People's Porter
Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing

People's PorterPeople's Porter
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Porter - American
Ranked #1,094
Ranked #46,838
3.29 | pDev: 20.67%
Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing
California, United States
People's PorterPeople's Porter
Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 29 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by drgonzo2k2:
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drgonzo2k2 from California

3/5  rDev -8.8%

Sep 16, 2013
More User Reviews:
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BuckeyeNation from Iowa

2.56/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Dark mahogany brown that proves to be *just barely* opaque with bright sunlight behind the pint glass. Reddish orange accents can be seen along the bottom edge and several fingers of golden beige foam form a frothy puddle up top. Nice lace too.

While this isn't one of the best smelling coffee porters in the craft beer world, all the pieces are in place. Those two components are pretty well-balanced, with roasted/chocolate malt having the slight power advantage. Something 'off' in the background makes me think that the flavor could be in trouble.

The Peoples' Organic Coffee Porter might be the best Santa Cruz Mountain beer that I've had so far. That doesn't mean that it's good, just that the others are so bad. IPA is quite possibly the worst IPA in history, Devout Stout doesn't have a prayer, and Dread Brown Ale... well, you can write that joke yourself.

This beer probably benefits from having its more egregious sins covered, to some extent, by the roasted coffee. It tastes like the base porter is undermalted and has an offputting carob mixed with sour fruit flavor. On second thought, this beer is no better than the best of the others (Devout and Dread). Let's make that 'the least bad' of the others.

The body/mouthfeel is too thin, doesn't hold up very well from beer entry to beer exit, and contains carbonation that doesn't appear to be interested in doing its job. Guess what? I'm losing interest at a rapid rate my ownself.

Some craft brewers (maybe most) believe that some (maybe most) organic ingredients are inferior to their non-organic counterparts. That seems to be the case with The Peoples' Organic Coffee Porter because it has major issues in the flavor department. I'm amazed that these guys can stay in business in the land of Russian River, Bear Republic, Sierra Nevada, Anchor, Stone, AleSmith, The Lost Abbey, Alpine, The Bruery, Ballast Point, Green Flash, Firestone Walker, Lagunitas, North Coast...

Sep 22, 2009
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bradybeer from California

3.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque dark brown with quickly disappearing head. Coffee is present in the aroma as is are the hops. Because this beer is brewed with coffee you expect it in the taste-and it is there but I don't think it dominates the palate. Some hop bitterness in the finish as is some astringency, which I find it a little off putting. Beer is on the thin side and mouthfeel reflects this. A 22oz of this is enough-drinkability is OK. I wonder why use coffee-it does add something to the beer but it doesn't seem to add enough to the beer to warrant its use.

Jul 03, 2009
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czechsaaz from Washington

2.8/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Aroma has some roast coffee but also has a funk that I associate with sour beers. Kind of a brett. aroma. Underneath is some roast malt and just a hint of hops.

Deep dark brown colored with no light getting through when held up to a bulb. Very small head initially that ends up as a tiny layer with no lacing.

Flavor is very roasty and also has a hint of bitter that is either way over steeped coffee or a crazy yeast funk. It's kind of unpleasant. Hop bitterness is pretty high too. So as a porter, the hops blow out the normal roast profile I'd expect and as a coffee beer it tastes like coffee that's been in the pot on the warmer for quite a while.

Body is medium full and the carbonation is appropriate for a porter.

Overall, I don't dig it.

Jul 29, 2010
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Diomede from California

2.75/5  rDev -16.4%

Mar 27, 2012
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ffejherb from Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bomber on 4/4/10.

A - Poured a deep cocoa brown color with a thin but creamy tan head that reduced to a patchy veil and a bit of spotty lace.

S - Aroma blends light coffee roast, lactos and quite a dominant nutty astringent character. A hint of vanilla and faint earthy, herbal hop notes round out the aroma profile.

T - Opens with a slightly sour, somewhat astringent nutty character with a faint coffee presence, but then segues into an earthy, herbal hop affair midway through, accompanied by a hint of milky lactic sweetness. Finishes reminiscent of coffee ice cream with subtle vanilla and chocolate notes.

M - Mouthfeel is pretty thin and watery overall with quite a bit of bristly character on the tongue. Finishes with a hint of astringency and residual sweetness on the palate.

D - Pretty decent coffee porter that gets lost in the shuffle when compared to other coffee juggernauts. However, I did find the finish rather pleasant, albeit quite different and ultimately sweeter than most other coffee porters.

Apr 15, 2010
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Kegatron from Pennsylvania

2.36/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

The pour is a very deep brown (a good bit of ruby comes through the body as I hold it up to the light), with 1 1/2 fingers of frothy mocha colored head. This retains with a thinnish creamy layer that leaves a smooth foamy cascade of lace behind. The aroma is earthy herbals hops and some chocolate roast up front, wiht a burnt coffee character across the back that reeks of acrid smokiness. The sweetness of the malts and roast actually give this a bit of a smokey molasses texture in the nose at times.

The taste is fairly even mix of dark roast and some sweetness from cocoa, caramel malts, and some earthy citrus. Much like the aroma, the coffee comes out in a flush across the back but unfortunately, it is once again coming off as too burnt and bitter with an almost acrid tasting sourness to it. Some spicy hops ride through the flavor but it's that rather unappetizing astringent coffee that carries into the finish. The motuhfeel is medium bodied with a moderate amount of sharpness to the carbonation which lays on top of a more smooth and sleek feel underneath.

Well when you call yourself a Coffee Porter, then it's most likely that it's going to be the coffee that either makes or breaks you. And break this does, possessing some of the worst coffee character that I've experienced in a while. It was tough to get through half of this bomber, much less the whole thing.

Mar 16, 2010
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t0rin0 from California

4/5  rDev +21.6%

Dec 28, 2012
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illidurit from California

3.28/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the keg for a super bowl party. Poured into a pint glass. Deep but clear brownish black with a cocoa colored frothy head. Great retention. Aroma is sweetened coffee with some roast. Flavor is sweetish up front with bakers chocolate, and roasty on the finish with a slight sour mash note. A little weak midpalate. Astringent on the tongue but not distractingly so. Drinkable but lacking in depth.

Feb 08, 2009
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Overlord from California

1.59/5  rDev -51.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Thanks to arbitrator and friend for the brew. My review will not be indicative of my gratitude.

Pours a brownish, blackish sort of ... ah, never mind. Let's cut to the chase.

Beer smells okay, if a bit raw and bracing with coffee and charred malt. It's the flavor that's a trainwreck. Just astringently, raw, and unacceptably chemically bitter coffee with burnt malt and a chocolate that seems artificial and also too unpleasantly acrid.

Just an undrinkable mess. It takes a lot for me to drainpour the majority of a bomber, but I did with this one.

Sep 13, 2009
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charlzm from California

2/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Consumed June 30th, 2012 at the brewery. Reviewed from notes.

Cloudy medium brown: nearly opaque.

Strong aromas of ash and coffee grounds.

Flavor as nose, but thin and watery with low bitterness. Probably a good thing.


Just not a good beer at all.

Jan 07, 2013
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LXIXME from New Mexico

3/5  rDev -8.8%

Oct 26, 2014
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DoubleJ from Wisconsin

3.31/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

"What do you mean 'you people'?" With a label that's decorated like the 4th of July, one assumes that the two beverages in this drink, coffee and beer, are very American indeed. 22 ounces of beer coming, and on to it we go:

This porter features an obsidian black color with occasional hues of brown. The head formation is fine, retention is medicore, lacing is minimal.I'm taken by the aroma, as it's a huge kick of fresh roasted coffee beans. True, some beers aren't shy to show off the coffee, and this is done is an appealing way. In addition to coffee notes, dark chocolate and roast arise.

Something is lost in transition. Perhaps not. THe coffee aspect comes out in spades, but it's just coffee. Where's the porter foundation? The coffee notes are raw and roasted.A hint of cola come from whatever porter base is there. It's body is lighter than average, and it has some sparkling carbonation.

Good coffee, boring porter. I had no problems drinking it though.

Sep 17, 2012
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djeucalyptus from Oregon

3.75/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had this on tap several times and I was ecstatic to hear rumors of its bottling, and even more stoked to finally find a bomber.

A vigorous pour yields a meager quarter-finger head of a mocha color that quickly fades to a foamy collar, depositing foam lacing sporadically down the glass. The brew itself is a rich dark coffee brown with garnet highlights at the edges.

Aroma is wow. Coffee, coffee, and more coffee. And a bit of porter mixed in there. Rich dark malt laced with fresh ground coffee beans. Fairly straightforward without a ton of depth, but the coffee aromas exuding from the brew are almost heavenly.

As if there was any doubt, there's definitely some coffee in there. Rich malt up front, with some bittersweet cocoa and bitter coffee kicking in quickly. The full spectrum of coffee flavors is in there, from fresh roasted beans to day-old bitter coffee... interesting. hops kick in at the finish, leaving an almost citrusy, sour note that i'm not quite sure about.

Carbonation is lighter than anticipated, verging on flat. A bit more carbonation would really help the creaminess, which hides in the background. A pleasant lingering coffee bitterness finishes without a sticky or slickness.

All in all, not a bad brew with a healthy dose of coffee. The mouthfeel is a bit disappointing and the flavors feel just a touch unfinished, but on the whole, it's a solid porter. A pretty good (if not one of the better) coffee porters out there. Definitely worth a shot.

Dec 10, 2008
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RunDWP from California

3.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Today, I'm going to tell you about one of the stronger offerings I've had from the organic folks over in Santa Cruz. It's their People's Porter. The people, united, will never be defeated, and if they have some of this brew, it will certainly help.

Opening the botle, there was a barely audible gasp, suggesting the very low level of carbonation to come. It poured a very dark brown, nearly black into my tulip, with a wispy light brown head. Not a lot of sheeting action on the glass. Smell and taste was dominated by fresh bitter coffee, with some malt underneath. No sweetness detected, which works for this kind of brew. Not a very complex brew, but a fresh, slightly lively straightforward one works for me. Like all the Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery offerings I've had, there is a sourness to it. The good news about this one is that it was buried under all the coffee and malt goodness. Still, it is there.

Mouth feel is a little flat, as in the carbonation level of this one, and just a bit watery. Drinkability is good, and it was easy to sip despite the slight sour note.

Bomber bottle bought at the SCMB tap room, Feb. 2009.

Mar 09, 2009
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Docer from Washington

3.07/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Grabbed a bomber to try... pulled right out of my 55 deg. F cooler...

- Dark brown, can't see through it in my tumbler... quick small amount of head... down to the slightest little bit of a dusting... not much in the looks department.

- Bright almost tart malt notes, some coffee and chocolate notes with a touch of sweet oats.... bitter bright hopping.. grassy and earthy.

- Bitter coffee... interesting sweet oats and odd toffee flavors blended in here... almost a soaked soggy oat flavor with serious bitter hops and a zesty finish. Grassy for sure...

- Chalky... very chalky... like a very fine dust of bitter coffee and grain floating around...

- Overall interesting, but just doesn't cut it. I am surprised this made it in a bottle.... but on tap I am sure it is ok for the locals..

Nov 09, 2010
GDBEERMAN from Colorado

2.92/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into Bruges Tulip. Batch#100811
A: The pour was forceful, but still very low head formation and retention fizzled off very quickly. The body is a nice dark brown, with a hint of light coming through. Lacing is minimal and overall a weak visual presentation.
(Second half of bottle poured a bit better of a head formation, but retention still lacking.)

S: From the pour I could smell the hint of coffee. The coffee is present, but not over powering. The slight roasted aspect of the porter is well balanced, but in whole a bit low on all aromatic qualities.

T/M: The front is a light bodied porter, with a slight juicy undertone. The flavor is well played with the use of coffee and adds a nice layer to the beer. The carbonation is low and good for style, but the light end of the mouthfeel, does not leave much lingering character. A sort of bland, watery mouthfeel and body texture. The finish is short, but somewhat refreshing.

O: Overall, not something that I would seek out or for that matter go back to. The use of coffee was nice, but I feel that it may have been brewed with coffee, as the java imparts a bitterness aspect that I don't find to appealing, a cold steep for flavor and not bitterness would be more ideal(this method could have been used).

May 06, 2011
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AgentMunky from New York

4.15/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a St. Bernardus. Pretty old (four months?) but I remember loving it on-tap at the brewery.

A: Deep black, with effervescent head. Opaque and brooding.

S: Amazingly fresh and vibrant coffee, almost as good as Péché Mortel or 8-Wired Batch 31. Sweet and sticky with some licorice. Excellent and deep.

T: Very nice, considering the style and strength. Lightly roasted, with a stale coffee finish. A bit meaty and/or nutty. A porterish porter.

M: Thin and almost watery. A bit flat, and definitely a letdown from the awesome smell.

O: Overall, an impressive and successful effort! Highly recommended. Would have again.

Sep 09, 2012
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falc0n2600 from California

4.25/5  rDev +29.2%

Jun 13, 2014
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mctizzz from California

3.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Sep 23, 2013
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baybassboy from California

3.25/5  rDev -1.2%

May 14, 2013
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Texasfan549 from Texas

3.75/5  rDev +14%

Feb 18, 2014
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jesus808 from California

3.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Apr 26, 2013
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Chou from Oregon

2.75/5  rDev -16.4%

Jul 01, 2012
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Hacksaw34 from Colorado

5/5  rDev +52%

Oct 26, 2012
People's Porter from Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing
Beer rating: 80 out of 100 with 29 ratings