Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Pile O' Dirt Porter - Crow Peak Brewing

Not Rated.
Pile O' Dirt PorterPile O' Dirt Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

49 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 49
Hads: 133
Avg: 3.77
pDev: 18.3%
Wants: 27
Gots: 16 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Crow Peak Brewing visit their website
South Dakota, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mcallister on 08-22-2010

This robust porter is black in color, is medium-bodied and has a rich, roasted malt flavor ending with a pleasing hop flavor and mild hop bitterness.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 49 | Hads: 133
Photo of woodychandler
2.66/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I am on a porter/stout kick tonight and this came to me recently in a CANTrade (but I CANnot remember from whom - identify yourself if you'd like to be mentioned).

From the CAN: "Handcrafted in the Black Hills"; "Peace, Love, Funk (funkpottery.com)".

I rarely describe a beer's color as "Black", since most are actually a deep brown, but this poured like motor oil! I got just over a finger of deep-tan head with decent retention off of my pour. Nose was much milder than I anticipated. It had a grassy hoppiness along with a light smoky chocolatiness. My mouth was watering in anticipation. Mouthfeel was a little thin, not quite watery, but not out of the distance, either. It had a strangely astringent bitterness on the tongue, a burnt quality as opposed to simple roastiness. As I CANtinued to drink it, I was reminded of medicine (and not in a good way, if that is even possible). Finish had a dry, slightly smoky quality but I still felt like I had been swallowing cough syrup or some medicinal liquid. I am going to have a high red rDev on this one and I feel badly for it, but I would not have this in my cooler and that is the yardstick for me on drinkability.

 1,172 characters

Photo of Honisbygonis
3.17/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour = dark black brown w/ minimal carbonation, as expected

Smell = invitingly sweet

Taste = initially smooth, then mildly harsh / uneventful, and finally mild-moderately harsh, lingering after taste (comparable to dirtiness, so appropriate)

Buzzability = at 6%, gets you happy (or amplifies whatever your emotional buzz is by 1.5X)

As standard porters go, passable at C+, but more like a C- in my book.

 407 characters

Photo of harrymel
3.2/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to a77cj7 on this one.

A: pours a dark brown porter with little translucency. Transient head whit dissappears and leaves a couple spots of burnt cream bubbles. No lacing.

S: Bit of cardboard on this one (oxidation?). There's plenty of dry malts and hints of dark cocoa nose, along a hint of milk choco feel. The cardboard keeps coming back.

T: Nice. Creamy, cocoa, graham, dark malts. Plenty of leftover resonance on the back end. I like the dry flavor despite the cream tones.

M: Medium body and medium carb. Good mouthfeel in that the beer makes my tongue feel the sense of possible milkiness, but then the finish is quite dry.

O: I think the beer is well crafted. The problem is in the packaging here. There is obvious oxidation and thats an issue. The look could use a little help (maybe some head, lacing), this issue's resolution could offer more opportunity in the nose as well.

 897 characters

Photo of doucmehu
3.22/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased last weekend in Sioux Falls, no date on can.

A: Poured from can into Rogue pint glass. Nice deep dark chocolate color, about 1 finger of fine carbonation that ends up leaving a slender coating.

S: Smells tasty, with sweet milk chocolate and cocoa powder, roasted malts and some cold pressed coffee.

T: Things go south here. Starts with bitter dark chocolate and roasted malt, but that gives way to charred, burnt malt and "dirt" flavors are quite present at the tail end, which I suspect is the hop addition that isn't quite right. It seems like there is some lactic tartness as well.

M: Finally, a small brewery porter that actually has some smooth silkiness to it. Mind you, it is not quite up to par with the big hitters, but solid nonetheless. Carbonation is subdued, which I think helps with this. Nice hop bitterness rounds things out at the end.

O: Solid porter if not for the funky hops thing going on. Still quite drinkable though, I certainly wouldn't mind another.

 991 characters

Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black with no lacing or head. There is plentiful carbonation and the head was a light tan/amber before disappearing.
Not too impressive, but a nice rich dark color never hurts.

Nothing too special, mainly just malts. Maybe I'm spoiled, but I'm used to imperial versions of almost everything...

There barely is a taste. Slight toastiness with malt and absolutely no spice at all. I understand this isn't a stout, but just a little bitterness goes a long way...
This beer is easier to drink than water.

Light for a dark beer, possibly a light-medium body with bubbly carbonation to make it quite drinkable. There is a slightly malty aftertaste that lingers.

Not a bad beer, but overall pretty average. I would prefer a rich stout in its place, but understand that's just a personal preference.

 849 characters

Photo of antlerwrestler19
3.41/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with deep blood-red highlights through the light that settles to an almost black color with a mocha head that fell quickly with some spotty thin lacing behind. Smells of dark bitter chocolate, roasted barley, toasted smokey notes. The taste is bolder than the smell bringing on nice roastiness, bitter and chocolately, both from the dark malt and hops it seems, also a hint of smoke comes through ever so slightly. Pretty low carbonation and silky medium body form this porter's mouthfeel. This is a nice porter out of a can (my first porter out of a can, actually,). Snagged a couple sixers of this among other cans to take camping and I'm glad I did, should be nice to drink around the fire with good company.


 738 characters

Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap in a downtown Rapid City bar.

A: No head to speak of. Inky black with slight rouge around the edges.

S: Coffee grounds, unsweetened cocoa, spice cake?

T: Leather and orange-citrus. Candies fruit (fruit cake?) into deep cocoa and espresso.

M: Thin. Unremarkable.

D: I would recommend giving this a try to anyone out there. It is way better at the brewery itself but still a unique and all around good porter.

 419 characters

Photo of Whadawookie
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is pretty decent porter. a little bit of head and lacing, aroma is almost reminiscent of an oatmeal stout...
Tastewise: smoke and roasted coffee up front, dark malts followed by....grass or perhaps a pile o' dirt? There is definitely something earthy goin' on in there, I'm not sure if I like that part of it all that much. I had this breweries fresh hop ipa and enjoyed that way more than this, still, it's not bad by a long stretch.

 445 characters

Photo of mhaugo
3.52/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft in a 12 ounce pint glass.
Appearance: Mahogany dark with a rapidly vanishing head.
Smell: Roast, licorice, molasses.
Taste: Roasted malt with a sweet, charcoal finish. No bitterness to speak of. Pretty simple and straightforward.
Mouthfeel: Sweet and watery. Clears the palette very quickly.
Overall: Overall not a bad porter. Not very many layers to dissect, but that’s not always a deficit. Could be a decent “everyday” beer in the cold season.

 461 characters

Photo of Crass3000
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes on 12/24/2011

4/5 POurs our black as night with a finger, brown head with little retention.

3.5/4 Smell is dark fruits upfront followed closely behind by roasted malts. Seems to be mild hop presence in the background that is hard to describe.
3.5/4 Taste is quite nice with coffe upfront, roasted grains, and some dark fruits. Quite nice really. Better than I was expecting. The coffee really makes this a nice porter.

3.5/5 Mouthfeel is fairly thin but to be expected for a beer with the low ABV. Overall a nice beer.

 532 characters

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Many thanks to woodychandler for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is dominated by roasted malts. Taste is good but rather mild, lots of roasted malts, some hints of coffee, a very slight bitterness. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a good quality brew.

 345 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.54/5  rDev -6.1%

Can I brought to share at drewone's tasting.

Thanks to Norseman for sending me this one.

Pours a clear reddish-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, toast, earth, and cocoa aromas. Taste is much the same with earth, cocoa, and char flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty but there is a better mixture of aromas in my opinion.

Serving type: can.

 659 characters

Photo of LXIXME
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark brown to black in color with a light brown head of medium size that floats above this beer.

A light roasted malt aroma with hints of coffee.

A rich dark malt taste with hints of different coffee types and just the slightest hint of a dark chocolate coming through.

The aftertaste is a dry roast making me want to have another drink and some grilled fresh Mahi Mahi for some reason.

 402 characters

Photo of Treyliff
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can poured into a can glass

A- pours pitch black in color with a small khaki colored head that eventually disappears completely, leaving nothing behind

S- dark roasted malt brings forth aromas of chocolate, char, caramel & a hint of coffee

T- dark roasted malt up front gives flavors of earth, charred malt & light coffee. Bone dry finish with a linger of chocolate

M- medium body with medium-low biting carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel and a dry finish

O- easy drinking, yet robust porter that goes down easy

 536 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.64/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

a fine porter here, more robust than many, showing me lots of cocoa and chocolate malt notes, a dry richness which is lovely and uncommon, and enough carbonation to make it sessionable for me in all four seasons. middle of the spectrum brown, mostly clear, fizzy too, with about an inch of just off white head on top. nose and flavor of chocolate malt but not too much roasted barley, a combination i am more used to in brown ale than in porter, but it works to lighten this one a little, and make it not quite so gripping in the finish. true to its name, there is a real earthy grainy middle to this, not quite minerality, but a definite soil-esque character that gives it a unique feel. a finish of fresh but burning bread but not quite smokey, and again the cocoa aspect. upbeat carbonation is quite lively for the style, one of the things i like most about this beer. a very good one, my first from crow peak.

 913 characters

Photo of THECPJ
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes: Thanks goes out to Chris for sending this my way.

Appearance: dark brown black with a 2 finger mocha head

smell: roast, black patent, coffee,

taste: roast, coffee, malts

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, full body,

overall: a nice porter. Enjoyed the smooth texture and clean finish. Glad I finally got to try it.


 351 characters

Photo of lawlerj
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a nonic pint glass.

A - pours black and oily with a froth light brown head that comes to about two fingers. Leaves splotchy lacing and retains a thick collar of foam around the edges.

S - Dark roasted coffee and a hint of chocolate sweetness. Not too much else.

T - bitter, roasted coffee up front that slowly opens up into a prickly chocolate flavor in the back of the throat. A touch of sweet malt as well. Nice and balanced.

M - medium bodied, and quite a bit of carbonation.

O - overall, a nice, easy drinking porter. Has all the right flavors and isn't too terribly complex. Just a solid beer. Also, love the can.

 651 characters

Photo of UMNbeerhunter
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz can into a Town Hall glass 2/27/11.

Pours a solid black with a huge beautiful light brown head. Lots of lacing even after a couple minutes.

Smell IMO gets better with its temp. I like the stoutish coco, malts, and coffee. Great in the smell category

Taste is weaker then the smell. I can still get the chocolate and coffee tastes but it is really subdued. Needs to be backed up a bit more by the chocolate and coffee tastes..

Mouthfeel is flat. I like the beer but the lack of staying power and weight for a stout really hurt this beer for me.

Drinkability is moderate. If they increase the chocolate and the mouth feel this would be an +B to -A beer. I can't recommend this as very drinkable at this point as the beer had significant flaws.

 765 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Crow Peak Brewing Company, Spearfish, South Dakota, Handcrafted in the Black Hills. Alcohol 6% by volume. As mentioned in a previous post, I can't imagine what was in their heads when they okayed this name. "Pile-o-Dirt"? What? Doesn't even sing. Thuds. Clunks. Sits. Ah, well. Let's crack and slurp.

Solid stygian appearance, no light escapes. Small brown, espresso-toned head, slims down, but stays.

Aroma, roasted malt and cocoa. Bittersweet espresso tinges, slightly sweeter chocolate edges. Very even, mellow, nice.

Taste: smooth on the palate, slight bitterness, good malt, with hardly a sweet note anywhere. Excellent balance, even tempered. Cola tints here and there, medium bodied, not too full, not too rich, just right, as porter ought to be, right? Hold together just so, and continues to deliver flavor.

I do like this, and would be very happy if I were a frustrated South Dakotan dark beer lover, encountering this for the first time. This is the first packaged SD brew I've ever had, apart from a brewpub growler, years ago. I hope Crow Peak does well. That would be a good omen for the craft beer community at large. Next up…North Dakota???

 1,164 characters

Photo of woosterbill
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can into a Duvel tulip. Thanks to mnbearsfan for this one.

A: Black body with two fingers of creamy tan head. Good retention and lacing. Beautiful.

S: Smooth, balanced mix of milk chocolate, sweetened coffee, and earthiness. Pleasant.

T: Spicy, husky malt up front, followed by coffee and a distinct cola flavor. Creamy, bittersweet finish. Pretty good, but not quite as nice as the aroma promised.

M: Medium-bodied with moderate, late-developing carbonation. All right.

O: Good, not quite great. Always fun trying a new craft beer in a can.


 560 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes.

A: Pours a dark brown with a small tan colored head that dissipates quickly leaving behind very small bits of lacing.

S: A good bit of roasted malt, some coffee, and a touch of cocoa. The roasty aroma dominates.

T: Similar to the aroma, lots of big, roasty malt, coffee, and some chocolate. There is some bitterness on the backend that balances things out a bit.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, pretty smooth and easy drinking.

O: A pretty good porter, not overly sweet, and easy drinking. Love a porter in a can, makes me happy.

 569 characters

Photo of dbossman
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Is this motor oil in a can? Wow, this comes out thick and it is dark--not just dark, it is black; there is a thick, beautiful head that has decent retention; lacing clings beautifully to the glass; this really is a great looking beer

S: Typical porter aromas: roasted malts--slightly burnt with a touch of coffee, vanilla, and chocolate, plus some dark fruits; but in the end it's a bit subdued

T: A nice balance of roasted malts and coffee and a sweet vanilla, dark chocolate--even slightly boozy--character; there is a touch of a medicinal flavor that doesn't turn me off; finally there are some burnt grassy flavors as the beer finds its way down the hatch

F: This is a creamy beer that still manages to hold on to the side of the mouth as you move it down; nicely thick and creamy

O: This is a nice porter from South Dakota and it's one that I can see myself buying again when I'm stuck with family in the middle of South Dakota

 939 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Can opened on 6.6.13
Thanks to jodan for my SD tick.

A - Pours a ruby-brown, looks black in the glass with a 3/4" dark tan head with good retention.

S - Roasted, subtle nuttiness and some chocolate. Pretty mild.

T - Bitter roasted and sgood amount of smoke.

D - Heavier body with medium carbonation.

O - Roasted and smokey porter. Solid, especially for my SD tick.

 369 characters

Photo of Cheesemoose
3.74/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received as an extra from a77cj7. Thanks man!!!

Pitch black pour with muted brown edges. Foamy, khaki head rises, giving a mere 1/2 inch. Lacing is spotty, though it holds on fairly well. As it warms it sticks a bit better, though the head has dissolved well by this point.

Earthy, muted chocolate and a faint coffee edge to the nose.

Starts of with a roasted malt base, that is rich, though a bit one dimensional. Coffee/chocolate, nothing really stands out. Pick a flavor and it's there, though it doesn't come rushing out. Perhaps that is the overly balanced nature, though I was wanting something a bit more "umph". But, it is a very earthy, slightly roasted porter. Well balanced. A nice citrusy finish.

Clean, slightly watered down mouthfeel. ABV is unknown but slight, a very quaffable porter. Mild carbonation. Smooth finish.

 840 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

The Pile O' Dirt Porter may be my favorite offering from Crow Peak. The beer pours an opaque dark with off white head that is leaving only a spotty lace. The scent has molasses and slight vanilla vibe. The taste is a well balanced easy to drink porter. Vanilla and some roasty espresso are present. The mouthfeel is medium in body with smooth carbonation. Overall this is a decent porter.

 394 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Pile O' Dirt Porter from Crow Peak Brewing
85 out of 100 based on 49 ratings.