If there is one thing I find is missing when I stop by Alesmith it is a lighter beer to go with Speedway Stout. Speedway Stout is an amazing beer but also so strong that it makes me wonder what the brewers could do with a porter. Thankfully, some seasonal beers have been satisfying me lately as far as darker mid-range options both from the My Bloody Valentine and the Evil Dead Red. Still, both of those options are a bit on the hoppy side so for someone like my husband who hates hops, there is still not much to love.
Enter the robust porter and you might have a winner. The guys at Alesmith told me that this one was released first about a year ago though I seem to have missed it. This is only the second time it has been available and they brewed enough that if you aren’t in the area by the brewery you should find it on tap at some local bars for a little bit.
The robust porter looks like a porter and tastes like a porter. It has a light smoky flavor at the front end with a mild splash of chocolate and some plum flavors from the malts. The beer is right around 6.5% and drinks quite nicely. I went for a pint after finishing off my taster and it went down quite smoothly. This is the sort of beer that would be a great addition to the regular rotation. I would love to be able to buy this in a six-pack sometime as well. If you are hooked on the Speedway Stout you should absolutely check out the Robust Porter the next time you stop by Alesmith.
I’ll be the first to admit that the Nut Brown at Alesmith is a solid beer but doesn’t really impress me. I have learned though that it is never a good idea to pass up a chance to try a barrel aged version of a beer even if you are not a big fan of the underlying beer. Most of the time this means the beer is aged in a bourbon barrel. This gives most beers a hint of bourbon flavor, and so works really well with brown ales and ambers.
I was so impressed by the flavor of this beer that I had two pints. Usually the beers I enjoy are so strong that this is not possible without stumbling out on the street but since this is only 5% I really enjoyed having two pints. The bourbon flavors are relatively mild with this one so that it does not overpower the flavor of the nut brown. If you stop by the brewery and see this available, be sure to order at least a taster so you can see if this is the beer for you.
I’ve been going to Alesmith for so long that I can’t remember exactly when I first tried their beers. It may have been when the guy at Bevmo suggested I try their Speedway Stout. Over the years I have been to the brewery a number of times. This time, I stopped in to try their new collaboration beer with Monkey’s Paw Brewing called Ashes of the Dead, a brown ale at 6.66%.
I only had a taster of Ashes of the Dead. It had a solid flavor for a brown ale and the smoky flavor wasn’t too much to become overpowering. Still, I was craving some hopps so I had to have an 8oz of Evil Dead Red. I had this one before in a bomber (22oz bottle) but I had to try it fresh on tap. It is hard to explain exactly the difference but every beer tastes better fresh on tap.
On tap you could really taste the hop flavors in the Evil Dead Red. It has a nice citrus kick to it that balances out the otherwise malty flavors of the beer. I asked whether these two beers are exactly 6.66% and was told that they get as close as possible. There is a certain amount to which you can’t control the percentage no matter how much you try but it is close enough.
Alesmith has long been one of my favorite San Diego breweries. If you like stouts and don’t mind them a little sweet, the Speedway Stout is always worth drinking. They have some solid darker Belgian style beers and occasionally some seasonal beers that highlight the hopps. Come by the tasting room to see what tickles your fancy.
Alesmith brought back the Evil Dead Red for 2014 in 22oz bombers and on tap around town. As always, it is slightly more hoppy in the bottles than on tap and still the same great beer!