Beer and Basebell, Slightly Classed Up

The New York Times ponders porter, specifically, the relationship of the dark ale and… baseball?

As I was daydreaming about the coming season I found myself craving porter, the classic British dark ale, which had largely died out in Britain until North American craft brewers revived the style.

What could be better than porter and a night game? I love the roasted grain flavors, the mild, chug-worthy weight and reddish-black color of a good English porter, like those from Samuel Smith’s, Fuller’s and St. Peter’s. The beer world has a term for brews like that: sessionable, meaning they are generally low enough in alcohol, 4 to 6 percent, not to overpower you during a drinking session.

Okay, whatever. I’m not a baseball fan, so it’s no surprise that this rationale flies over my noggin. Their tasting panel rated Speakeasy Payback Porter (San Francisco) and Otter Creek Stovepipe Porter (Vermont) as their top picks.

[Speakeasy Payback Porter] was the most complex, with roasted, smoky, spicy, grainy flavors. Yet it offered another order of power than the others; a delicious beer, though I would think twice before choosing it as my ballgame brew.

For that I would turn to our No. 2 beer, the Otter Creek Stovepipe Porter, which offered classic, perfectly balanced flavors of malt, coffee and chocolate at a mild 4.4 percent. It was as fresh and lively as if it had just been pulled from a brand-new keg.

None of the reviewed porters hail from Wisconsin, so if Sconnie baseball fans are looking to test this conceptual pairing, I’ll suggest Tommy’s Porter from Lake Louie. Smooth with a nice roasted flavor, it’s an easy drinker. It might even make baseball seem interesting for a few moments.*

*Settle down, baseball fans. I kid, I kid.