Archive for the ‘Breckenridge Brewery’ Tag

Breckenridge Vanilla Porter

Breckenridge Vanilla Porter

Brewery: Breckenridge Brewery

ABV: 4.7%
Serving size: 12 oz. bottle

Served in: Pint glass & balloon wine glass (for tasting purposes only)

Richard Squire, founder of Breckenridge Brewery, wanted to ski all day and drink great beer at night. In order to accomplish this dream, he opened his first brewpub in Breckenridge, Colorado in February 1990. The town of Breckenridge is located just west of Denver and is 9600 feet above sea level. It receives an average of 163 inches of snow, and has only 30 frost-free days per year, so a good brewpub for indoor entertainment was a brilliant idea. As a sign of his success, Squire’s dream has gone from a 3,000 barrel a year brewpub to a 4 restaurant, 30,000 barrel a year operation, a transition that has left Squire with lots of tasty beer but little time for the ski slope.

Breckenridge’s lineup consists of six standard brews – Agave Wheat, Oatmeal Stout, Avalanche Ale, Trademark Pale Ale, Vanilla Porter and Lucky U IP – and four seasonal offerings, Pandora’s Bock, SummerBright Ale, Autumn Ale and Christmas ale. The beers are available in 25 states. We hope you live in one of the states.

Now, to the tasting!

Temp of beer when we tasted it – 48 degrees

Appearance: It poured an opaque red-brown. Just to make sure the color wasn’t due to condensation on the glass, we shined a flashlight on the glass and the porter swallowed the light completely. Astonished we then took our glasses outside to see what it would look like in the sunlight. If we tilted the glass we could see color at the top and the bottom of the glass but not in the thicker part of the glass. Half a finger of root beer-type foam cleared quickly, leaving a scrim of bubbles around the edge of the glass.

Aroma: Vanilla, cola, brown sugar, sweetness, toast, slight alcohol aroma.

Mouthfeel:  The Vanilla Porter’s moderate carbonation helped to keep this porter from getting too sticky.

Taste: Coffee, nutty, sweet, malty, toasty, chocolate, cola, vanilla, caramelized sugar, lingering bitterness, slightly metallic finish. It reminded us of colas or root beer.

Drinkability: It was easy to drink, a pleasant surprise considering its dessert-like fragrances and flavors. The vanilla backs off after the first few sips and, as it melts into the background, the true complexity of this porter shines through. It is a very sophisticated beer. We could drink two in a row  – but not three at a time.

Pro: Satisfies a sweet tooth. We’ve enjoyed it as an aperitif after a meal.

Con: If you don’t like vanilla, you won’t like this. If you’re not sure, give it a try. It might surprise you.

Food pairings:

Cheese pizza  with an extra dash of oregano across the top.  The root beer flavor reminds us of our 1970s childhood. A special treat on a weekend would include going to the mall, visiting the Orange Bowl pizza parlor and getting a slice with cheese and a root beer.

Grilled burger – mushroom and swiss for toppings, maybe a few caramelized onions.

Vanilla ice cream – in the beer. No we’re not kidding.  When buying this we refer to it as picking up a six pack of “cream soda beer.” Some of our local pubs have been experimenting with and offering beer shakes and we could never take the idea seriously until trying this brew. Breckenridge has a recipe on their site for a shake and sometime in the coming summer months, we might just give this recipe a try.

Quick Facts from Breckenridge’s site:

Yeast:  Top Fermenting Ale Yeast
Malts:  Two Row Pale, Caramel, Chocolate, Black, Roasted Barley
Hops:  Chinook, Tettinang, Perle, Goulding
Vanilla:  Real vanilla beans from Paupau New Guinea and Madagascar.
Bitterness Units:  16