Get me a Porter — Stat!

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Somebody call me a porter.

OK, you’re a porter.

No, I mean get on the phone and order the best-tasting porter in the world. I’ll give you a tip on how to get started … dial 5 1 2.

Not only is 512 the area code for Austin, Texas, but it happens to be the name of (512) Brewing Company, crafters of the greatest porter ever made.

Of course, they have a huge advantage over other porter-makers out there. Their not-so-secret ingredient, the pecan, was falling off the tree right outside the brewery’s front door. So they added it to the mix, and voila, the (512) Pecan Porter was born.

Pecan trees are plentiful in Texas. It is the state tree, after all. But what the brewers at (512) do with it is special. And it’s not just pecan pie in a glass, though that sounds pretty darn good.

The Pecan Porter from (512) is a perfect blend of sweet pecans, dry malts, and just enough hops to balance it all out. The beer definitely ranks toward the sweeter side of the beer spectrum, but it isn’t what I would call a desert beer like the Southern Tier Crème Brule. No, it’s more for enjoying before, during, and after the meal.

In fact, everything from (512) Brewing Co. is delicious any time of day. Two weekends ago, we visited the brewery for a tour that began at 11 a.m. – the perfect time of day to start enjoying their porter, IPA, alt, and pale ale, which happened to be the four on tap during our visit.

Hugh trys to get that firkin barrel open.
Hugh works hard to get the firkin barrel open.

Check that, there was also a nitro Pecan Porter on tap, which tasted almost like the regular version, but with Champaign bubbles added. And at the end of the tour, or host Hugh pounded a tap into a firkin barrel of the porter, which had a more earthy taste than the standard version, most likely because of its fermentation process.

As many of you know, I’m a fan of the porter. My standard, go-to beer is the extremely partakable Breckinridge Vanilla Porter, which can usually be found in my fridge. Others that I really enjoy include the Anchor Porter, the Sweet Baby Jesus chocolate peanut butter imperial porter from DuClaw Brewing Company, and the Shade Grown Coffee Porter by Real Ale Brewing Company. The latter was often on tap at our favorite pub in Dallas, Trinity Hall. And when the bartenders saw me walk in the door, they immediately started pouring one for me. But no one shouted “Norm!”

One of my favorite porters from the past was the Honey Porter that Sam Adams used to make about 20 years ago, and then stopped for some reason. Or at least I can’t find it anywhere. So when I visited the brewery in 2005, I filled out 14 comment cards asking what happened to the honey porter. I guess I should have filled out a few more.

Another one I can’t seem to get often enough is the Elementary porter from Three Brothers Brewing Company. That beer is so good, I filled a growler of it last year and drove it from Virginia to Texas and gave it to my Dad as a Christmas present. Upon tasting it, he promptly forced everyone in the room to have some, including my then 17-year-old nephew. Way to go, Dad.

If you ever find yourself in Austin, be sure to make a trip to (512) Brewing Company for the tasting tour. Perhaps the best part about the entire tour is the approach the employees at (512) have toward everything – drink more beer. Oh, and try the Pecan Porter … it’s the best porter in the world.

— Eric Van Steenburg

5 thoughts on “Get me a Porter — Stat!

    anthparkin said:
    October 31, 2014 at 13:47

    Great post. I can only admire from afar and imagine the delights of American craft beers. Especially porters. The pecan porter sounds delicious. From an envious Uk beer nut. 🙂

    Like

    ericvansteenburg responded:
    October 31, 2014 at 16:53

    Glad you liked it. If, and I know that can be a big if, you ever get to Texas you will find beers by (512) Brewing Co. in Dallas and Houston as well as Austin. Cheers.

    Like

    bobvans@austin.rr.com said:
    October 31, 2014 at 22:02

    Great post about (512). Almost made feel like I was there. Oh, wait a minute…I was there! Cheers, Dad.

    Like

    Rick said:
    December 4, 2014 at 15:08

    I finally found your FB message with this link. Thanks for the reminder about this awesome porter, and the tip about 512! I will probably be going back to my cousin’s place in NJ on Saturday – I’m going back to the store where I bought the former, and will ask if they can get the latter!

    Like

      ericvansteenburg responded:
      December 4, 2014 at 16:28

      Excellent. I hope you can find it. I just enjoyed a growler of it over Thanksgiving break.

      Like

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