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We should all swipe right on porters

Reliable, versatile and complex, porters shouldn't be overlooked.
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Photo by Jess Suworoff for DRAFT

Photo by Jess Suworoff for DRAFT

Each first Friday of the month, beer bloggers and writers can choose to participate in The Session, a chance for all of us to weigh in on a specific topic (I’ve previously written on the topic of beer and health). This month, the subject is simply ‘porter.’

Wait … porter? Admittedly, I first thought this was a boring choice. Articles and books have already been written about the style’s working-class British roots, its relation (or not) to stout, etc. “Kind of a snooze, maybe I’ll sit this one out,” I thought.

But I mulled it over further, sipping Double Mountain‘s returning Carrie Ladd Steamship Porter, a sort of hybrid Baltic/robust porter fermented with Czech lager yeast at ale temperatures. Porters are actually some of my go-to beers, roasty and balanced, easy-drinking and food-friendly, without all the bravado and intensity of stouts. They’re some of the beers you’re most likely to find in my home fridge during cooler months. I appreciate their very necessary place in the beer landscape. So I stand (type?) before you a contrite drinker, owning up to my mistake in undervaluing this workhorse style’s merits.

As penance, I offer up this ode to porters, who I’m now totally crushing on:

Porter, if you were on a dating app, I’d swipe right. I’ll admit, I didn’t notice you first at the bar; your older brother, Stout, steals the limelight (Was that him singing karaoke to “Bittersweet Symphony” at the pub?). But I did see you! You’re the cute British one, right? With the Russian cousin?

My friend says you’re here on a visa, working to support yourself; I think that’s really noble. I saw you noshing on a plate of fish ‘n’ chips near closing time—those are my favorite. I feel like you’d be just as happy with a burger as with a really expensive steak. That’s my kind of person.

You did seem kind of dark and brooding; maybe that’s just me interpreting your thoughtful nature? I could tell you were having a good time at the pub, but you seemed like a substantial person who’d linger over a pint or three and get philosophical. (That’s OK; I have thoughts about Derrida, too!) Oh, and do you smoke? It’s no big deal if you do … I thought maybe a caught a whisper of it on you, but maybe that was just your friend.

I think it’s cool how versatile you seem, like you’re equally at home with that pack of rugby dudes as you are with those law-school grads. I guess what I’m saying is that you seem complex, with a lot of facets to your personality. My friend says you’re reliable, which is a big plus. Your brother, Stout, for example? Everyone knows he’s brash and bold but kind of flaky, if you know what I’m saying. He’s a hard person to invite out all the time; sometimes I just don’t need that intense a personality, you know?

Anyway, Porter, I think you’re alright. Want to grab dinner some time soon? I’ve been meaning to cook burgers and they need a good pint to hang with.

 

 

Author
Kate Bernot is DRAFT’s beer editor. Reach her at kate.bernot[at]draftmag.com.

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