Coming from the Gaelic word síbín (meaning illicit whiskey), shebeen refers to bars and places where liquor and beer is sold without any kind of license. Naughty naughty! But, there’s something to be said about a group of people that come together for drinks, even though doing so is illegal. It creates a tightly knit community and places beer on the pedestal that it so rightly deserves.
And, this is the exact kind of feeling that founder and head brewer Richard Visco (CEO, head brewer) had in mind when he started Shebeen Brewery in May 2013. From Ireland (Derry) himself, Richard’s love of the Emerald Isle can be seen in the logo and little touches throughout the brewery. Something else you can see is the creative touches and unique brews that they have on tap. Probably one of their most famous beers is their Cannoli Beer which has won a huge amount of support and devotion, though people also rave about their Bacon Kona Stout. And, one of their major flagship beers is the Rye Porter which we’re going to talk to you about today.
Beer: Rye Porter
Style: Porter. A key indiction that you’re drinking a porter is toasted barley and chocolate malts. Plus, you’ll have a deceivingly light-tasting beer that looks like it should be much, much stronger because of the dark brown to black appearance. Apparently, there’s a lot of controversy in the beer world regarding the difference between porters and stouts. After researching what sets them apart, we can say that when porters first hit the scene in England, the heavier versions began to be called stout porters. As time went on (and especially today), people began to differentiate more and more between stouts and porters. So, today, it still remains a source of confusion and a point of contention: are porters weaker versions of stouts, stouts stronger versions of porters, or is there any difference at all? We tend to think that, yes, stouts are the deeper, darker, and higher ABV versions of porters.
Color and appearance: Dark dark dark brown held up to the light, though black in appearance. There was a nice foamy head about half a thumb length.
Smell: Subdued notes of rye and toasty malts
Taste: A bit lighter than you’d expect for a porter, but was great and easy to drink. There was a chocolatey undertone to this beer with a starting flavor of toasted caramel. The finish was malty and had a slightly bitter aftertaste.
Pairing: This is an incredibly sessionable brew, so because it’s not that heavy, it’s easier to pair it with lots of things. Ideally, though, we’re thinking a fat juicy burger, fish and chips, sandwiches, and even desserts would work nicely, playing off the chocolatey hints in the Rye Porter.
Thoughts: if you’re looking for a beer that you can drink all damn day, this is it. We’d hope to get our hands on this again real soon…
Found at: Cask Republic in Stamford, CT
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