Editors' Picks: American Porter

Here are five porters that exemplify the best of America’s own approach to this dark and drinkable style.

Craft Beer and Brewing May 6, 2020 - 3 min read

Editors' Picks: American Porter Primary Image

Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald

Deep, rich, roasted malt character, its bitterness cushioned by a full body and just enough caramel sweetness. Round, characterful, sublime in its balance, addictive in its drinkability. Brewed since 1991; its five GABF medals in that time are no accident.
ABV: 6%
IBUs: 37
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Smuttynose Robust Porter

Lovely tan foam over deep blackness, with a nose like fresh cold-brew espresso undergirded by caramelized sugar. In the flavor, that mild sweetness dovetails roundly with firm roast bitterness, making it easy to drink despite its strength and that lingering roast-bitter smack.
ABV: 6.2%
IBUs: 31
Location: Hampton, New Hampshire

Hill Farmstead Everett

Like an Andrew Wyeth painting that—through its figurative depiction of the scene—somehow captures more of its reality than a photograph, Everett’s selective editing and tight composition produce a porter that’s deceptively simple yet lyrical. The clarity of malt expression—dark and sweet, tempered by a dose of American hops—is exquisite.
ABV: 7.2%
Location: Greensboro Bend, Vermont

Port City Brewing Porter

Nose is weighty with dark bitter chocolate, cocoa powder, and roasted nuts. In the flavor, austere darkest chocolate gets a judicious dab of caramel for a dimension of sinful depth, enough to balance and soften the ample bitterness.
ABV: 7.2%
IBUs: 45
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Creature Comforts Koko Buni

What could be more “American” than taking an American Porter, adding lactose, then boosting the contrast with coconut, cacao nibs, and coffee? Rather than going over the top, Creature Comforts opts for subtle expressions that highlight the underlying beer flavors in this cool and confident approach to adjuncts.
ABV: 6.5%
Location: Athens, Georgia