Heretic Brewing Company’s Chocolate Hazelnut Porter is a tasty dark beer that goes well with just about every holiday meal and dessert. We’re kicking off our beer reviews with local brews from the San Francisco Bay Area’s North Bay/Wine Country, which is where we live and our back yard. Heretic Brewing Company is located in Fairfield, which borders the City of Napa on the east (see map below). Fairfield is known as the location of Anheuser-Busch’s massive Budweiser Brewhouse campus, which produces over 20 brands distributed throughout the western U.S. and is clearly seen when driving past on Interstate 80. But there are many small breweries in the area and Heretic is one of the better known and preferred producers.
Producer: Heretic Brewing Company, Fairfield, California. Heretic produces beer and small-batch vodka. Its Taproom serves great high-end bar food, their latest brews (e.g. Evil Cousin, Evil Twin, Goo, and Juicier Than Thou), and imaginative cocktails. Taproom is open 11:30am – 10pm daily, closes at 9pm on Sunday and Monday.
Description: Chocolate Hazelnut Porter beer. 7% ABV. Typically packaged in a set of 4 cans, each can holds 1 pint.
Porter beer is full bodied and gets its deep, dark color from brown malt used in the brewing process. Porter was originally brewed around London (England) in the 1700’s. The name porter comes from the working class drinkers who were drawn to the style of drink and its relatively low cost. Porter is very similar to stout and in the mid 1800’s some brands labeled their dark beers “stout porter” before shortening the style to either just stout or porter. Heretic has added the natural flavors of chocolate and hazelnut to make this a unique and enjoyable American Porter, which differs from English porter in that it drinks a bit smoother and not as heavy.
Price: Retails around $10 per set of 4.
Style: American Porter (see description)
Aroma: Warm, slightly sweet with hint of hazelnut and cocoa.
Appearance: Dark and rich with a light initial head after pouring.
Taste: Full-bodied with added ingredients forward.
Finish: Coffee and caramel.
Other Comments: Pairs well with burgers, most barbecue meats, hearty pizza, and big chocolate desserts.
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