Good Afternoon! I spent the morning cleaning and sterilizing kegs so I could then fill them back up for you with our latest, greatest, and freshest "Now In Bloom" Brew: B.F.F. Porter!
This beer is a re-brew of our small-batch entry in to The Great Ontario-Hopped Craft Beer Competition last year. It took second place!
This year, the Buttrum hops had it kinda rough. There was a ...close shave with a lawnmower I'm told, so we didn't get the big second-year harvest that we were hoping for! Still, we got enough to enter the competition again this year- and then some! Unfortunately, it wasn't an adequate amount to brew a 5-hectoliter batch of beer with, so for this brew we used some imported commercially grown hops (East Kent Goldings, grown in the UK) for the bittering addition, and saved all of the Buttrum hops for the Flavour & Aroma addition, to maximize their potential character impact.
Since the yield was a bit on the low side, we decided to supplement the Buttrum hops with a few hops that we grew ourselves! We live in a tall and narrow townhouse in downtown Hamilton, which is ideally suited for stringing up hops! I cut the hops down immediately before leaving to brew.
Even though this beer is featuring hops, because it is a Robust Porter, malts very much steal the show! In the photograph above, from left to right, this brew used ESB Pale, a specialty Canadian malt from Gambrinus in British Columbia, and Vienna from Best Malz in Heidelberg Germany- in equal amounts as a base. To that base we added a significant amount of torrefied Wheat from Thomas Fawcett & Sons in the UK. Not pictured is the additions of pale chocolate malt & brown malt, also from the UK, and finally Special Roast Malt from Briess Malt in Wisconsin. This is a unique malt that Briess describes as a "Complex flavored Biscuit-style Malt" with a "distinguishing bold sourdough/tangy flavor."
The beer came out great! Very much like how I remember the first batch last year: toasty and warm from the burly base malts & roasty, rich and full-bodied from the specialty dark malts. There are notes of chocolate from the pale chocolate malt, hints of roasted nuts from the brown malt, and yes, a tangy sourdough-like note from the Special Roast Malt, which, within the context of all the other flavours in this beer, reminds me a little bit of molasses.
The hops are present as a very complementary earthy-woodsy flavour, as well as a robust bitterness which balances out all of that maltly decadence! The bitterness is nothing to sneeze at (unless hops make you sneeze!!) at 37 IBUs.
We hope you enjoy it! It ought to be on tap around Hamilton very shortly. We think it might just be the perfect pint for these first days of fall in the city,