Mary was one of the greatest loves of my life. She was as sweet as dark-amber syrup; she smelled like a chocolatier’s workshop; her kiss evoked memories of an early-morning coffee shop. But like every good catch, she left me, never to be seen again.
Mary, in this case, refers to Mary’s Maple Porter, a limited-release Brooklyn Brewery creation. It was named after a brewery employee, whose maple syrup from her Syracuse farm was used in this extraordinary brew.
It’s still my favorite of this style, a style that’s been around since the early 1700s, when porters tasted completely different. They were maltier, smokier (from the wood-/coal-fired grains), and often tasted like burnt sugar. Today’s roasty porters are reminiscent of iced coffee, milk or dark chocolate, and sometimes you’ll encounter one with spicy chilis.
Though they can be difficult to find in Westchester, here are three to groove on:
Beanhead Coffee Porter
RushingDuck Brewing Co., Chester
A by-the-book porter elevated to intense coffee status as a result of a team-up with Java Love Coffee Roasting Co.’s roasted Guatemalan beans. It’s on the bitter side but sipping on this won’t bitter your mood.
Rise & Shine
Half Full Brewery, Stamford
Skip your go-to iced coffee and rock with this porter, which is very much like drinking a better iced coffee. This collaboration with Rise Brewing Co.’s trending nitro cold brew results in a creamy-smooth mouthfeel.
Mr. Trouble Coconut Porter
Sing Sing Kill Brewery, Ossining
One of the new kids on the Westchester beer scene, SSKB just broke out this low-ABV porter that’s aged on five pounds of coconut flakes. It’s like drinking a liquefied Mounds bar.