Port Brewing News Including New Mongo Double IPA
We recently caught up with Port Brewing in San Marcos, to see what is going on for the new year, and if there are any new developments in their production expansion. Read on for great news about a new beer, bottling line improvements and more.
We heard that Midnight Sessions Lager will be returning January 23rd. If you haven’t tried this beer, it’s pretty amazing, and should be put in a blind tasting. It is the second runnings of the massive Serpent Stout, and drinks more like a roasty porter than a black lager. The only thing that makes this technically sessionable is it’s moderate ABV of 5%.
Hot Rocks Lager will make it’s second appearance, coming off of an impressive rookie season. There isn’t much more to say about this beer, except I am glad Port keeps there range wide but not making all strong ales.
For most people in the US who can get Hop 15 Ale are happy just to find it. Us hop snobs in California have discussed Hop 15 not being the complex hop monster it once was, with this full chunky hoppy mouthfeel. I used to want to make sweet love to Hop 15, but in the last year or so, not so much. When I asked what has changed I was given great news. Due to the grain and hop issues in our country, last year, Hop 15 wasn’t made with that magical blend of 15 different hops, but rather only 3. Port made due with what they purchased for 2009, but as a result, die hard Hop 15 fans noticed a big difference. Not to fear, the hop purchase for 2010 has allowed Port to go back to the original recipe that I know and love. For those who tried the beer for the first time this year, and weren’t super impressed should wait a month or so, and revisit it. You will be impressed.
Oh, but you say it will be hard to tell what an old bottle of Hop 15 looks like versus a fresh bottle of Hop 15? Port Brewing has invested in an embosser that will now provide us with a bottled on date as well as other information such as the run date. This began in December, so start checking those labels.
Select tap accounts will start seeing a new Port Brewing beer called Mongo Double IPA. At a glance, you might think, oh wow, another Double IPA from Port! Well there is a story behind it, and it’s the first Double IPA brewed by former Boulevard brewer Mike Rodriguez. If you have ever visited Port Brewing/Lost Abbey, you will notice they have two brew cats to keep out the rodents. These two cats, Amarillo and Cascade had a litter of kittens last year. After giving away most of the litter, one kitten stayed behind. This kitten was first named Columbus and turned into quite the gigantic cat. He even took on his first football player like nickname C-BUS due to has presence. Later nicknamed Mongo, this cat became the unofficial owner of the brewhouse. Mongo would straight jack patrons for their beer, and when a patron would get back their beer, Mongo would then take their snacks. This cat let it be known that it played by its own rules. Often times, this cat even enjoyed a ride around the bottling line. There was no stopping this cat! When the Lost Abbey crew came to work the weekend after Thanksgiving, they were shocked to find that Mongo had died. No doubt this cat died doing something awesome, we just don’t know what.
In honor of Mongo, Mike Rodriguez made his first Double IPA, as he loved the cat and wanted to honor him with this beer. This 8.5% abv beer was made with Columbus hops (Mongo’s Birthname), Cascade for the Mama cat, and Simocoe because that is Mike’s favorite hop. If we aren’t lucky enough to try this beer before you do, please send us some tasting notes.
To wrap things up, we wondered if Port Brewing’s 4th Anniversary Ale would stray away from the Imperial Pale Ale theme the last three years of experienced. We were told this will be the theme for the foreseeable future. This beer will be released at the 4th Anniversary Celebration May 1st.