Roosting in the Pacific Northwest during my formative years definitely left a lasting imprint in the way by which I approach the world around me... Perhaps most importantly how to appreciate (to the level of snobbery?) the fine craft of microbrewing. I largely skipped the Pabst Blue Ribbon cliché of college life altogether and went straight for mason jars of small-batch McMenamins Hammerhead or Terminator Stout. My absolute favorite Oregon brew though has always been Deschutes Brewery's Black Butte Porter. Like a malty bite of fresh baked artisan brown bread crust or a bittersweet 70% cacao dark chocolate bar, the round balance of Black Butte's smokey silky beershake actually allows a surprising.. versatality. Brawny enough to drink alongside a hearty meal, soft and rich enough to enjoy with dessert, but drinkable enough to have more than one.. (yes, I often ordered by the pitcher).. It still rates awfully high on my Everybeer list. In my fourth year residing in Los Angeles, Black Butte also tops my "Missed and Craved Oregon Food Items" list (along with Toby's Tofu paté and Café Yumm Sauce, of course).
Miraculously, the last visit to my neighborhood grocery store caused a small scene as I strolled down the beer aisle and past a casual stock of Deschuttes' Mirror Pond Pale Ale and... Black Butte Porter! Pinch. No, I was awake. Bless the distribution deities!!!
Available in your town, Black Butte Porter!
(No, this is not a paid advert. I am merely a fanatic).
Photo by Heidi Fikstad