Monday, April 9th, 2018

Tournament of Beer: Northwest Porters First Round April 9

Ron Swarner


Tournament-of-Beer-Northwest-Porters-Round-One-April-9 Tournament of Beer: Northwest Porters First Round April 9

Let’s look at malty moments in history. …

4,300 BC – Oldest-known written recipe — a formula for beer — inscribed in clay cuneiform tablet. The Babylonians are producing beer in large quantities with around 20 varieties, including Suck It Sumerian Stout.

500-1000 AD – The first half of the Middle Ages, brewing begins in European monasteries and convents; hops added to process. Hello Bring Out Your Dead Doppelbock!

1490 – Columbus finds Native Americans making beer from corn and tree sap in the Bahamas. First Caribbean bar fight breaks out when the natives called Columbus a phony.

1612 – First commercial New World brewery opens in New Amsterdam (now Manhattan, in New York City).

1620 – Mayflower docks at Plymouth Rock; ship’s log notes landing hastened by fears over dwindling supplies, “especially our beere.” The Puritans pointed fingers at the Pilgrims.

1772 – Ralph Harwood, a London brewer, invents Porter (a dark-and-light-malts mixture).

1776 — In Ireland, Arthur Guinness was brewing only porter early in the 19th century, but became well known for its “stout porter,” simply a strong version of porter. Within a century, Guinness became the largest brewery in the world.

1940 – British porters were completely taken over by stouts. The Irish hung on a little longer, with the last porter produced by Guinness in 1974. Baltic porters continued to be produced in Eastern Germany until the 1990s but stylistically they were more of a schwartzbier, or black lager, than a porter or stout.

1972 – Anchor Brewing Company became the first American craft brewery to brew a porter post-Prohibition, followed by others soon thereafter.

2018 — Peaks and Pints launches the Tournament of Beer: Northwest Porters!

OK, let’s do a quick foam height check, 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.

Monday, April 9, First Round Northwest Porter Games


Matchless-Porter-TacomaPlayer: Matchless Porter (#6 seed)

Team: Matchless Brewing, Tumwater

Player Stats: Award-winning brewmaster Patrick Jansen — who helped lead Three Magnets Brewing Co. to prominence with the Helsing Junction Farmhouse Saison, Great American Beer Festival bronze medalist Old Skook In The Woods barleywine, Brotherhood Brown ale and many more craft beers — opened Matchless Brewing in the summer of 2016 with Grant Bolt, a bartender at Three Magnets, as well as founder of WortWorks Soda Co., all natural soda sweetened by grain extract. Their porter is a malt bomb. Don’t expect hops here. Do expect rich chocolate and cherries on toast with a light mineral and soft bitterness.

ABV: 7.2%, IBU: NA, Malts: NA

Rainy-Daze-Sunrise-Coffee-Porter-TacomaPlayer: Sunrise Coffee Porter (#11 seed)

Team: Rainy Daze Brewing Co., Poulsbo

Player Stats: You know the story. Longtime homebrewer Mike Montoney scores a brew system from closed Battenkill Brewing of Poulsbo, apprentices on a professional with Brad Ginn and Mark Hood of Sound Brewery, goes on to brew awarding-winning craft beers under the Rainy Daze Brewing brand. The story received another hit of joy when Rainy Daze’s Goat Boater IPA won Peaks and Pints’ Tournament of Beer: Washington State IPAs last spring. Today, the story continues as his Sunrise Coffee Porter was nominated for this year’s Tournament of Beer. This porter is on the dark chestnut brown side, and the smell of coffee hits your nose from the start. And the coffee doesn’t finish there — this beer hits your mouth with delicious coffee notes while finishing smooth and sweet. It’s well balanced and drinkable.

ABV: 5.8%, IBU: 30, Malts: English Maris Otter, Chocolate, Crystal

SCROLL DOWN TO VOTE >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


Wander-Global-Mutt-Baltic-Porter-TacomaPlayer: Global Mutt Baltic Porter (#3 seed)

Team: Wander Brewing Co., Bellingham

Player Stats: Unlike English porters, Baltic porters are lagers, not ales. When England introduced porters to the Balkans region of Europe, the people balked at the ale. They were lager yeast folks. These creative brewers used lager yeast and began brewing stronger and stronger versions of the English porter, creating what today is known as Baltic porter — almost a lager version of an imperial stout with a lot of roasted character, chocolaty notes, and hints of coffee and creaminess. Wander Brewing Co. in Bellingham is all about global Baltic porters. Its Global Mutt Baltic porter sources its coffee direct from a farmer in Brazil, fair trade cocoa nibs from the Democratic Republic of Congo, chocolate from Theo’s in Seattle, water from Bellingham (duh), hops from Yakima and specialty malt from Europe. It’s big and delicious.

ABV: 7%, IBU: 42, Malts: Specialty malt from Europe

Skookum-Rye-Porter-TacomaPlayer: Rye Porter (#14 seed)

Team: Skookum Brewery, Arlington

Player Stats: Skookum Brewery’s story could not be more emblematic of Washington’s craft beer explosion. The Arlington brewery started as a homebrew operation in a 1918 dairy bar repurposed to be a home, grew gradually, won medals and now brews in a giant building, using locally-sourced ingredients, churning out what seems like three different IPAs a week, and is the darling (with a bold growl) of most serious craft beer drinkers. It was 2007 when Ron and Jackie Walcher opened the brewery down a dirt road near Arlington. Today, Skookum head brewer Hollis Wood and his small team churn out “big bold strong” craft beers in a giant facility with a popular taproom down the street from the Arlington Airport — managed by an angel, a big, bearded lovable man named “Angel.” Skookum Brewery brews beers that are locally sourced, with more than 90 percent of their barley grown and malted in state, on equipment predominately purchased locally including several pieces made in Washington state. It’s Rye Porter, which hasn’t been brewed in a while, incorporates four varieties of rye, including flaked, roasted and crystal — the building blocks for its robust porter — that hits the tongue with bitter chocolate, malt roast, bready rye tang and a balanced hop bite.

AVB: 7.5%, IBU: 40, Malts: Four varieties of rye

SCROLL DOWN TO VOTE >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


Idaho-Brewing-Where-The-Sun-Is-Still-Shining-Before-The-Eclipse-TacomaPlayer: Where The Sun Is Still Shining Before The Eclipse (#5 seed)

Team: Idaho Brewing Co., Idaho Falls

Player Stats: Remember when you didn’t leave town to see last year’s eclipse because you didn’t want to wear a diaper while stuck in traffic for 15 hours just to see three minutes of yarn pouring out of the sun? Many people did. Not only was Idaho the ideal place to watch the total solar eclipse last August, but it was also great place to grab an eclipse beer. Many Idaho craft breweries brewed a special eclipse beer, including Idaho Brewing Co. in Idaho Falls. Self-proclaimed Idaho Brewing “Head Minion” Wolf Wolfram created a special porter for the eclipse, Where the Sun Don’t Shine Total Eclipse Porter. This porter is malty and fairly thick, a little hoppy, with loads of caramel, chocolate and roasted malts.

ABV: 5.5%, IBU: 26, Malts: NA

MickDuffs-Evans-Bros-Coiffee-Porter-TacomaPlayer: Evans Bros Coffee Porter (#12 seed)

Team: MickDuff’s Brewing Co., Sandpoint

Player Stats: MickDuff’s Brewing Co. is family-owned by two brothers and Washington State University grads, Mickey and Duffy Mahoney, who opened the brewery in 2006 in historic downtown Sandpoint, Idaho. They operated a 7-barrel brewhouse at their First Avenue brewpub until growth allowed them to go big, which they did twice operating a 20-barrel brewhouse today. MickDuff’s has two porters in this tournament — Knot Tree Porter and Evans Bros Coffee Porter, which their Knot Tree infused with Evans Brothers’ El Salvador Menendez Estates coffee. Evans Bros Coffee Porter has a rich, fresh ground light roast coffee character, hearty dark malts, strong mocha traits, smooth creamy mouthfeel and a dry roasty finish.

ABV: 5.9%, IBU: 34, Malts: Two different Chocolate malts

SCROLL DOWN TO VOTE >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


MickDuffs-Knot-Tree-Porter-TacomaPlayer: Knot Tree Porter (#4 seed)

Team: MickDuff’s Brewing Co., Sandpoint

Player Stats: As previously stated, MickDuff’s Brewing has two porters in the Tournament of Beer: Northwest Porters, including their Knot Tree Porter. This beer uses chocolate malt and black malt to give it a rich flavor of coffee and dark chocolate. It hits the nose with roasted malt, dark chocolate, dark fruit and coffee. Sweet flavor matches the aroma with a mildly bitter finish.

ABV: 5.9%, IBU: 34, Malts: Black, two different Chocolate malts

Powderhaus-Hinterland-Robust-Porter-TacomaPlayer: Hinterland Robust Porter (#13 seed)

Team: Powderhaus Brewing Co., Garden City

Player Stats: Powderhaus Brewing Company is the brainchild of brewers Tyson Cardon and Tyler Schmidt.  The name Powderhaus merges “powder,” referencing Idaho’s ski culture, with the German word “haus,” or house. And the German is germane. Cardon and Schmidt opened Powderhaus with one foot planted in Germany, striving brew classic styles from Germany, as well as their Hinterland Robust Porter. Hinterland’s aroma has roasty, semi-sweet, dark chocolate and espresso notes. Taste is heavily of roasted malt and dark chocolate, mostly sweet and just a hint of bitters. It’s mostly roast with just a little coffee.

ABV: 5.5%, IBU: 31, Malts: 2-Row, Chocolate, Roasted Barley, Crystal 150

VOTE BELOW>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Be sure to click the blue DONE button after selecting your favorite porters!

Tuesday, April 10 Tournament of Northwest Porters action

Game 1: Cold Press CoffeePorter, Everybody’s Brewing (151 E. Jewett Blvd., White Salmon) vs Puget Sound Porter, Harmon Brewing (204 St Helens Ave, Tacoma)

Game 2: Pecan Pie Porter, Backwoods Brewing (1162 Wind River Hwy., Carson) vs. Semper Paratus Porter, North Jetty Brewing (4200 Pacific Way, Seaview)

Game 3: Wake Up Call Imperial Coffee Porter, Grand Teton Brewing (430 Old Jackson Hwy., Victor, Idaho) vs Brynhildr Robust Porter, Mad Swede Brewing (2772 S. Cole Road, Boise, Idaho)

Game 4: Pistolero Porter, Payette Brewing (733 S. Pioneer St., Boise, Idaho) vs 3 Picket Porter, Crooked Fence Brewing (3705 Idaho State Hwy. 16, Eagle, Idaho)

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