Board Meeting
Port Brewing

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Style:
Brown Ale - American
Ranked #11
ABV:
8%
Score:
93
Ranked #2,343
Avg:
4.17 | pDev: 8.39%
Reviews:
124
Ratings:
672
From:
Port Brewing
 
California, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  58
Gots
  80
SCORE
93
Outstanding
Notes: An amplified brown ale, the beer is brewed with liberal additions of coffee from local San Diego roasters, Ryan Brothers, and cocoa nibs sourced from famed San Francisco chocolate maker TCHO.
Reviews: 124 | Ratings: 672 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Ryan15
Ryan15 from New Jersey

4.71/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

L: dark color typical of a brown ale. It has a lighter body than a stout or porter so it looks similar to soda.
S: The smell is fantastic. Coffee, chocolate, caramel aroma.
T: Delicious. I am not very experience with brown ales but its very good. The cocoa nibs are delicious and pronounced. Coffee flavor is well balanced. Port describes the brew including a “liberal dose of coffee” from a San Francisco brewery. So be care if you drink this at night. Those sensitive to coffee will feel the effects of the alcohol and caffeine especially at 8 ABV. For a higher ABV the alcohol is extremely well blended and almost unnoticeable.
F: the feel I wasn't loving mainly because for such a rich, layered and heavy beer I was expecting a fuller body. The chocolate, coffee, caramel and the carbonation with the lighter body does not feel good initially. Good thing the taste is fantastic.
Overall: very well layered, delicious brown ale. Great for a day on the beach. Not recommended at night unless at a party, or in the morning for obvious reasons. Definitely give it a try!

Jun 17, 2020
Photo of dsa7783
dsa7783 from New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Single 16 ounce can copped from Total Wine and More in Union. Pours a cocoa brown hue with moderate frothing. Assertive aroma rendolent of chocolate and mocha. Similar overall flavor profile. Up there...

Jun 05, 2020
Photo of BB1313
BB1313 from Ohio

3.82/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

16oz can poured into a tulip. Pours a dark brown with a creamy dark khaki head that falls leaving great retention and sticky lacing. The aromas have some caramel, chocolate, vanilla and coconut. The coffee is mild in the aroma department, but it still smells pretty good. Malts are there. The flavors basically follow the nose. More caramel and chocolate. More hints of vanilla and coconut. The coffee is subtle, but noticeable and ultimately accentuates and ties everything together. Low bitterness. It's slightly sweet, but nothing crazy. Solid malt backbone. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's slick, creamy, fluffy, smooth and dangerously drinkable.

This is a nice brown ale. The coffee is balanced and doesn't exactly dominate, but it's still pretty flavorful. The aromas and flavors both open up as it slightly warms. It's enjoyable and fun to drink. I like it.

Jan 14, 2020
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rex_4539 from Greece

4.16/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Very dark brown color, one finger light brown head, ok lacing, light carbonation.

S: Caramel, chocolate, coffee.

T: Caramel, chocolate, coffee.

F: Medium bodied, lots of flavor.

O: Tasty beer. Would gladly have it again.

Oct 01, 2019
Photo of barnzy78
barnzy78 from Illinois

4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16oz can, date stamped "FRESHEST 07/31/19". A tall frothy light brown head slowly fades atop a dark brown body. Sweet aroma hinting at cocoa nibs, coffee, caramel & dark malt. Plenty of malt character with notes of grain, caramel, brown sugar, and cocoa nib along with some earthy hops and a good dose of coffee; faint cherry-like fruitiness comes through here and there (alcohol esters?). Fuller body, moderate carbonation, alcohol more present than I'd like it to be; balanced finish. Not quite as good as expected, but definitely worth the try. Glad I bought a 4-pack because it will be a good one to come back to very soon.

Sep 27, 2019
Photo of q33jeff
q33jeff from New Jersey

4.34/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

**
10/05/15

On tap at blend. Dark black pour. Much Darker than I would expect for a brown ale. Looks more like a porter. Medium tan head. Aroma is toasted barley, coffee, chocolate. Taste is barley, rice, coffee, hints of dark fruit.

**

Aug 10, 2019
Photo of Amendm
Amendm from Rhode Island

4.16/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 16-oz can needed an average pour for a finger of tan rocky froth with a creamy top.
Short retention and almost no lace. Opaque dark rosewood brown, almost black.
Big smell of coffee and chocolate with caramel and roasted malt and faint hops.
The taste follows the nose with increased hop flavor and bitterness, neutral on sweetness, the coffee, chocolate and malts blend nicely. The finish is semi-dry and quite bitter, roasted grains and bitter hops linger. Medium body, below average carbonation. Rich, smooth, alcohol is well hidden. High ABV for the style, a candidate for an Imperial Brown category.
Porter-like in looks and taste, the label states " Coffee brown ale with cacao nibs", it works.

Jul 11, 2019
Photo of RyanK252
RyanK252 from California

4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Can poured into a Founders Brewing Co snifter

A: Pours nearly black with a frothy tawny brown head that settles to a light layer and laces nicely.

S: Toasty, roasty, smooth coffee, big dark chocolate, nutty, earthy, light floral and peppery herbal notes, and caramel sweetness.

T: Toasty nutty side jumps out first and is quickly followed by the roasty side, big dark chocolate, smooth coffee, hints of vanilla, earthy, light underlying floral and spicy herbal notes, rounded out with toffee sweetness.

M: Full body, moderate carbonation, slightly creamy.

O: Seems like this is verging on brown porter territory, which I'm quite OK with. Very well done beer.

Jun 23, 2019
Photo of JRed
JRed from New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown in body with khaki head that stays. Aroma of cocoa, cinnamon, coffee, earth, some grass. Tastes of cocoa, dark chocolate, cinnamon, earth, burnt rolls, light grass with some bitterness. Heavy bodied with medium carbonation.

Apr 28, 2019
Photo of TheSixthRing
TheSixthRing from California

4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From tasting notes 01/09/18
Had on-tap at Banker's Hill in the San Diego airport, Sand Diego, CA

A - Served up in a pint, dark cola brown with a thin, broken layer layer of suds found floating atop. A few broken lines and spotting make up the lacing.

S - Strong aroma, with equal amounts of chocolate and roasty qualities. Slight earthy undertone.

T - Rich, assertive flavor. Super chocolatey with a hint of roast and earthy nuttiness; fudge brownie comes to mind. Finish is much the same.

M - Full-bodied with fair, tingly carbonation. Thick and chewy throughout. Drying finish.

O - Really tasty double brown from Port here. Tastes familiar. Maybe similar to Mammoth's double brown ale?

May 26, 2018
Photo of mkh012
mkh012 from Colorado

4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

"Freshest by" date is 4 months away. For a coffee beer I'd definitely prefer a "Bottled on" date, but something's better than nothing.

Near-black with a finger of off-white head.

The nose reminds me a lot of the Cigar City Café con Leche I had yesterday. Coffee, maple, chocolate. Liquid breakfast.

The taste hits on similar notes. This beer's biggest strength is probably that it's 8% ABV and drinks like it's 6%. Coffee, milk chocolate, and raisin ride atop a medium mouthfeel. There's a little bit of a copper/metallic note mid-palate that takes the taste from exceptional to good, but it seems to fade as my palate adjusts and the beer warms up a little. In fact, as I approach the halfway point of the bomber this note is basically nonexistent. Also, maybe I have yesterday's Café Con Leche in my head, but this drinks more like a milk stout than a brown ale. That being said, I'm not one to obsess over classification. This tastes good, so I'm on board with it.

Overall, this grew on me. It's very easy-drinking for the ABV and ultimately a beer I'd get again. 8+/10

Feb 19, 2018
Photo of drdiesel9483
drdiesel9483 from Ohio

4.26/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look - really dark brown with Sticky lacing
Smell - incredibly toasty maltiness
Taste - toasty caramel goodness
Feel - medium light body and creamy carbs
Overall - yummy fantastic beer

Jan 21, 2018
Photo of Lone_Freighter
Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a clear mug.
The appearance was a dark brown color with a finger and a half's worth of eggshell white foamy head that clung fairly nice. Seemed to spider web a little bit in a nice semi-thick foamy sort of coating which was a fantastic look, in my opinion.
The aroma had a rich sweet authentic sweet to roasty coffee bean scent up front touching down on some sweet roasted nuts (somewhat pecan-like) and then a sweet dark breadiness. Some faint cocoa powder at the very end.
The flavor was moderately sweet with a substantial roastiness trying to invade for a stealthy balance. That cocoa powder enriches yet gives off a faint dryness and seemed to quell some of that pecan nuttiness. Light aftertaste of the sweet side of the coffee bean and cocoa powder.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fair sessionability about it. Carbonation felt exactly as it should for an American Brown Ale. ABV felt as projected. Finish was crisp sweet smooth nutty to semi-dry with a touch of the cocoa powder.
Overall, what an absolutely wonderful coffee brown ale that I would love to have again.

Nov 26, 2017
Photo of Zythophile
Zythophile from District of Columbia

3.96/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle Date: none, purchased seven months ago
Palate Contaminants: other beer

Look is very dark, but still noticeably brown. Slight amount of tan head.

First smell is fresh, nearly green coffee beans. I don't get a whole lot of chocolate, it's more some sort of lactic cocoa. Dark dried fruit, plums and figs.

The taste has even more coffee, unfortunately it's acidic, burnt black coffee. It somewhat turns into bitter dark chocolate, but the diminution was already well underway. Aged tobacco is in the background, so maybe I should have complemented this with a cigar. Mahogany wood is in there, too. The sweetness is more toward burned sugar (like a very dark rum) than any dried, dark pit fruit. Individually, the flavors seem to make it sound better than it is, mostly because that burnt coffee is pervasive.

Feel is a bit thin for the type. Carbonation could be better integrated. The aftertaste is bitter charred barrel. Again, it might actually go nicely with something else, but it doesn't stand particularly well on its own.

Nov 05, 2017
Photo of zeff80
zeff80 from Missouri

4.02/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out a clear, brown color with a one-finger tan head of foam. It smelled of caramel and roasted malt. A hint of coffee. Sweet caramel malt with subtle chocolate flavors and light bitterness.

Feb 11, 2017
Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
Eamonn-Cummings3 from New York

4.29/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Look is a lot darker than I expected almost full opaque black with an inch tan head.

Lots of sweet roast in the aroma of chocolate and coffee.

Taste is like a brown sugar coffee. Absolutely delicious. Looking forward to sipping this as it warms up.

Nov 23, 2016
Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
AWolfAtTheDoor from Washington

4.44/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Semi-literally unearthed this from the back of the fridge. Bottled date of 2/4/2013 (nearly 3.5 years old at this point).

Dark body, gorgeous dark tan cream colored head that was 2.5" thick. I got a little heavy handed with the pour into my BA Sam Adams perfect pint glass and had to suck down some of the foam. Head dissipates, but nice thick ring sits on top of the beer throughout the session.

Enticing chocolate bomb of an aroma. Subtle coffee notes in there as well.

This beer is SMOOTH. Coffee, chocolate, and to a lesser extent caramel round out the flavor. Not sure if this beer was ever hoppy, but it sure isn't at this point. Not a bad thing, and honestly I'm glad there's not much there. Late emerging fusel alcohol flavors. I'm betting the beer has continued to ferment slightly in the bottle these past 3+ years I've waited to drink it.

Beer seems a hair over carbonated for my taste, but again I'd say the culprit is the additional fermentation.

Overall a tremendous beer. If you like coffee or chocolate, this is a must have. I can't wait to go back to CA and try a fresh one. If I was me, I'd buy several and drink them at different intervals.

Jul 21, 2016
Photo of KTCamm
KTCamm from New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

4/25/15....deep in the notes archives. Very dark brown tan foam. Nutty coffee nose. Little sweet, with coffee mixed in for effect. Firm bitter, gritty too. Good, but bitter keeps some away.

Jul 04, 2016
Photo of JJKBeerLvr
JJKBeerLvr from Pennsylvania

4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into pint glass in February 2016. The'bottled by' date on the bottle was April 2015.

Appearance: Very dark brown with nice thick dark tan head. Just a little lacing on the side of the glass.

Smell: Pleasant, with smell of chocolate and caramel, but there is also some aroma of roasted malts, and a little vanilla and hops as well.

Taste: There is a strong coffee and roasted malt flavor, but it was not too sweet. It is balanced from a bitterness from the hops. There is also a little hint of chocolate. It is a great balance that is not too bitter, nor too sweet. It is very creamy and smooth. The balance between the flavors is great, and not dominated by anything.

Mouthfeel: This beer is very smooth and creamy with a nice aftertaste that is not too bitter or sweet. It is a strong beer, which confirms the 8.5% alcohol on the label.

This is a very good brown ale. You will enjoy it if you like a smooth, bold flavors.

Feb 27, 2016
Photo of the_awesometeer
the_awesometeer from California

4.67/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours dark brown with a very nice thick head that laced my glass the whole way down. The strong smell of coffee with hints of chocolate and malts fill the nose and the taste follows the smell. Nice, thick, and smooth is very good beer.

Nov 07, 2015
Photo of BillRoth
BillRoth from Maryland

4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big pleasant surprise. Not a Brown Ale fan very often, but this one doesn't follow the rules. Board Meeting is kinda the curl less taken. Big full beer that boasts coffee and chocolate highlights in a big robust brown. Has many characteristics of a big porter or even stout...but the flavor is clearly a brown...a nice complex one...but hops and malts are definitely in the brown ale wheel house.
Probably too much for those who enjoy the classic style, but for me who loves a big creamy brew with lots of flavors...well, sign me up for more,
Special thanks to Steve for suggesting to try this one.

Oct 19, 2015
Photo of cmq103
cmq103 from New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Flight Sampler at the Blend Bar & Bistro poured into a 4-ounce sample glass. Dark brown in color with a minimal head. Aroma of dark roasted malts and brown sugar. A well-done semi-sweet boozy rendition of the brown ale style. I'd seek this one out again.

Oct 09, 2015
Photo of SoCal_Matt
SoCal_Matt from California

4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

For a brown ale, this is about as good as it gets. Pours a dark brown with a good amount of khaki head that leaves a nice lacing as it goes down. Nose is a nice mix of chocolate and coffee. Taste is similar with semi-sweet chocolate and a bitter, roasted coffee finish. Drinks like a porter/stout with a bit more carbonation. Overall, this is an excellent beer and worth seeking out.

Sep 03, 2015
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Ciocanelu from Romania

4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color with beige head. Aroma has a lot of cacao and some dark sugar notes. Taste has a lot of dark chocolate and some dusty, coffee notes in the finish. Alcohol is pretty well hidden. Nice one.

Sep 02, 2015
Photo of GarrettB
GarrettB from Colorado

3.63/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

October 4th, 2013 - Port Brewing's Board Meeting label perfectly captures the academic life in San Diego - button up shirts, with a trip to the beach after a long day of shuffling documents and writing. But does the beer live up to the dream? The brew is dark, darker than brown, and closer to the hue of coffee, and the nose and flavor work in concert. Both are bold, assertive and strong, and maybe even a little too bitter, exhibiting touches of both coffee and cacao nibs. The coffee blend is spot on - not warped or twisted, but blending harmoniously with the brown ale elements. But it does taste a great deal like black coffee. That's great for caffeine consumers like me who take our coffee from the barista and whisk it past the sugar packets. But if you fear that au naturale taste, there might be echoes of that here.

Jul 17, 2015
Board Meeting from Port Brewing
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 672 ratings