This porter is actually brewed with roasted coffee beans, while the label invites us to “Wake Up & Smell the Beer!” Indeed, the coffee aromas are unmistakable as soon as you pour. In addition to the coffee beans, it’s brewed with vanilla bean extract which lends a soft scent of vanilla that seems to float almost within the coffee aromas. Look for a hint of residual sweetness that’s almost lactic (milk-like) in nature, lending a creaminess to the aroma profile as well. A malty touch of dark chocolate is noticeable under the java, and becomes much more intense as the beer warms in the glass. Look for the aroma profile to come through on the palate as well, along with a light hint of hops that adds a mildly acidic and bitter counterpoint. We enjoyed a bit of woodiness that appears on the midpalate and carries on to the finish, which is dominated by notes of dark chocolate. Cheers to a great way to start your day – at least on those days when you don’t have to go to work!
Atwater Block Brewery was founded in 1997, and is situated in the center of Detroit’s historic Rivertown District. The brewhouse itself is located within a refurbished factory warehouse originally built in 1919. Known for brewing several German-style lagers, Atwater appropriately utilizes imported Kasper-Schultz brewing equipment from Germany, allowing them to follow 200+ year old traditional German brewing techniques for their distinctive beers. In fact, all of their beers are brewed with imported German malts and hops, while their ales are given a more American flavor with the use of American hop varietals.
The brewery has changed ownership a few times. The original group that founded the brewery sold to a second set of owners who switched the name to “Stoney Creek Brewing Company.” Howard Hampton and Mark Rieth, the current owners, brought back the Atwater Block name when they took over in 2005, and they also retained Hazen Schumacher, the brewery’s original brewmaster from Germany.
The 18,000 square foot brewery features a large Tap Room, and formerly a restaurant. At the time of this writing, the brewery is transitioning to a new Tap Room location in the Foxtown district, which will feature forty different beers on draft, a food menu focused on beer, and a decor that celebrates Detroit’s robust brewing tradition that dates to the 1800s.
For more information on the brewery, Tap Room, and scheduled tours, call (313) 877-9205, or visit them at www.atwaterbeer.com.
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