Day 16: Saranac Caramel Porter by Hipster Brewfus
To celebrate the Holiday Season, we have teamed up with beer bloggers and craft beer enthusiasts around the country to host the fifth annual beer advent calendar. This is the season of sharing and we intend to share our love of beer with you.
During the 31 days of December, we will be sharing our favorite regional/winter seasonals/holiday beers with the help from our fellow beer enthusiasts. We hope that you tune in every day, to hear our stories and share our holiday cheer.
Saranac Caramel Porter
Blogger: Jake Bagadonuts
Twitter / Instagram / Facebook: T: @HipsterBrewfus IS: Brewfus F: Brewfus
About Jake: I’m the world’s preeminent burrito expert, who happens to write about beer when I begin to feel a bit froggish. I like to change popular rap lyrics to fit beer themes. One time, Flying Dog posted my chili recipe on their blog. And a few breweries follow me on Twitter. New England transplant in the heart of Baltimore trying to make “wicked” a thing down here.
Beer: Caramel Porter
Brewery: The Matt Brewing Company (Saranac) – Utica, NY
Caramel, caramel, caramel! There is caramel in this beer, make no mistake. We took a traditional style porter and added REAL caramelized sugar for a delicious caramel flavor.
This is a traditional dark English style porter with a sweet caramel flavor, making it a very attractive beer to people who don’t usually like dark beer. The rich color comes from roasted barley, chocolate malt and caramel malt, which also add a nice roasted flavor.
We use East Kent Goldings hops, a very traditional English ale hop, which has roots back to the late 1700s. The other hops, Willamette, is a U.S. grown variety although it has a lot of the same characteristics as an English ale hop.
Sweet, dark, and deceivingly thin. Burnt sugar and roasted malts dominate your mouthhole like a cross map camper in Nuketown
Why I selected the Saranac Caramel Porter:
A few of reasons, actually! Saranac was a brewery who was there for me in my blossoming years as a beer drinker. I was 20 something, and broke as hell, looking for a way to get as many different beers into my stomach at the cheapest possible price. They always had mixed 12 packs at prices that were pretty easy on my wallet. The variety of choice was pretty stellar also. Lagers, pale ales, IPAs, white IPAs, porters, you name it, I was probably exposed to it by Saranac.
Even now, they are my go-to for a 12 pack of something when going to a party, parade, first communion, holiday recital, dr. appointment, etc., etc. “But Hipster, their beer isn’t even that good, there are so many better choices you can make!” I get it, but again from a purely dollar:price ratio, they’re pretty unbeatable, and the beer is anything but bad. Amazing? Not really, no. but definitely good (enough).
So why Caramel Porter? Well, I’ll tell you. In winter of 2010, I was fresh off a divorce, and trying to handle my fiscal responsibility like some kind of adult. My beer purchases were relatively few and far between, and I had to make the most of each purchase. I saw this beer on the shelf, and I knew I had to have it inside me immediately. I bought it on my lunch break at work, and it sat in my car the last 4 hours of my work day while I day dreamed sexy caramel porter dreams. It had been a few years since my initial Saranac discovery, and eventual fall off, but this beer shone like a beacon of impulse purchase and I just had to have it.
When I eventually DID have it, the initial excitement at first propelled this beer to the top of my list, with each subsequent bottle knocking it a little bit further down.
Look, the beer is certainly flawed, but goddamn it just really hits home for me. That’s why I am always sure to purchase at least one six pack each season.
P.S. I super want a nitro version of this beer.
What would you pair this beer with?
Pecan Pie, and sea salt caramels. Oh, and a choco taco.
About Hipster Brewfus
Structural Designer navigating the Mid-Atlantic and their weird attachment to Old Bay and the Maryland flag. I don’t write about beer as much as I should, but probably write about as much as people can tolerate. I have never written for magazine, or popular blog/website/local newspaper. Father of 2, husband of one. You can find me on XBL shooting things in the face on Destiny.
F.X. Matt Brewing Company:
F.X. Matt Brewing Company is an American family-owned brewery in Utica, New York. The Matt family has been brewing beer since 1888 and is the fourth oldest operating brewery in the United States. The brewery survived the Prohibition years selling soft drinks and other non-alcoholic beverages.
In the Mid-80s, the company began contract brewing many of the East Coast’s most successful brands: New Amsterdam Amber Beer, Pete’s Wicked, Brooklyn Lager, Newman’s Albany Amber and Dock Street Amber. The focus on the Saranac brand began in the 1990s and continues on to today.
For more information, please visit http://www.saranac.com/.