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Recipe: Bartlett Hall Powell Street Porter

At San Francisco’s Bartlett Hall brewpub, head brewer Nick Mamere has built an award-winning program that includes this porter—winner of GABF silver in 2019, gold in 2022, and one of our Best 20 Beers in 2023.

Nick Mamere Apr 28, 2024 - 5 min read

Recipe: Bartlett Hall Powell Street Porter Primary Image

Photo: Courtesy Bartlett Hall

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“Designing a highly drinkable porter is akin to walking a tightrope,” says Bartlett Hall head brewer Nick Mamere. “On one side, a flabby, sweet beer that you’ll want to move on from after finishing; on the other, an acidic, astringent mess.

“This recipe should get you something that will invite you in with cozy milk chocolate and graham cracker aromas but finish with a drying, hop-supported roast character that will leave you wanting to refill your glass time and time again.”

Bartlett Hall, near the corner of O’Farrell and Powell streets in San Francisco’s Union Square neighborhood, is not your typical brewpub. Food, cocktails, and atmosphere all matter there, making it more like a gastropub with a tiny brewery attached. In that tiny brewery, meanwhile, Mamere has been building an award-winning program. His Powell Street Porter—which we feature here—first won silver at the Great American Beer Festival in 2019, then gold in 2022.

The porter also delighted our editorial team during blind tasting sessions in October, so we named it one of our Best 20 Beers in 2023.

“It’s robust and characterful, but it’s also unadorned—in a real way, it’s competing for attention with hugely flavored, barrel-aged, time-intensive creations,” we write in our Best in Beer issue. “Yet class has a way of showing through. Aromatically, midrange caramel notes and berry esters fill out the roasty espresso shot, hinting at the depth to come. On the palate, in fact, you could spend all day picking apart the flavors—it’s bitter and sweetish and roasted and dry, yet it’s skillfully woven and never pokes out far in any direction. An integral piece is the mouthfeel, full and near-creamy but nimble, not heavy. It provides a sense of indulgence where so many others these days take indulgence to exponential degrees of absurdity. Those, however, are meant for sipping and tasting. This one is meant for drinking.”

Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 72%
OG: 1.069 (16.9°P)
FG: 1.022 (5.6°P)
IBUs: 33
ABV: 6.3%

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