This past week was Christmas, as I’m sure you are acutely aware regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof. It also happened to be the first annual Beer Gathering. Despite its festival-sounding name, BG001 was simply a gathering of some friends who share an affinity for good (and in some cases, great) beer. We rented a function room at a friend’s apartment complex, ordered some pizzas and everyone brought some either rare or delicious (or both) brews for the group to partake in. There were 16 of us in total, and shockingly enough there were more beers than we could drink!
One such brew that did not suffer its delicious demise that evening is Foothills Brewing’s People Porter. Foothills is based out of North Carolina, which I’ve heard is somewhere in America. Foothills does not distribute to Massachusetts, but one of my friends from Maryland brought up a sixer and I managed to snag one for myself before we adjourned.
An English-style Robust Porter –
Dark Brown in color with a ruby hue – Chocolate and sweet toffee aroma –
Firm unsweetened chocolate flavor with moderate notes of caramel and toffee, an herbal hop bitterness up front and a slight note of espresso in the finish. 6% ABV
Appearance: People’s Porter pours an opaque black with a nice big tan head. The head didn’t hang around as long as I liked; it receded into a nice rocky appearance before dissipating to a thin layer after a pretty hearty pour. It certainly looks robust.
Smell: Strong notes of coffee/espresso on the nose. There’s a bit of “coffee and cream” aroma, as well as some bitter chocolate and milk chocolate notes. A strong roastiness that’s almost astringent.
Taste: This tastes as the smell implies: strong roasted notes of coffee and espresso, bitter dark chocolate notes and hints of sweetness. No real hop character that I can discern. Hints of black licorice and treacle, but the roasted coffee-bean character is what dominates here. There’s an earthy character as well as the beer warms. The warmth adds a bit of sweetness as well that helps to balance the roast.
Mouthfeel: I prefer full-bodied stouts and porters, so this is a bit on the thin side for me. Light carbonation and bit of a slick/oily mouthfeel that isn’t unpleasant but isn’t quite the level of creaminess that I’d want.
Final Verdict: 3.25 out of 5. Try it, if you like roasty porters.
To be perfectly honest, I was disappointed by this beer. This is not to say that it isn’t a solid beer, it certainly is, but after the high praise from my friend and the high RateBeer ratings, I was expecting something different and something… more. For the roasty flavor is just a bit too astringent and too dominating. I think a bit more carbonation, a creamier mouthfeel and hint more semi-sweet chocolate would improve this beer. But I like my coffee with lots of cream and sugar, so that’s just one man’s palate. If you like your coffee dark and roasty, you might absolutely love People’s Porter. Sadly, it’s not for me.