Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Night Suds - Saranac Maple Porter

This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at one of the newest offerings from Saranac - the Saranac Maple Porter.

I first experienced the Saranac Maple Porter last Thursday evening at an event at the FX Matt Brewery in Utica, NY, designed to introduce this year's 12 Beers of Winter. I had previously received an email from Saranac advising that they were planning a 12 Beers of Winter preview and inviting me to attend. I was hesitant at first, but then I got the follow up invitation whereby they offered to put Sarah and I up in a hotel. I knew that if I could convince Mrs Kosher Beers to come it would be an incredible experience. And it was.

Let me first take a step back and talk a little about Saranac and the FX Matt Brewery. Frequent readers of this blog may realize that the FX Matt Brewery has made a commitment to producing kosher products. All beers - including the bottled versions of Brooklyn Brewery (12oz bottles only) Lake Placid, Pete's Wicked and Saranac are under supervision. The sodas produced by Saranac and now a new line of organic sparkling juices are also under kashruth supervision. I hope in the next few weeks to be able to announce a new line of beers produced at the plant which are under hashgacha, however I have not yet seen the LOC.

Late Thursday afternoon we arrived at the Brewery and met the marketing, promotions and management teams. After a quick beer in the tavern (I chose a Pale Ale draft, while Sarah tried the Big Moose Ale) it was off for a brewery tour given by the owners of the Brewery - Fred and Nick Matt. The tour was quite extensive and educational and gave an insight into the brew process and the company's involvement with the community.

As part of the tour, we were given an opportunity to taste fresh unfiltered Saranac straight from the tank - I chose the IPA and it was the smoothest, creamiest IPA I had ever tasted.

After the tour ended, the Saranac people hosted a sit down tasting dinner with the various courses meant to accompany the flavors of the new winter beer line. Since our hosts at Saranac (Megan and Ryan in particular) did not want us to feel left out, we were provided with Noah's Ark (a kosher restaurant in Teaneck NJ which specializes in kosher travel meals) courses which were similar to the dishes being served to the rest of the diners.

The beers themselves were great and I hope to review them over the next few months. Tonight I would like to review the one my wife liked the best - the Saranac Maple Porter.

In Sarah's words - this would be a great beer to have on pancakes. No, she is not pregnant (as far as I know) but the beer is a sweet tasting brew which rivals dessert wines. It has a sweetness from the maple additive, little bitterness but an underlying alcohol bite that lets you know its not soda. Sarah prepared apple kugel muffins which we ate with the beer and the sweetness of the apples and almond in the muffin (Fred's wife correctly identified the ingredients when she sampled one of the muffins) were a perfect pairing with the beer.

Saranac Maple Porter is under the Kosher Supervision of the Va'ad of Detroit, as is every other brew produced by Saranac. To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about Saranac Maple Porter, please follow this link

As always, please remember to drink responsibly and to never waste good beer unless there is no designated driver.

If you've tried this beer or any others which have been reviewed on the kosher beers site, please feel free to post your comments (anonymous comments are acceptable).

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