Board Meeting
Port Brewing

Board MeetingBoard Meeting
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American Brown Ale
Ranked #11
Ranked #2,139
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.
Reviews: 119 | Ratings: 657
Photo of WunderLlama
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into chalice

Black liquid. Dense , frothy taupe lid with nice lacings

Aroma of dark chocolate and roast coffee,

First sip of chocolate on the tip of the tongue. Roast coffee on the back of the tongue. Not bitter but not sweet. Decent amount of carbonation.

Interesting beer. A brown ale that plays like a porter or a stout

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Photo of 94Sip
4.56/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought at Total Wine & Spirits while staying in Rancho Mirage. I can only get this when I am out in Cali - please someone help them get this into Texas.

Overall: This does NOT seem like a brown ale to me; more like a porter. But I am glad to see a brewery pushing the boundaries of brown ale and blurring the lines between porter/stout and brown ale. Never seen a brown ale brewed with coffee and cocoa nibs - that is typical stout ingredients.

Look: looks like a porter/stout. Real dark brown with typical tan head. The head poured very creamy looking and stuck around for most of each glass that I poured.

Smell: lots of coffee, and a very smooth coffee at that.

Taste: Immediate taste of a nice medium bodied, evenly roasted coffee. Over time you pick up a good bit of caramel, toffee, and some good chocolate notes. Maybe a little maple syrupy/brown sugar as it warmed up, which was nice to see it change as the temperature changed.

Feel: Again, feels and drinks more like a porter/stout that what I am used to as a brown ale. Good carbonation.

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Photo of spacecake9
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown/black with 1/2" head that settles down quickly.
Aroma is of coffee.
Flavor is coffee and some chocolate.
Medium mouth feel, flavor sticks around for some time.
This is a good Brown Ale. With the addition of coffee and chocolate, I might have guessed this was a porter. Good solid beer but not great.

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Photo of TruePerception
3.65/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Port Brewing's Board Meeting, brown ale, brewed with coffee and cocoa nibs. 8.5% ABV.

A: Pours a dark brown. Over two fingers of lighter cocoa brown head. Black in the glass, with a light golden brown in the dimple. Almost no lacing, and just a touch of sheeting.

S: Lighter bodied coffee aroma dominates. A touch of powdered cocoa in the background. A touch of candy malt.

T/MF: Tastes more like a porter than a brown ale. Slightly soft on the palate, but with a decent carbonation at the same time. More of that lighter coffee. Just a hint of dark chocolate.

Not a bad start to the evening, though not an amazing beer by any stretch. Just quite solid.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

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Photo of Sam-VW
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%

A - very dark brown, almost black with a big tan coloured head. Retains well leaving rings of lacing on the sides of the glass

S - Chocolate, Hazlenut, roasty coffee. Some dark fruits.

T - Bitter coffee, dark chocolate, Bready notes, Hazlenut and Dark Fruits. A little citrusy hop on the aftertaste.

M - medium bodied with medium/high carbonation. Finishes medium dry.

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Photo of Thehuntmaster
3.85/5  rDev -7.7%

650ml bottle
Served chilled in a snifter

Appearance: The beer appears a very dark brown in the glass, with a backlight revealing a a thick slice of deep red along the edges of the glass. A rough pour yields a massive tan coloured head that displays good retention and leaves great looking rings of lacing as it recedes. 4.5

Smell: The initial nose is dominated by cocoa and coffee with a light underlying sweetness. As the beer begins to warm, toasty malt, a certain breadiness and a dark fruity character emerge. There is no trace of the 8,5% noted in the nose. 4

Taste: The flavour is quite a lot more bitter than I expected and as with the nose, is dominated by cocoa and coffee. Other notes include: Toasted malt, a bready quality, dark fruits, a yeasty note and the faintest hint of hops. 3.75

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and sadly well over carbonated. After some serious swirling the carbonation is at a more manageable level and relatively smooth. 3.25

Overall: Board Meeting is a really solid brown ale, however I think a lowering of the level of carbonation and a little less bitterness would be a big improvement. 3.75

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a fudge brown color capped by a frothy mocha head a few strands of lace dot the side of the glass

Smell: Fudge, toasted brown bread and a touch of coffee

Taste: Toasted brown bread smeared with chocolate, up front, with the coffee adding another element, after the swallow; brown sugar sweetness lingers in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I doubt that anybody would pick this as a brown ale in a blind tasting but whatever style you want to call it, it is an enjoyable beer

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Photo of TheMagnanimous
4.72/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

22 oz bomber poured into snifter (no one cares). Appearance is more black than brown. It's not an American Brown Ale by BJCP standards or flavor profile. More like a very drinkable 8.5% Robust Porter for me. The aroma is to die for if you're a coffee lover.

The genius here is instead of using a lot (or any) roasted malts, they brewed an imperial brown ale and kept it fairly dry and quaffable, but used the cacao nibs and coffee to give it the flavor of a robust porter or stout. You would think an 8.5% dark beer would be a sipper, but I found it very easy to drink.

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Photo of chinchill
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the Lost Abbey Brewery in San Marcos.

Pours black with a good beige head that soon reduces to a ring and partial coat but leaves some lacing.

Aroma: mostly coffee with a faint malt base.

Flavor: coffee overwhelms the dark malts, but it is rather good coffee.

Feel: medium body; medium carbonation.

O: recommended for coffee lovers

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Photo of bnes09
3.8/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Dark chocolate brown. Sudsy, soda-like head but with good retention.

Rich, dark aroma with tons of cocoa.

Dense roasted malt. Bold coffee. Dark chocolate. Almonds. Wheat toast. Mild earthy hop. Well balanced.

Medium body. A little over carbonated. Grainy texture.

Solid brown ale. I'm used to these types of flavors in porters and stouts but not in brown ales until now. I'm glad Port Brewing has ventured out and taken my taste buds where they haven't been yet.

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Photo of mactrail
3.59/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown in the wine glass with a decent head. Plenty of suds in the mouth. This has a thicker substance with a slick mouthfeel. Nice chocolatey aroma with something herbal.

There is a lot of coffee flavor, though it took me some sipping to realize that's what it was. The bitter chocolate taste is the more powerful. Not much taste of alcohol, but there is a winey hint. An abundance of roast malt and plenty of sweetness. Overall this is a richly flavored smooth brew that is totally drinkable.

Aftertaste is bitter coffee with a hoppy edge. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Ibis Market in Mission Hills.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.06/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on ? date is not readable

A: pours a deep brown with two fingers of fluffy light tan head that fades slowly and leaved decent lacing
S: smells of coffee chocolate and roasted malts
T: taste is coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malt, a slight bitterness from the roast. swallow is coffee forward with a little bit of chocolate and some more roasted malt and a slight hop bitterness to finish the drink
M: this beer sits on the lighter side of medium with fairly active carbonation that flirts with being prickly. the finish on this beer is a little drying
O: This is a nice full flavored brown ale with good flavors and decent complexity. It hits all the right notes and has solid balance.

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Photo of tempest
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Cannery Row Brewing in Monterey. I had no idea this was 8.5%, but it was immediately clear this was a delicious brown ale. The body is relatively light for the weight, I figured this wasn't more than 6 or 6.5%. Isn't of a brown ale's usual slow rolling notes, this beer had pointed notes of cocoa and coffee, dark toasted bread, a couple touches of dark berries, and then more coffee. Easiest one of the biggest brown ales I've ever had. I want more.

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Photo of Omnium
4.06/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at House of 1000 Beers

A - Ruby brown with one finger of khaki head, little lacing.
S - Huge roasty aroma, lots of coffee, some dark chocolate.
T - Bitter coffee grinds, dark earthy hop, roasted malt and dark chocolate.
M - Medium feel, well carbonated, a little lingering bitterness.
O - Good brown the alcohol is well hidden in this one.

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

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Very dark brown with a two-finger head
S: The cocoa nibs and coffee mentioned on the label are prominent aromas (note cocoa nibs not chocolate). After that toasted malt and a bit of toffee
T: Matches the nose perfectly. Bitter cocoa & coffee with some pleasant malted notes
M: Medium-bodied, a bit bitter
O: This beer does a great job of featuring its additions and is quite tasty as such. That being said I feel it could use a bit more hop/alt support for balance as the additions are almost all I taste. That would take it from very good to great. Overall a very well made beer & I enjoyed it

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Photo of StoutItOutLoud
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22-oz poured to tulip, right out of the fridge. Purchased ~4 months ago. Consumed 3-1-2014.

Prime example of the difficulties in "rating to style." The alcohol per volume here exceeds that of the typical american brown ale. More aggressively hopped as well. Appearance screams "stout." IMO, though, it is less hopped (thus, "maltier," sweeter) than the typical (coffee) stout.

A: dark mahogany, almost black, but red at the edges mid pour; 1.5-finger tan head; the head (lacing too) sticks around a long time, dissipating slowly to a thin cap

S: much more potent roasted malts than typical; toffee; faint dark roast coffee

T: ~60-70% semisweet cacao; clearly not milk chocolate, yet (happily) this does not present the "dark fruit" flavors of much higher cacao chocolate bars. moves quickly to a more astringent roast than typical, although that is less pronounced with warming. the immediate aftertaste is of dark roast coffee, but the chocolate returns to the fore later. there's a lot going on here

M: well-carbonated. medium mouthfeel

very solid ale. warms nicely. whether "stout" or "brown ale," this is good

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Photo of thecheapies
3.96/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown. Small layer of bone colored foam. Okay.

Has a great presence of cocoa nibs and roasted coffee and brown ale malts. Reminds me of Cigar City Cubano a little. Nice and deep with complexity and darker notes. Earthy, like African coffee. Awesome.

Coffee-forward with notes of dark cocoa and sweet roasty malts. Has mellowness and fervor with a noticeable alcohol peeking in. A great morning ale, for sure.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.27/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25


Pours opaque black with a fine tan head which retains indefinitely.

Smells of cocoa, brown sugar, roasted coffee, and toasted toffee.

Flavor of cocoa, toffee, roasted coffee, and a light dry hop.

Medium creamy body with a tingling carbonation on the tongue.

Very good, great body, and contains its strength well. Nice flavor and goes down easy. Top notch.

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Photo of sjones5045
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark for a brown ale. Between the look and the smell you would think it was a porter.

The taste is good, but again closer to a porter than a brown ale. Very much roasted malts with a chocolate flavor. The roasted malts take over the back half leaving a bit of a burned out feel.

Overall, pretty good, but not the top of a brown ale class. I would have again but not searching out to find this as a brown ale.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.96/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours dark and menacing with a dark beige head.
The aroma is very roasted with a bit of coffee notes.
The taste is equally roasted like the nose but it's not over done. There is subtle roasted cofee flavor too.
On the palate there is some char and gritt present in the otherwise smooth and silky flow.
All the ports I've had, had been of the IPA style so this porter is a refreshing change of pace. And is equally up to task.

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

This is probably the best brown ale I have ever had. The beer pours a nearly opaque deep rich brownish amber. The ecru head is thick and frothy and is leaving a very nice lace. The smell is rich with earth, peat, espresso, alcohol and chocolate. The taste has almost a tiramisu flare....bread, with mocha balance. The first few sips also carried an alcohol push. The mouthfeel is full bodied with smooth carbonation. Overall this is an excellent beer and should be loved by all who favor brown ales.

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

Picked up a bomber from the San Diego Whole Foods back in late July for $6.99. Bottle date is smudged.

Beer poured cola brown with a nice tan head that is still hanging around.

Nose is roasted coffee and cocoa.

Taste is a big malt base with roasted coffee and dark cocoa. There is enough hopping to keep the sweetness at a minimum. Finish is dry.

Mouthfeel is full and pretty smooth.

Overall this is a delicious beer! There are not a lot of imperial brown ales out there so jump on this if you come across it!

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Photo of emerge077
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to Aaron for this one! Draft serving in a rounded goblet.

Black body, brownish edges in the light. No light seemed to pass through under the dim lighting. Compact light tan head, drippy lace around the edges as the glass was sipped.

Dark roast coffee and cocoa aromas, fairly pungent.

Bitter roasty coffee, dark blend with plenty of char, unsweetened dark chocolate and cocoa as well. Intense coffee that packs a punch. Dry and roasty aftertaste that lingers. Smooth and slightly creamy, though a little thin bodied. Easy drinking, and a pleasantly powerful coffee infused brown ale.

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Photo of Glennlawless
3.77/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a 22 oz specialty glass.

A - Poured a verrry dark brown almost black....with a frothy 3 finger head. you would think this is a stout, holy crap. Very foamy head...about 2 inches over the lip of the glass and not spilling over. holding perfect shape. Nice thick lacing left while drinking.

S - Just getting a mass amount of rich chocolate and espresso. smells good. a minimal of dark fruit comes through along with a touch of alcohol heat.

T - A beer for coffee lovers clearly. tonnns of coffee throughout with little hints of chocolate here and there. that's all im really getting. I love coffee too so....cheers. this beers tasty.

M- Very creamy, smooth, medium-heavy feel. decently carbonated as well.

Overall this is a good winter type brew. Very heavy tho, I could only have one. Just a giant coffee bomb to make a long story short. Very nice.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer. Coffee. Cocoa. Three consumable objects which would make any board meeting less painful. Port Brewing decided to cook up this super juice of a brown ale, but it appears that their idea of a board meeting involves surfers and their surfboards. With 22 ounces, I'm sure to have a good time. On to the beer:

Maybe it's brown, but with a color so dark, it comes out closer to black. A head two inches thick forms on to, retaining well and leaving great lace around. The aroma alone is enough to wake anybody up; strong with fudge, roasted coffee, a bit of cocoa, and a little dose of alcohol.

Board Meeting is basically a two flavor beer. But gosh, both flavors are impressive. First comes a butterscotch/fudge combination and following after is the big roasted coffee note. I thought that I would be drinking something to jump start your day, however it's tasting more like a dessert with a squeeze of booze. Coffee lovers will definitely be all over this, as well as those who want something to pair with their tiramisu.

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Board Meeting from Port Brewing
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 657 ratings