Editor’s note: This “Beer Me” column first appeared in Dirt Rag Issue #188, published in November 2015. Words and photo by Alastair Bland.
When beer time rolls around these days, I won’t drink just anything. Session beers are all the rage now, but these low-alcohol brews are too little and too weak for those of us who want some kick in our glass. The craft beer renaissance has also brought an uptick in sour beers, but most of the time, I’d prefer something bitter. But not always, and IPAs, now the most popular beer style in America, have become a little wearisome for me.
As such, I have lately fallen into a pattern: On each visit to the supermarket beer aisle, I briefly consider the wealth of options, from the Belgian quads to the triple IPAs to the cork topped barrel-aged brews. Finally, I walk to the checkout line with something strong, heavy and dark, for I am on a black-beer kick.
Most recently, I had Speakeasy Brewery’s Payback Porter. Black as molasses, with a foamy head like a latte, the beer tastes like toast dipped in chocolate espresso, lathered with maple syrup and sprinkled with coriander. It is as rich and complex as a tawny port.
ABV: 7.5 percent