Though dark in color, English porters aren't very high in alcohol. They have a hint of coffee-like bitterness from black, chocolate, or smoked brown malted barley, but not as much big roasted flavor as most stouts. A good porter is creamy and drinkable—if you think you don't like dark beers, you should give porters a chance.
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'Tis the season for warming beers—for velvety barrel-aged stouts and serious brews from Belgium. Over the last few weeks, we've also been sampling winter warmers and other winter seasonals: beers released specifically for Christmas and for sipping over the cold months ahead.
Shane Welch founded Sixpoint Craft Ales in 2004 and has been brewing some of our favorite beers ever since. We chatted with Welch about his sources of inspiration, the beers he loves, his place in the craft brewing scene, and the ups and downs of running a small brewery in New York City.
Once a year when hops are ready to be pulled from the vine, some brewers celebrate the season by heading out to local farms to harvest hops fresh. Once gathered, the hops need to be added to the brewing kettle as quickly as possible—the delicate flowers spoil rapidly, especially if exposed to heat.