Friday, 29 October 2010


I used to like Halloween. During my University years Halloween was a time for watching the scariest movies or listening to black metal with the lights out (or just dimmed a bit). It rocked, but these days I’m not that bothered. My perceptions have changed and today I find the event to be straight gimmicky, commercialised and just damn right annoying especially when your harassed several times a night at the front door by kids asking for sweets. Anyway, my question of this blog post is what are the best beers suited for Halloween? Secondly, how do you define one? The obvious Pumpkin beers seem to be the thing in the US but over here I rarely see them. A few beer writers have attached Porter style beer to Halloween which seems to fit, dark and mysterious is the way to go. Then you have those offerings that are just bizarre, Brew Dog Dogma for example. Something that completely throws your expectations by being nothing like what you anticipated.

And to me an Italian tobacco infused Porter sounded quite crazy, that’s why I decided to crack open my Del Borgo Keto Reporter the other day. I have to say that it wasn’t as bizarre as expected but an exceptional beer none the less. The tobacco flavour is quite subtle, and gradually develops as you drank. Lots of chocolate and roast malt notes encountered here and overall a medium bodied well crafted porter.

Porter seems to be a theme of this week, especially since I have been brewing some for the first time for work and it’s not often Daleside porter is brewed.  The man behind the formulation is a bloke called Dann Paquette, now owner of the Pretty Things beer and Ale Project in the States. His beers for our brewery have been some of Daleside’s best offerings and Porter is no exception. 4.4% heavy bodied with dark fruit and chocolate notes. In fact when I first tried this beer I thought it to be very similar to another beer I favour, Acorn Old Moor Porter. The two are similar and probably two of the best Porters in Yorkshire.

Mashing in: It soon thickened up.

In copper bringing it to the boil.

Copper up gravity (a bit high)

Anyway I will probably find out next week if I done Dann’s beer any justice. The brewing went well, gravities were on the high side but apart from that all was fine. Until then I shall be fending off trick or treaters and contemplating re-home brewing my Christmas special ale as it seems the first lot is running out already (brewing it in August was not the best idea). I should also maybe get looking for those old black metal albums.    


Sammer Georges said...

Dogfish Head Pumpkin Ale is an excellent one! The two mentioned in the article sounded pretty awsome as well. I increased my shop's such great brew selection to "the best in SD county" and it is still growing. I am a student at SDSU and my only problem is I can't drink all that beer by myself this weekend. If only it wasn't for our professors to screw us all over with exams the first week of November. But whatever, grab a few bottles and enjoy some of the world's best halloween treats! Cheers!

arn said...

Never had a pumpkin brew myself, and settled in for the night with the Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout, and what a good idea that was.
Pumpkins carved also.
That porter looks damn good i must say.

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