cinnamon, apple and dark chocolate hit the nose expect flavors of warm mulled cider blended with roasted malts, hearty dark molasses and chocolate, cinnamon and apple flavors.
ABV: 8.6%, IBU: 36, Malts: Roasted
SCROLL DOWN TO VOTE >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
GAME 4, OREGON REGION
Team: Crux Fermentation Project, Bend
Player Stats: The Pacific Crest Trail stretches from the Mexican border to the Canadian border, covering more than 2,600 miles along the way. On average, it takes thru-hikers about five months to complete the trek. Most hikers start in the south, and by the time they make it into Oregon, they’ve built up a mighty powerful thirst. Enough PCT hikers stop in Bend, Oregon for a shower, a civilized meal and craft beer that Crux Fermentation Project decided to brew PCT Porter just for them and the organization that supports the hikers, Pacific Crest Trail Association. Kick off the hiking boots, pull one of these out of our cooler and enjoy this velvety, chocolate porter with a small bitter bite at the back.
ABV: 5.5%, IBU: 30, Malts: Chocolate, Roasted
Team: Klamath Basin Brewing
Player Stats: Located in the old Crater Lake Creamery building just outside of Klamath Falls’ main drag, Klamath Basin Brewing is eco-conscious, using local geothermal resources to heat the building and the beer mash. The results are fantastic. The Backroad Vanilla Porter is dark, smooth and confectionary-like, and was an early statewide success. Brewed with a blend of vanilla beans, vanilla dominates the flavor of this robust porter while chocolate and coffee flavors linger in the background.
ABV: 6.7%, IBU: 45, Malts: Roasted
VOTE BELOW >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Be sure to click the blue DONE button after selecting your favorite porters!
Wednesday, April 18 Tournament of Northwest Porters Second Round action
Game 1: 1. Coco Jones Coconut Porter, Black Raving Brewing (14679 NE 95th St., Redmond) vs. 9. Curbside Porter, Airways Brewing (8611 S. 212th St., Kent)
Game 2: 10. Puget Sound Porter, Harmon Brewing (204 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma) vs. 2. Pecan Pie Porter, Backwoods Brewing (1162 Wind River Hwy., Carson)
Game 3: 5. Where The Sun Is Still Shining Before the Eclipse, Idaho Brewery (775 S Capital Ave., Idaho Falls, Idaho) vs. 13. Hinterland Porter, Powderhaus Brewing (9719 W. Chinden Blvd., Garden City, Idaho)
Game 4: 7. Salted Caramel Porter, Cascade Lakes Brewing (1441 SW Chandler Ave., Bend, Oregon) vs. 15. Mocha Porter, Rogue Ales (748 SW Bay Blvd., Newport, Oregon)