Board Meeting
Port Brewing

Board MeetingBoard Meeting
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American Brown Ale
Ranked #11
Ranked #2,146
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: 121 | Ratings: 660
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.

 866 characters

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.

 1,027 characters

Photo of BergBeer
4.02/5  rDev -3.6%
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!

 918 characters

Photo of aquazr1
4.27/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

 342 characters

Photo of corby112
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
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.  

 817 characters

Photo of DonFrap
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

 488 characters

Photo of Justin_Neff
4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

 665 characters

Photo of Furlinator
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

 525 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

 609 characters

Photo of jtierney89
3.65/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

 772 characters

Photo of ocelot2500
4/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

 574 characters

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

Poured a very dark chocolate-molasses color with a 3 finger head in a stein.

The initial temp was 45F. As the beer warms up, more chocolate is tasted and the finish mellows.

Aroma: light chocolate, coffee, some cocoa.

Mouth feel: very smooth, little carbonation. This enhances the style, which tends to be smoother, and helps to bring out the flavor. A heavy mouth feel on this beer would detract from the flavor.

The taste is a prominent coffee-chocolate.

The finish is malty- a nice addition is hoppy, with mild bitterness: it is more complex than the finish on most brown ales which have a mild taste without a trace of hops and/or bitterness.

Overall - a solid Brown Ale worth trying.

 694 characters

Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is very dark brown in color and close to being opaque. It poured with a half finger high light tan colored head that died down but consistently left a thin head covering the surface and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of nutty malts are present in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of nutty malts with additional notes of roasted coffee beans and hints of cocoa nibs.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very flavorful among brown ales. I liked how you could still smell and taste the nutty malts that are typical of the style and how the coffee and cocoa nibs made the taste a lot more interesting.

 735 characters

Photo of sholland119
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-Pours a deep dark brown with plenty of frothy creamy mocha head and lots of lacing.

S-Some roasty undertones with sweet chocolaty notes. Very appealing. Seems like a chocolate stout maybe.

T-Tasty indeed. Nice malty sweetness, medium roast, chocolate and some slight soda sweetness underneath. I like this quite a bit.

M-Light side of medium bodied, moderate carbonation. Very pleasant going down.

O-Really a nice beer overall. Great combination of malt and chocolate and some coffee.


 498 characters

Photo of Brushkanna
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - great dark stout look with minimal lacing
S - morning coffee & toast smell
T - coffee stout with some dark brown toast and unsweetened caramel
M - lasting dark roasted coffee feel I can feel it on the inside of my cheeks
O - well rounded dark brown porter lstyle beer with coffee overtones

 296 characters

Photo of jeffjeff1
3.69/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- dark brown color, nice thick head, nice lacing, pretty dark for a brown ale

Smell- very malty

Taste- chocolatey, malty

Mouthfeel- medium to full bodied

Drinkability- I thought it was pretty good. I would have it again but I usually don't drink brown ales. Very good for a brown ale though

 304 characters

Photo of weeare138
4.04/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appears a deep, dark brown with a fluffy tan head that slowly settles down in the glass. Scattered tidbits of lacing cling to the glass.
Smell is of toasted nuts, candied almonds, vanilla, cocoa, espresso, and perhaps a touch of toasted coconut topped macaroons with brown sugar.
Flavor is of the aromas with a flavorful punch of nutty, gourmet espresso going on. To me, there is something exotic about this beer. Complex, and soothing.
Mouthfeel is spritzy on the palate, with the mocha flavors coming through and battling with the co-bitters/acid of the hops, which sort of thrashes the tastebuds a little bit.
Overall, I enjoyed this beer a lot. I think I would prefer the carbonation slightly dialed down because I believe this should be a digestif but that is my only complaint.

 783 characters

Photo of xnicknj
3.99/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

on tap at race street cafe - served in tulip

Opaque, deep brown, near blacked out pour with a creamy froth of tanned head resting on top. Filmy retention sits, leaving a few patches of lacing on the glass.

Intensely roasty and warm in the nose with plenty of espresso beans, cocoa powder and semi-sweet chocolate. Hints of caramel and nuttiness with a soft warm glow.

Warm and mildly sweet up front, powered by baker's chocolate, cocoa powder and roasted nuttiness. Espresso beans, mild coffee flavor and layers of malt. Touches of caramel and dark chocolate towards the back end, finishing a sweet and warm.

Medium body, slightly milder carbonation, smooth and chewy on the tongue. An interesting beer that tip toes down the lines of brown ale, imperial brown ale and stout.

 782 characters

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

huge, rich, creamy, honey-tan billow on pour with dark brown body below.
coffee, chocolate smell.
coffee, chocolate taste. bitter. baking chocolate remnant left behind on the side of the tongue.
overall, decent. it looks beautiful upon pour. the smell is nice and the taste definitely follows. has a good abv. not my preferred style, but very good regardless...

 362 characters

Photo of Chico1985
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour to a tulip glass is pretty much black with a good-sized tan head. It stays at at least a half-finger. Good lacing.

Smell is promising and quite delicious, certainly coffee+cocoa forward, with some nuts and roastiness to it.

Taste follows suit, lovin' the big roasted coffee and cocoa nibs, but a little overpowering. A good amount of nutty malts and caramel, slight roast and some hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel has is good, with nice, high-ish carbonation. Was expecting something a little bigger/maltier feeling given the style+ABV but this was fine. Some alcohol with warmth but quite hidden.

Definitely tasty, if you like a good coffee/cocoa combo it's hard not to enjoy this - though the flavors are a little tolling/one-note it is pretty solid overall. I'll probably purchase this again sometime.

 806 characters

Photo of Jree261
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance-Dark brown, almost black with a toffee foam.

Smell-Coffee, chocolate, mocha, vanilla.

Taste-Same as the smell with blue and black fruit and tobacco subtly on the end.

Mouthfeel-Lighter than what I would expect from a black beer like this but still fairly heavy. Finish is good but I would like it to be longer.

Overall-Excellent beer. One of the ones I bought when I was at the brewery in San Marcos last month. Definitely a standout in the Port lineup.

 468 characters

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 2/4/2013. Pours nearly pitch black dark brown color with a 2 finger dense khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of chocolate, roasted coffee, cocoa, caramel, biscuit, toast, toffee, nuttiness, light floral, and toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark malt, cocoa, and coffee notes; with good strength. Taste of chocolate, roasted coffee, cocoa, caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, nuttiness, light floral, and toasted earthiness. Lingering notes of chocolate, coffee, caramel, cocoa, toast, toffee, biscuit, nuttiness, and toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of malt, cocoa, and coffee flavors; with nice robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent imperial brown ale. All around nice balance and complexity of dark malt, cocoa, and coffee flavors; and very smooth to drink for the gravity. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,238 characters

Photo of jdhowe
3.65/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, date 2/? ... best guess is 2/13 bottling date, but I'm not sure.

A: Pours a drak brown, with a thin clarity to it showing lots of light while pouring. A bit of light passes through the edges of the glass showing a light brown color, mostly clear. 1/2 finger of tan head dissipates to a spotty film.

S: Cocoa and coffee dominate this, unsurprisingly. Roastiness, smokiness, and malt are also evident, alongside something that is a little sour or tart, almost like a sharp tart fruit. Overally pleasant.

T: Right up front with lots of coffee. Following is the roastiness, malt, sweetness, and the tartness is there too. The finish is very bitter, maybe overly so. One thing this beer does very well is hide its alcohol content.

M: Actually very nice. Light, very well carbonated, and very drinkable. Nothing detracting here.

O: A pretty fine beer. The coffee isn't great, and whatever is up with the slight sourness worries me a bit. I will probably not be drinking this again, but couldn't fault someone for choosing to do so.

 1,043 characters

Photo of ChanChan
3.35/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: This is pretty dark for a brown ale, the head starts off big but then dissipates into a small ring in the glass, minimal lacing!

Aroma: Initially I get a good amount of cheap coffee, as the beer warms up it becomes smoky and you can detect the cocoa nibs.

Taste: Same as aroma, at first its all coffee but then the camp-fire smokiness and a bit of cocoa come through to make up for the initial cheap coffee taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied.

Overall: This beer, like the Palo Santo Marron by Dogfish Head, both have an identity problem. Palo Santo is closer to an Imperial IRS and whereas this one could have been easily labeled a Rauchbier. It is a pretty solid beer nonetheless. I would buy it again at $5.00 but it's too expensive for $8.00 !!

 760 characters

Photo of flexabull
3.87/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very dark brown color with a pretty big off white head.

Aromas are of coffee, cream, brown sugars, and coffee beans.

Taste is pretty coffee forward, creamy, with some brown sugars, and cocoa. Finish is fairly bitter, with some pine notes.

Mouthfeel is smooth, soft, with nice body.

Overall, an interesting brown. I think it's a bit to heavy handed with the coffee, but it's still quite enjoyable.

 409 characters

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