Board Meeting | Port Brewing

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Board MeetingBoard Meeting

Brewed by:
Port Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by MasterSki on 12-25-2012

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Reviews: 110 | Ratings: 631
Photo of bnes09
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
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 -13.3%
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 -1.9%
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 +1%
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 -1.9%
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%
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 +1.9%
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 -4.3%
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 +3.1%
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 -1.4%
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 -4.3%
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 +5.1%
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 +2.4%
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 -2.2%
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 -8.9%
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 -1.4%
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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Photo of BergBeer
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a pint glass

A: Deep opaque brown with a mocha head. No lacing to be seen but good head retention!

S: Deep coffee and chocolate! Smells fantastic! Smells like some fancy coffee drink but better because of the malt at the end.

T: Deep rick roasted coffee cover the whole mouth with hints of semi sweet chocolate, orange, prune, fig , and currant. Slight hop and malt on the finish! Taste great

M: Medium body with good carbonation. Goes down really smooth but thins out as it warms making it have some what of a stale coffee flavor later in the beer but nothing to really make it bad!

O: Great coffee beer! Most coffee beers i have had just have hints of it but this one brings it front and center! Great mix of coffee chocolate and dark fruit also sets this apart and keeps it from being a one dimensional coffee beer! Little disappointed at the weird thinning as warmed but still a great brew!

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Photo of aquazr1
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass. Pours a brownish black with a two finger head. The first note to hit the nose is the cocoa. There is hint of coffee in the background. I like that it isn't over whelming. There is a nice amount of malt that enhances the flavor going down. A very good brown ale. I will be drinking this one again.

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Photo of corby112
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark chestnut brown, almost black color thats completely opaque without even he faintest bit of lighter color.  One finger beige head that quickly settles into a thin, lasting ring.  Spotty lace left behind.

Huge coffee aroma with subtle earthy hops and a lot of roasted and sweet chocolate malt character.  Gourmet roast dominates but it doesn't smell  acid or burnt.  Subtle lactic cream presence with  lactose sugar and silky chocolate cake/fudge.  Smells very good.

Slightly viscous and full bodied with a really nice roasted coffee flavor.  Great roasted espresso/coffee flavor without being burnt or acid.   Creamy with lactose and a silky chocolate malt backbone.  Fudge/dessert-like cake, sweet cocoa, caramel, toffee and hazelnut.   One of the better coffee beers I've had recently.  

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Photo of DonFrap
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a treehouse snifter. Dark brown with a nice 2-3 finger head. Good retention and decent lacing. Smell on this beer is very good. Chocolate comes through like crazy with a nice coffee backup. Taste is strong chocolate also. My issue was with the coffee, kinda weird, not sure what's causing the off taste. I normally love big bitter coffee taste, but not here. Maybe it's just from being shipped of sitting in the fridge for a couple weeks. Maybe fresh is best here.

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Photo of Justin_Neff
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep, dark brown, opaque body. Light brown, 2 finger, pillowy head. Moderate lacing, with very nice retention.

S: Coffee. Vanilla. Chocolate. Hazelnut.

T: Chocolate sweetness upfront. Toffee and caramel with vanilla mix in. Then the strong, black coffee arrives and lingers. It's balanced perfectly.

M: Medium body. Moderately high carbonation. Was hoping for a bit more creamy and full body, but that's just because it pours like a porter. It's really solid body for a traditional brown ale.

O: This was like a chocolate hazelnut flavored coffee. I could drink this for breakfast. The sweet/bitter balance is awesome. I recommend this for everyone.

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Photo of Furlinator
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours opaque dark brown into a pint glass with a half-inch of gorgeous tan head that settles with moderate lacing.

S: Predominantly black coffee (like that of freshly spent grounds), with hints of honey and dark fruit.

T: Again, brewed coffee, subtle chocolate, slight sweetness with minimal bite (from the 8.5% ABV) on the back end.

M: Moderate carbonation, smooth, yet almost creamy.

O: Impressive from the first sip. The coffee flavor is prominent without being overpowering. Alcohol content is masked impressively.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much better than I was expecting, deeper in flavor and more coffee than I expected, while the base beer is a bit richer than your average brown ale. Pours very dark brown, with a thick, cafe and cream colored, creamy head. Lots of rich coffee in the nose as well as a touch of brown sugar and cream. Really nicely balanced tastes of coffee, cream, roasted grain, brown sugar, some earthy hop bitterness, and chewy chocolate notes- like a really good chocolate chip cookie. Still, it drys out a bit at the end. Overall, quite a package of flavor. This sat neglected in my fridge for too long- a very nice beer.

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Photo of jtierney89
3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Extremely deep brown, unable to see through it. 2 fingers of brown tinged, mountainous head. Smells heavily of cocoa and coffee, some chocolate covered espresso beans.

Rather lightly bodied for the amount of alcohol in it. Medium bodied with brisk carbonation, body stays consistent, a little thin upfront, but otherwise pretty rich without being overbearing. Bitter sweet cocoa up front with hints of dark chocolate. Subtle fruity nuances underneath it all. Finishes with a creamy coffee flavor and a very faint bitterness that balances the sweetness. Coffee and cocoa flavors linger. Would make an excellent breakfast beer except for the abv. Very deceptive with it's abv as well. Tastes and drinks like an incredibly complex yet drinkable and flavorful american brown.

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Photo of ocelot2500
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep cola color with a tight, tan head that leaves a ring of lacing.

Smells of deep roasted malts with some sweetness to it.

Tastes of the nice roasted malts with a slight bit of hops. Roasted notes lead off with chocolate, toasted bread, and dark caramel. Has a molasses sweetness underneath it. Oats come through and add a little smoothness and nuttiness to it. Slight earthy hops come through on the backend and compliment everything nicely.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a nice take on an often hard to make style.

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Board Meeting from Port Brewing
4.14 out of 5 based on 631 ratings.
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