Stegmaier Brewing Company (The Lion Brewery) - Stegmaier Porter
- ABV: 5.6%
- Bottle Size: 12-oz
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 25
- Serving Temperature: 50-55° F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: 6-Row, Various Roasted Malts
- Hops: Tettnang, Cascade
This brew presents a very dark and virtually opaque color, which is deep even for a porter, and is topped by a cap of deep brown foam. On the nose, look for a very prominent roasted character along with notes of dark chocolate and hints of coffee. Light hop aromas come through with tones of earth and just a hint of floral citrus. In the flavor: big roasted notes take center stage with a well-toasted and somewhat scorched bready impression, bolstered by dark chocolate and hints of dark roasted coffee. Lurking underneath the big roasty notes is an undercurrent of caramel and just a bit of residual malt sweetness – although that's easily countered by the roast and some modest hop bitterness, keeping this medium-bodied brew quite dry, especially in the finish which lingers with a note of toast and earth. Be sure to let this one come up in temperature a bit before enjoying, so that the sweeter malt notes can fully express themselves. Fridge temp is going to be way too cold, and will mute the subtler flavors while accentuating the bitterness. For food pairings, roasted or grilled meats and root vegetables are natural fits, along with hearty stews, smoked sausage, or a snack of well-aged cheeses. Cheers!
The story of Stegmaier is really the story of two breweries: Stegmaier, whose roots go back to the mid-19th century, and the Lion Brewery, which was founded in 1905.
Around 1857, Charles Stegmaier and his father-in-law, George Baer, embarked on a small brewing operation on South Canal Street in Wilkes-Barre, PA, which enlarged when they opened a new, bigger facility on East Market Street in 1863 known as the Baer & Stegmaier Brewery. Sadly, the partners were forced to sell off the brewery due to the economic crisis that came to be known as the Panic of 1873. Happily, by 1880 Charles and his son, Christian, were able to re-purchase the brewery and begin growing the business under the new name C. Stegmaier & Son. The brewery experienced many happy decades through the rest of the 19th and most of the 20th century, until the slow decline of local brewers (which affected brewers in Pennsylvania and throughout the U.S.) ultimately caused the brewery to close in 1974.
It's here that the Lion Brewery steps in, purchasing the Stegmaier brand and continuing production in what had, until then, been one of Stegmaier's rival breweries in Wilkes-Barre. Founded in 1905, the Lion is a venerable Wilkes-Barre institution, having survived the hard times that claimed many other local brewers prior to the modern craft beer renaissance. The Lion has managed to thrive in recent times, due in no small part to the popularity of the Stegmaier beers, as well as being a contract brewing partner for many other craft beer companies. For more info on the Stegmaier brand and its long history, visit stegmaierbrewery.com.
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