Port Brewing Company: Hot Rocks Lager

Listen up ladies and gentlemen . . . the Hot Rocks Lager is so new, its not even listed on the company's website yet.

Turns out that this beer was produced in collaboration with the folks at Bend Brewing Co. And, more importantly, this is not your standard lager . . . no-sirree-bob. Before reading the description on the bottle, one notices something odd about this guy, its color. I grew up just south of Pottstown, PA, the home of Yuengling Lager. When I began pouring the Hot Rocks Lager, I expected a similar color, maybe a little darker . . . but, much to my surprise the beer is very much opaque, a rich mahogany color. Very different for a lager if you ask me.

Then comes the aroma . . . malt, malt, malt, malt . . . malt, and more malt. I am guessing the hops were kept to a minimum with this guy (after tasting it, I am guessing less than 15 IBUs, 20 max!). The nose is almost caramel-like, very delightful, and smokey (more on this later). The initial taste however caught me by surprise . . . smokey, like a piece of smoked Pennsylvania Dutch sausage. And, as the beer warms the smokey malt flavors come through more and more . . . delicious!

Now comes the interesting part . . . apparently the sole purpose of this collaboration was to "rock it old school", i.e, brew the beer like yesteryear, in a style known as "stein beer" in Germany. The brewing method involves heating rocks in a fire until the begin to glow, like lava flowing from a volcano (hence the name Hot Rocks). Then, the rocks are removed from the fire and pitched into the wort, creating a nice boil, smoke, and steam (hence the smokey taste I do believe). What a way to brew a beer! I will definitely, have to pick up a few more of these guys to save for a fun get-together with friends . . . boy, will they be shocked!

The bottom line: Not your typical American lager, hot rocks make Hot Rocks Lager and fantastic beer!


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