This week was a challenge to pick the one beer that stood out. Seriously, that’s a first world problem again. But I am committed to picking one a week to represent all that I love about Hops & Barley.
Vanilla Porter Draught by Toronto’s Mill Street Brewery was the beer that I kept coming back to when I was going over my list from the week. As I have pointed out recently, the purchase of Mill Street by Labatt has ruffled some feathers in the craft beer community, mine included. But I am not going to stop drinking well made, flavourful beer because of which brewery owns it. This beer is all that I love about how craft beer changed me from a drunk to a man who savours the little joys beer can bring.
I chose the Vanilla Porter as the Beer of the Week because it is a velvety smooth texture of chocolate, vanilla and a hint of espresso. It has a medium mouth feel that keeps it refreshing and the creamy head is a dream. More importantly, this “ice cream beer” is complex, but not in a big challenging way. No crazy hops or over the top flavours gave me a chance to start improving my palate. It was one of the first beers that made me sit up and take notice of porters as something more than I had ever expected.
When I couldn’t find it in the LCBO anymore in the spring, it was one of the first times I had to contemplate the seasonality of beer. Being available only certain times of the year makes it even more interesting to expand and cultivate my own tastes. Although I still am struggling with summer’s Saisson and wheat beers, I will always try and comprehend each beer on its own merits and not my own preconceived notions.
Cheers to Mill Street on this beauty of a beer. Vanilla Porter Draught has earned its distinction as my 2nd BOW!