According to the Brewers Association, as of 6/30/2014, there are over 3,400 craft brewers in the United States. While there are several craft brewers that are widely available across the country (Stone, Sierra Nevada, and Oskar Blues to name just a few), many smaller brewers barely get out of their home county, much less their home state (New Glarus, Alchemist, Kane, and many others). And you know what? I’m ok with that!
Over the past few years, the G-LO clan has done quite a bit of traveling around the United States, and as far as I’m concerned, half the fun of these trips is exploring the local food and drink (the lure of a local brewery or distillery is how Mrs. G-LO gets me to green light these trips. She’s smart. Very smart). Whether it’s a visit to Downeast Maine for lobster and a few beers from Rising Tide or Oxbow, a long weekend on the Chesapeake Bay eating Maryland blue crabs by the water while drinking Assawoman or Burley Oak brews (this trip hasn’t happened yet), or a road trip to Wisconsin for fried cheese curds and Central Waters or Oliphant beers (this trip hasn’t happened yet either, but a glutton can dream. Can’t he?), knowing that you’re eating and drinking something that you’ll rarely be able to relive at home makes experiences such as these extra special. And speaking of things that you can’t get at home…
This can of Raleigh Brewing’s Hidden Pipe Coffee Porter found its way to my fridge via a Craft Beer pipeline of our very own, i.e. The Wookie’s brother in law who just so happens to live in Raleigh, NC. Several times a year, he is kind enough to gift a case of “North Carolina only” Craft Beer to The Wookie, and every once in a while, The Wookie is kind enough to share some of his bounty with the neighborhood. He did just that about a month ago and gave me a can of this beer as a parting gift.
Raleigh Brewing Company doesn’t say much about their Hidden Pipe Coffee Porter, but they did produce this video:
Anyway, here’s what I thought about it…
- Appearance: Mahogany color with a thick and creamy head of tan foam.
- Aroma: Smells as advertised! An abundance of medium roast coffee (think bottomless cup of Ellis or Lacas diner coffee) and dark chocolate.
- Taste: Smooth and creamy mouthfeel with a slightly fizzy carbonation. This is a mellow and easy drinking coffee porter. Starts off with a pleasantly bitter coffee taste (I’m a fan of black coffee, so this is a good thing) which is followed up with hints of semi-sweet dark chocolate. The finish is dry and somewhat astringent with a lingering black coffee aftertaste.
- ABV: 6.5%
Prior to our little North Carolina beer tasting at The Wookie’s, I had never heard of Raleigh Brewing. If the rest of their line up is as satisfying as their Hidden Pipe Coffee Porter, then here’s hoping that our North Carolina connection comes through with more selections from Raleigh Brewing. While it’s not quite on the level of our Porter Pallooza winning Founders Porter, Hidden Pipe comes pretty darn close. I may even put it on par with the Anchor Porter. While Raleigh Brewing’s Hidden Pipe is delicious on its own, I’m guessing it would make one hell of an Ice Cream Float!