Board Meeting
Port Brewing

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American Brown Ale
Ranked #11
Ranked #2,147
4.17 | pDev: 8.15%
Port Brewing
California, United States
Board MeetingBoard Meeting
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.
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Reviews: 121 | Ratings: 660
Photo of rex_4539
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.

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Photo of barnzy78
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.

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Photo of q33jeff
4.34/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25


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.


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Photo of Amendm
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.

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Photo of RyanK252
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.

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Photo of JRed
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.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
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?

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Photo of mkh012
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

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Photo of drdiesel9483
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

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
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.

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Photo of Zythophile
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.

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Photo of zeff80
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.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
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.

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Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
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.

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Photo of KTCamm
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.

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Photo of JJKBeerLvr
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.

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Photo of the_awesometeer
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.

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Photo of BillRoth
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.

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Photo of cmq103
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.

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Photo of SoCal_Matt
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.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
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.

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Photo of GarrettB
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.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

3.5 A: Black color. Two fingers of foamy tan head. Retention is about average and a decent amount of lacing is left.

4.0 S: Coffee and cocoa nibs hit you right from the start. Dry toastiness, pleasantly nutty, with just a hint of caramel.

4.0 T: Taste is like the nose. Coffee, cocoa, toastiness, nuts.

3.75 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Light on the tongue with a bit of creaminess and supremely smooth.

4.0 D: Really enjoying this. Solid all around with great additive flavors.

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Photo of KVNBGRY
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is an amazing brown ale. The look is essentially a stout. The head is a long lasting target employee khaki. The body is the deepest ruby/brown. Aroma is chocolate covered espresso beans. The good kind, not that shit you buy at aforementioned target. The taste is classic brown ale with great coffee notes. Medium bodied, and very drinkable for 8.5%. Well made!

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Photo of IRONRakkasan
3.22/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle.

Was expecting a lighter, thinner brew. Turns out it was quite thick and the taste was approaching an Russian Imperial Stout. While not a bad beer, I felt it would have been more apt under the Russian Imperial Stout style. Ah yes, the brew hid the alcohol well, and tasted better as it warmed.

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Board Meeting from Port Brewing
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 660 ratings