D.L. Geary Brewing Company - London Porter
- ABV: 4.2%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 18
- Serving Temperature: 48-55º F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: (all English) Pale, Crystal, Chocolate, Black
- Hops: Cascade, Willamette, Golding
This English-style Porter pours a very deep, dark brown with an ample, rocky, and rich-looking brown head that descends to a persistent cap of foam. As we lifted the glass to our noses we were immediately impressed by the aroma profile that leapt from the glass. Look for big and very creamy notes of caramel, toffee, coffee grounds, cocoa powder, and a firm nuttiness. On the palate, a more pronounced roasty character than indicated on the nose comes to the fore, with flavors of espresso and an underlying nutty quality that is reminiscent in many ways of a good English Brown Ale. We found Geary’s London Porter to have a very enjoyable and long finish with dark coffee flavors holding on with impressive persistence. Note that the body is much lighter than the giant aroma and flavor profile would initially suggest, making for an excellent session ale and proving that you can have a low-alcohol (4.2%), easy-drinking beer that still packs tons of flavor. For an indulgent treat, try pairing this porter with coffee ice cream drenched in hot caramel and topped with chopped nuts.
In 1983, only thirteen microbreweries existed in all of the United States, with the majority concentrated out West in states like California, Oregon, and Washington. Inspired by the idea of brewing small-batch, high-quality beer for the enjoyment of fellow New Englanders (and themselves, of course!), David and Karen Geary began D. L. Geary Brewing Company in October of that year. But they did not rush headlong into production; instead, David flew to Britain in 1984 to begin researching English and Scottish brewing and training in their techniques. Helped by Scottish brewer and nobleman Peter Maxwell Stuart, who arranged for him to work at a number of different commercial breweries in both Scotland and England, David honed his craft among some of the finest breweries in the world, including the famed Traquair House Brewery (producer of some of the greatest ales in all of Great Britain).
Meanwhile, David and Karen set to the task of building the business. They laid out their business plan, identified and purchased the property that would become home to the brewery, raised capital, bought brewing equipment, and designed packaging. It was also during this time that the recipe for what would become Geary’s Pale Ale, their flagship brew, began to take form as David drew from the tradition and technique of England’s and Scotland’s best brewers. Finally, construction of the brewery was begun in 1986 after almost two years of preparation, and in December of that year the first batch of Geary’s Pale Ale was sold. The establishment of Maine’s first microbrewery signaled the dawn of the microbrewing renaissance in New England, which now boasts scores of excellent breweries and brewpubs. Maine alone has more microbreweries per capita than all but three other states.
The region’s explosion of demand for craft beer has been good for Geary’s, and production has expanded to several full-time and seasonal beers, along with occasional limited releases. For more information on their Tasting Room or brewery tours, call them up at 207-878-2337 or visit www.gearybrewing.com.
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