- What it is: American Porter
- ABV: 5.6%
- IBU: 27
Throw your hands up in the air, and rejoice, Bell’s beer has finally made it to New Jersey!!
Larry Bell, owner of Bells Brewery in Michigan, started out like most brewers, home-brewing. He opened up a home-brewing supply store in the early 80’s, while brewing beer in his off time. A couple years later he sold his first beer commercially, fast forward another couple years, and Bell was shipping out more than 500 barrels (1 barrel = 31 gallons) of beer annually. Bells beer soon started to make it out of its home state of Michigan to the hands of neighboring states. You can now enjoy a beer from Bell’s in a total of 39 states in addition to Puerto Rico, and Washington DC. They grew large enough to the point Bell opened a second brewery a few miles east from the original, and expanded their cellar over the next few years. They were the first in Michigan to have an onsite pub, The Eccentric Cafe, which now includes a state of the art music venue, and a full sized kitchen. On top of all these big things happening for Bell’s Brewery, Larry Bell went ahead and opened Bell’s sister brewery, Upper Hand Brewing, which serves the Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and northern Wisconsin and has a totally different line of beers.
“Our journey began with a 15-gallon soup kettle, a quest for better beer and countless batches of homebrew. The passion and personality that began Bell’s continues today through our breweries and Eccentric Café. We continue to grow and evolve, dedicated to our mission; to be fiercely independent, 100% family owned, deeply rooted to our community, committed to the environment and brewers of inspired beer.” – Bell’s
Pour this beer and you’ll see a finger thick, creamy, tan head rise to the top of your glass, releasing loads of chocolate aromas, and subtle notes of freshly ground coffee. That tan head I mentioned, well it sticks around to the very bottom, lending beautiful lacing after each and every sip. It also lends an idea on how smooth this beer is going to be, and wow, is it silky smooth! It almost reminds me of an Irish stout with its low carbonation, and light body, which also make this beer highly drinkable. The body isn’t watery thin like some porters appear to be. However, its body is also not as thick as a stouts body would be. Its just right in my opinion. Chocolate, roasted barley, toasted hazelnuts, and even lightly roasted coffee beans flood your taste buds. The finish is dry with a pronounced bitterness to follow.
For as light as this beer comes across, it is jam packed with flavor and complexity. Its look is nothing short from being gorgeous, the aromas are pleasantly enticing, the mouthfeel is astounding, and the flavor is beyond extraordinary. Finally a good drinking porter with no adjuncts added to the mix. A Traditional American Porter with a majority (I say majority because water and yeast impart flavors as well) of its flavorings and aromas coming naturally from the roasted barely, and hop additions. This is going to be my go-to porter for a long time to come.
Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5!