Mad River Brewing Company - Steelhead Porter
- Alcohol by Volume: 6.5%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 34
- Serving Temperature: 50-55º F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: Pale, Wheat, Crystal, Peated, Rauch
- Hops: Tettnanger, Willamette
Steelhead Porter cuts a fine figure in the glass, with a dark coffee brown hue topped with a robust head of foam. Brewed with peated and smoked malts, this is a somewhat unusual porter with a distinct Scotch Ale influence. As such, smoky notes appear on the nose, along with a deep roast character and a prominent nuttiness. There’s a certain implied sweetness too, along with a touch of spicy hops. Look for the flavor to present notes of charred bread, coffee, roasted nuts, caramel, chocolate, and a hint of dark fruit – all while those smoked malts deliver an extra complementary dimension. The sweetness comes through at a moderate level with a bit of a brown sugar edge, which we felt bolsters the beer’s roundness and medium body. We’d recommend this brew paired with maple glazed ham, or a dessert of vanilla bean ice cream drizzled in chocolate or caramel. Cheers!
Amidst giant redwoods in northern California’s Humboldt County lies Blue Lake, a small town of approximately 1135 people, and home to Mad River Brewing Company. The seeds for Mad River first started to take root back in the late 1970s as homebrewer Bob Smith began dreaming of one day starting his own commercial brewery. It was around this time that he met Ken Grossman at Ken’s homebrew supply shop and learned of his plans to start what would become Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico, CA in 1979.
As Sierra Nevada grew over the next decade, Bob remained interested in establishing his own brewery in Humboldt. Opportunity came knocking in 1989 when Sierra Nevada was expanding and Ken offered to sell his original brewing equipment to Bob. Because of Sierra Nevada’s success (and that of a handful of others), investors were willing to provide the financing necessary to finally turn Bob’s dream into a reality. Mad River’s first beers were poured on draft in December 1990, with bottles going on sale across Humboldt within just a couple months. The product was a hit and in their first year in business, Mad River sold twice as much beer as they had expected, reaching a total of 1500 barrels. In addition to being at the forefront of the American beer renaissance, Mad River has also been a trailblazer in eco-conscious brewing, long before it was trendy to be “green.” Their ultimate goal is to produce zero waste, and so not only do they recycle all their paper and metal, they provide their spent grain to local farms. For more info about the brewery and tasting room, call 707-668-5680, or visit their website at www.madriverbrewing.com.
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