When someone walks up to you and asks, “What kind of beer do you drink?” do you respond with different brands of beers or different types?
A lot of beers tend to be clones of one another, just unknowingly ripped recipes with different labels, only sporting subtle differences based on the mineral content of the water used, or a slightly different ratio of ingredients. Chances are, if you like a lager, and you order an unknown brand of lager, you won’t get a beer that makes you hurl, or makes your eyes light up, in most cases you get what you expect.
Of course there are always the outliers, trying to take a new spin on a traditional beer, or they have some sort of subtext as to why they are different, but whatever the case, they are bizarre compared to their brethren, but they are not to be ignored. And this brings us to our beer.
She’s known as Porkslap by Butternuts Beer & Ale. Lets break it down.
Type of Beer: American Pale Ale/Farmhouse Ale
Color: Cloudy Amber
American Pale Ale SLASH Farmhouse Ale? I call em as I see em, and the can is clearly labeled as both. I’ve described the basics of a pale ale in the past, but what is a farmhouse ale?
A Farmhouse Ale (Also referred to as a Saison, from the french word for “season”) was a name originally given to certain pale ales that were brewed seasonally (hence the name saison) in farmhouses in this french speaking part of Belgium called Wallonia. Originally they were meant to be low in alcohol so they would refresh workers in the old days, because of the difficulty of finding drinkable water, without turning them into drunk irresponsible slobs.
Oh, how I long for a simpler time… “Water isn’t safe to drink? Lets make beer!” — The good life. Long story short, A Farmhouse Ale originated from beers that were brewed in a farmhouse to refresh its workers on those hot days. So I guess what I’m saying is… It’s like a subcategory of beer… but interesting nonetheless.
Porkslap isn’t just a beer. It’s a different beer, served in a unmistakable orange can. You pour it and it gets a really nice white head the froths up over the hazy amber beer.
Go ahead and wait for it to clear.
A second more. It doesn’t.
And that doesn’t bother me a bit. If you hold it up to the light, to get a better look at the haze you’ll see some sediment floating around in the beer. Nothing gigantic, but a few specs that look unsettling, if you haven’t seen it before. But don’t let this discourage you, for two reasons.
No. 1: As a Homebrewer I can say that it takes a bunch of different additives to make a homebrew perfectly clear, so just think of this beer being pure and untouched. But besides that, some of the best brews I have ever made and/or tasted have been hazy. That unfiltered look may seem sloppy to some, but I’ve learned to love it.
No. 2: Those little floating blobs have actually been proven to have some vitamins and the such in them. So just think of the haze as a sign of a “healthy” beer.
Now this babe (ha, get it! Porkslap! Babe! Pig jokes) smells like a pale ale but tastes a bit different than I expected. It follows the malt notes, with a bit of uncharacteristic sweetness and a bit of a fruity feel. The big surprise is the lack of a hop to this guy. They are there if you really look for them, kind of hiding in the back row, but all in all they just aren’t as strong as I’ve come to expect from an APA, or any Pale Ale for that matter.
I had this beer very early into my “beer enthusiast” career, and at the time I wasn’t particularly fond of pale ales, so when a friend bought me a pale ale in a bright orange can with two pigs on the front I was wary. Confused, yes, but mainly wary. To a man who wasn’t a pale ale kinda guy it was a pleasant surprise. More malt driven, and a good deviation from the traditional style. And now, that I’ve grown to love pale ales, specifically the ever hoppy IPA, I still enjoy Porkslap. Its a nice change of pace, and it feeds on my fascination of craft canned beers.
Beer in review…
Nice rustic looking amber, nice carbonation (resulting in a nice head), interesting blend of hops and malts which presents a unique taste, goes down easy with little hoppy bitterness.
Now the last point listed isn’t good nor bad, its just an observation. I love a nice hop when the time calls for it, it makes the beer really crisp, but some people just don’t want that, and I can say then go for this beer. If you aren’t sold on the idea of a beer called Porkslap, then I suggest trying to find it in your local barroom (Or better yet find a liquor store that has a “create your own six pack” so you can pull a number of new beers). It’s a good beer, and a good place to start on a persons quest for new beers.
Drink it, enjoy it, and pass along the word.
Lets make this world a better place for beer one orange can at a time.
Thomas Conner, the ‘Beer Dude’ has known to taste and make some of the finest beers in Charm City. He figures he has made more beer than he drank or is that vice versa. He doesn’t remember. If you catch him at a nearby Baltimore establishment drinking a beer, he reminds us sternly, it’s solely for research purposes. He doesn’t jot down notes. In fact, he highly recommends not drinking and writing because it interferes with the tasting. As always, he brings along a designated note-taker who also multi-tasks by driving him home. Drink and write responsibly and never at the same time is his motto. If you would like him to test out your establishment’s home brew, just pretend you’re at the O’s game, and yell, “Beer man.” He’ll hear you.