George Washington had a porter recipe. His brewery, located just a few miles from Mount Vernon, was at one time the largest brewery in North America. I find it quite ironic that our first President was so gung-ho about beer and brewing but so quick to put down the whiskey rebellion, it makes me think that he would probably be a centrist today.
Washington's brewery is now being lovingly restored to its original condition by archaeologists, I wonder if they're gonna make his "small beer" (http://www.beerhistory.com/library/holdings/washingtonrecipe.shtml).
Our future brewpub's porter ale will be quite different from George's small beer. Bruce, Mike and I sampled it extensively last night and let me tell you, this is a beer for the ages. The color borders on the dark side of the style, you cannot see it through the glass, almost like a stout. There is a creamy head with a hint of roasted chocolate and a raisiny mouthfeel with a kiss of roasted malt, finishing clean and dry and wanting more.
I originally named this beer Bluegrass Porter due to the fact that I was in the mood to listen to some bluegrass music while brewing. Upon further discussion we all agreed to rename the beer Propagator Porter. This brew was just shy of two weeks so it was still a little young, the head didn't stay to the side of the glass like a three weeker. There was a pleasant drinkability about this beer, as we all nodded to eachother and tipped off a couple of gallons into the wee hours.
This development and critique of my beers is becoming a joy in my life. Nothing gives my ego greater satisfaction than to hear the words "This is by far the best porter I have ever tasted" from an expert, knowledgeable consumer like Bruce. To be sure, I do not agree with him that it is the best, I do agree that it would rate a 7 out of 10, even in its young age. In my opinion we should continue to sample the rest of the five gallons over the next couple of weeks to get a more comprehensive profile of the propagator. Bumping up a subtle hint of East Kent Golding might also be in order to give it a more balanced floral and counterbalance the raisin/chocolate/roasty flavor. I will brew the propagator again in the backyard soon.
Upcoming to the backyard brew system will be a Brown Ale for Bruce, another one of his favorite styles. I think I will blow his mind with a blended brown not unlike Newky but with a little more character and mouthfeel. Plans are underway.
I would like to think that George would be proud, sipping my porter and staining his wooden teeth...