Board Meeting
Port Brewing

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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: 662
Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.46/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Easily one of the best brown ales I've ever had.

The look is amazing, it has a great thick head of tan, good lacing, great color. A good start! The smell is pretty nice and has a distinct hazelnut coffee aroma to it that is nice, strong malt presence and the extra roast is great.

The taste has a lot going on, especially for the style wow. A depth of different flavors that work together great: coffee, sweet nut flavors like hazelnut and almond, slightly chocolatey, touch of sweet and savory and even a slightly bitt hop presence to round out the malty flavors. I'm impressed, have never had a brown ale with so many nice flavors. The feel is creamy and carbonated very well.

Impressive. Good on ya port, maybe my second favorite beer after older vis.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Deep, dark brown (almost black) with 1 finger of tan head with good retention.

Nutty, hazelnut, caramel, chocolate, milk and coffee.

Full of nuttiness with distinct hazelnut flavors. Caramel and milky sweet chocolate. Medium roast coffee blends in with hints of espresso and prune. Catches the dry earthiness of the cocoa nibs on the finish.

Light-medium bodied, somewhat silky, somewhat dry and very clean.

Even with the cocoa nibs and coffee, it remains a Brown Ale without transforming into a Stout. A great value at around $7 / 22oz bottle. Super-solid (Imperial) Brown Ale.

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Photo of RonPizzle83
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed this beer on-tap and was pleasantly surprised.
Smooth coffee flavor with a light carbonation that reminded me of a light porter.
The only downside i find, (and it's totally my opinion) is that i consider it a "base beer."
What i mean by this is that it is missing an accent flavor in there somewhere. Something subtle but notable. Coffee is the only strong presence and some might be put off by it and call it a one-trick-pony. I enjoyed its darkness though. Deep coffee flavors and light carbonation.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark dark brown, plenty of ruby highlights, under seven fingers of medium tan foam.

A highly inviting aroma of chocolate and coffee.

The cocoa and chocolate shine through in the taste. Mild malt underneath. Some earthy hops bring balance and a bite of bitter.

Smooth, slick mouthfeel.

A big brown ale that rolls right to the line for porters and stouts. Delicious. Nice reminder that Port can do more than just terrific IPAs (not that I am not eager for their Anniversary Ale any day now). I almost overlooked this. Don't make that mistake.

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Photo of jlindros
4.01/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to peterdactyl (Reddit) for this one.

Pours a darker colored 1.5 finger fluffy head fades semi slowly with nice spotted lacing, over a super dark brown, pretty much no light coming through.

Nose is very aromatic but almost fake like aroma, a nice beefy brown ale underneath, dark brown malts, caramel, dark caramel, some fresh coffee grinds, a bit of cold extracted coffee and a kahlua like syrup as well, faint cocoa and very dark chocolate, the coffee is very much like a fresh rosted beans cold extracted and not much like actual coffee.

Taste starts with bitter roast, again fresh roasted coffee grinds almost as if they are actually in my mouth now, with a bit of cold extracted coffee, and despite the bitterness not really tannic or harsh and not acrid. Light cocoa, and some super dark chocolate with that. It does get a slight briny salt like quality from some roasted malts in there and the coffee as well finally. Malts bring dark brown malts, a little roast, some dark caramel and slightly syrupy. It gets some warming booze too and slightly boozy, toasted nuts even. Finish is fairly bitter with some earthy hops in there, lots more caramel and dark malts, cocoa, tons of lingering coffee roast.

Mouth is med to fuller bodied, some warming borderline tingly booze.

Overall not bad, but get a little too harsh as it goes, coffee starts nice but everntually gets overpowering, harsh, slightly bitter and acrid even. Hard to drink much of it either.

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Photo of hockeyfighter19
3.34/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Solid brew.
Dark brown color. Smell is nothing extraordinary, as an the taste was a very strong coffee. Mouthfeel was very smooth, and not overly carbonated . Only complaint (just my opinion), is the coffee flavor was a bit more than I would like. Otherwise a good choice.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter, bottled 2/4/13

A- pours dark brown-nearly black with a huge rocky and pillowy tan head that retains long after the pour, leaving subtle matches of lace behind

S- nice roasty malt character with some notes of espresso. Earthy cacao nibs, tiramisu cream, with a nutty roasted character and dark roast coffee near the back end. Quite complex for a brown ale

T- bittersweet chocolate transitions into a nice dark coffee bitterness, caramel with some lactose-like sweetness transitions into a nice roasted nutty character. The finish provides an herbal-earthy hop bitterness that gives good balance to a dry and nutty finish

M- medium body with medium carbonation and a creamy mouthfeel leads to a foamy and silky finish. The alcohol drinks more like a 5-6%, as it is barely noticeable

O- very complex layers of flavor while still staying within the realm of a brown ale. This style usually isn't my thing, but this one stands a level above all of the others I've had of the style. Highly reccomended

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Photo of tastyville
4.66/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I’m drinking less and less cream and sugar with my coffee and replacing it with beer these days. Board Meeting is a new (released February of this year) and delicious brown ale from Port Brewing. This beer is brewed with coffee from local San Diego coffee roasters Ryan Brothers and cocoa nibs from San Francisco chocolate makers TCHO.What makes this beer great is the perfect balance of these high profile flavors. It pours dark- it could be confused with a stout. The aroma is a perfect prelude to the taste as the taste is very predictable and inviting. It’s as if the excellent craftsmanship of the beer corrals the strong coffee and chocolate notes and soothes them to subtlety. The slight dry bitterness at the end finishes even more smoothly. ABV is 8.5% and is sold only in 22oz (so far). One bottle is just not enough so grab two!

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Photo of Slatetank
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I am appreciative to my bro tenderbranson69 for sharing this with me and BA carlos, enjoyed chilled in a pint.

The color is dark brown bordering on black with thick medium brown head which settles to a couple fingers. The lace sticks well and retention is good. The aroma is very earthy almost vegetal and light roasted and caramel malt aroma and mild cocoa scent. The feell is very smooth with some light tannin and roasted texture with mild oily coffee quality and mostly dry finish with medium low bitterness.

The taste is very good with plenty of dark malt toastiness and some light vegetal tinges from the cacao with mild roasted bean taste and gentle tannin in the middle with relatively clean yeast and light bitterness earthy qualities of hops and the coffee/cocoa come through with a nice toasted grain backbone in the malt. I thought this was very drinkable for an imperial brown and the added flavors complimented the base very well -I recommend this to fans of the style.

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Photo of hopsputin
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

a: dark dark brown. almost porter-like

s: bittersweet chocolate, coffee beans, lactose, roasted malt

t: yep, definitely reminds me more of a porter than a brown. bitter coffee beans, dark chocolate, dark fig, sweet creaminess, hint of brown sugar. the coffee/chocolate bitterness is very smooth

o: pretty good, though if I closed my eyes I wouldn't know it was a brown. this is a real nice drinker. reminds me of something like a palo santo maron

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.11/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A 220z bomber picked up at Greens Buford Hwy

A - Dark brown/almost black. Zero clarity. Creamy looking. Tan head. 1 finger of head and some sticky lace left on the glass

S - Coffee beans and chocolate dominate. Espresso? Smells great

T - Coffee, toffee, and chocolate, all in a brown porter. Nice mix! Very good

M - Rich and creamy. Well balanced and smooth

O - An excellent brew. Digging this one

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured on-tap and served in a shaker pint, the beer is a dark chestnut coloring with a low profile, filmy, light tan head. Decent lacing as you drink. Aromas of roast mocha and hazelnut, with a touch of smoke. Flavors are rich and roasty, with a nutty sweetness like Nutella and a touch of bitter coffee in the backbone. Very balanced. Smooth and rich in mouth, with a roasted sweet aftertaste. Clean, creamy finish. Great brew.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bomber served cold into a pint glass.

Board Meeting is a dark brown color with good clarity. It has thick head but settles fairly quickly. There is some nice lacing left behind.

Aroma is nice and roasty like a good porter but with obvious coffee influence.

Flavor is strong but balanced with a good level of coffee that doesn't overwhelm. Nce sweetness up front with roasty bittersweet coffee and chocolate.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

Overall a very tasty coffee brown slash porter.

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

Bottle. Got it a Binny's! Served in a taster pint.

A - Big creamy mocha foam settles to a thick cap, leaving behind specks of lacing. Mostly opaque dark brown body, with a hint of translucency at the edges of the glass.

S - Lots of chocolate and coffee, as advertised. There's a mildly earthy nib quality, as well as some nutty malt flavors in the periphery.

T - The taste is heavier on coffee, with bittersweet chocolate, roasted nuts, and a hint of caramel rounding things out. Gets sweeter as it warms, with some sugar cookie and Well-hidden alcohol; wouldn't guess this was stronger than your typical 6% brown ale.

M - Big and creamy, medium-full body. Chewy and sticky initially with some tannic grittiness late. Dry in the finish, with perhaps a touch of alcohol warming after a half-glass.

D - I really liked this. Split a bottle three-ways and it went down shockingly quickly. Will definitely be buying this one again, as it's a winner. Glad to see Port Brewing making something new, as it's been a while since Mongo.

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Photo of smcolw
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

White-beige head that leaves ring lace after each sip. The brew is near black where no light passes.

I smell dark chocolate, mocha and a bit of chalk. Very potent aroma for a brown ale. Attractive.

As far as Brown Ale's go, this is the most flavorful I've ever had. There's milk and dark chocolate flavors along with a solid dollop of hop. The aftertaste is particularly balanced with the aforementioned hop cutting into the strong black patent malt presence (strong black coffee in the swallow). The body is very rich for the style (above average for porter, too). The carbonation hold its own. In a word, chewy.

This might be better described as a Porter, but even there, this is a helluva beer--extraordinarily flavorful and easy to drink.

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Photo of Rizalini
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber, bottled 2/4/13, into my Deschutes tulip glass...

A - Pours a dark cola brown with two fingers of dense foamy light brown head. Minimal lacing left behind while I sip.

S - The front is coffee dominent with notes of dark bittersweet chocolate but very slight.

T/M - Bitter coffee on the front of the taste with a caramel almost nutty middle and a bittersweet cocoa finish that lingers. As it warms, the cocoa really comes thru. More than it did when it was cold. Medium/full mouthfeel, slighly slick.

O - Once again a good beer from Port Brewing. This brown ale highlights all the flavors very nicely, but the coffee does seem to shine moreso than the cocoa nibs when it was cold(ish). As it warmed to just under room temp, the cocoa really shined. Great drinkability, and would definitely buy again.

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Photo of Dope
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 2/1/13, 2 months old.

A: Pours a nice dark brown with a huge, fluffy light brown head. Head fades extremely slowly, leaving an almost perfectly solid wall of lacing behind. Great head retention and a big island of foam that refuses to dissipate.

S: This one is nice. Heavy on the coffee beans and chocolate. Mild toasted malt and nuttiness pokes through too. A little caramel in there sweetens it up.

T: Coffee and chocolate up front but not overpowering. Nice and mellow and well integrated. There is some caramel and nice toast in the middle. Sweetness runs out a bit and you get a little more bitter coffee and chocolate and almost burnt toast flavors in the finish.

M: Medium bodied. Higher carbonation gives it a lighter, airy mouthfeel.

O: This is an awesome brown ale. It reminds me a lot of coffee bender but honestly it's better. Coffee isn't overpowering but is still quite nice. Chocolate adds nice complexity and competing sweetness. Very drinkable and goes down easy. Great job, Port Brewing.

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Photo of kaseydad
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Saw this for a few weeks now and finally made the purchase. Pretty sweet label.

The brown is indeed dirty brown and a huge beige head that will not go away. Intense. Gobs of lacing.

The smell is big roasty goodness. The chocolate is from TCHO which I have been lucky enough to peruse their wares. Great chocolate addition with a good amount of roasted coffee to enhance the aroma. Light leather and a touch of licorice. As it warms, the leather (catcher's mitt aroma) really kicks in more. Kinda cool.

The taste has a lot going on here. Black coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa powder, a blast of espresso and a leather shoe. Yup, it's in there. Pretty hoppy as well with good carbonation. With the Brown I expected that but it's not overpowering.

Overall I really enjoyed this Brown. A lot of flavor for a relatively cheaper $6-7 bomber with fun session to behold. 8.5% gives it some meat, but overall a bomber consumption was perfect. Very nice creation from Port.

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Photo of elgiacomo
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottled February 1, 2013. Served at around 45F.

Pours dark brown to nearly black with a three finger brown head that leaves impressive webs of lacing and settles to a small cap.

Aroma is premium coffee beans and cocoa on top of a robust, nutty Brown Ale base. Fairly straightforward, but done very well, each component shines in its own right. Very good strength.

Flavor is sweet chocolate/cocoa, rich coffee, roasted malts, nutty, caramel, toffee, vanilla, a little bit of hop bitterness, overall on the sweet side, moderate alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, a little sticky, average carbonation.

This is one super-fantastic Brown Ale. I love coffee and chocolate in my beers and this delivers. Very rich and robust, somewhere between a Porter/Stout and Brown Ale. Yummy!

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours an extremely dark brown color, almost black...with a large tan head that goes down rather quickly. Scent is better than any brown ale I've ever had (from what I can remember off the top of my head). Dark and roasted malt with some nice nuttiness. Packed with coffee and chocolate, it still keeps it's nutty, brown-ale profile without entering the porter/stout domain. Taste on the other hand is a different story. Cocoa up front. A ton of chocolate cocoa with a good amount off fresh ground coffee. Vanilla lingers on the palate, along with a hint of allspice and cinnamon. Lots of rich, dark malt flavor and nuttiness. The flavor is definitely stepping into porter/stout territory. Mouthfeel is full bodied, creamy, and ABV is well hidden. Drinkability is high. Overall, this is probably the best brown ale I have ever had. In a blind tasting, I could see this mistaken for a coffee porter or coffee stout. Outstanding beer, no matter what you wanna label it as.

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

A - Towering head light khaki head. Awesome lace and retention. Solid black-brown body. Almost no highlights.

S - Really nice nose. Light, dry roast coffee. Pumpernickel bread. Nutmeg, walnut, and a touch of carmel.

T - A nice mirror of the nose. Dry coffee dominates the profile. Brown breads, caramel, nutmeg, dark chocolate, margarine, hazelnut, and toffee play a supporting role.

M - Medium-full body. A bit thick for the style, but it's delicious none the less.

O - Drinks like a porter more than a brown; thick and roasty.

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Photo of Dools9
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 2-1-13, into a snifter.

A; Near opaque black in color, the head was creamy. about two fingers worth and light khaki in color, good lace left with a nice collar.

S: Over roasted coffee beans, toasty, nutty, cocoa with a slightly sour tang. Smells great.

T: Wow, huge heavy, black cold press coffee/cream, lots of roast character, some sweet nuttiness and blended nicely with a coca edge. Dry finish, lingering roast coffee character. Overall its pretty intense.

M: Heavy medium pushing full but its very easy to drink considering the 8.5%, creamy, silky smooth.

O: Bought it on a whim, and holy shit this is good stuff. Only my second offering from Port/Lost Abbey and this is really good stuff, very impressed.

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

Appearance: pours a dark brown color with a 1" head that slowly falls to a thick surface foam. Moderate lace develops.

Smell: chocolate and coffee are the predominant aromas.

Taste: nice malt profile with milk chocolate, coffee, black plum, and a decent bitterness creates a well balanced brown ale. Alcohol is well hidden.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp throughout with a short lived aftertaste.

Overall: this is a superb brown ale with loads of flavor and is nicely drinkable despite the higher ABV. This is one of the better brown ales you will have.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.28/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle $6.99. Description sounded pretty good and I've found Port beers to be more consistent and affordable than Lost Abbey so I gave it a shot. Dark brown, definitely a brown ale not a porter. Smell is decent cofffee, not bad. Flavor is more coffee, I get no chocolate nibs, pretty meh overall. I would not purchase this again and it was a little too strong to boot.

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

Pours a very dark brown. Opaque. Looks black in a full glass. Big head of light brown foam. A thick blanket of fine bubbles. Good looking beer. The aroma is all coffee and chocolate. Some roast and a bit of caramel in the background. It smells like a mocha made with dark chocolate milk. Mild cola, a little molasses and some light floral hoppiness. It sort of has that nutty brown ale flavor, but I would have guessed stout if I'd been handed this beer blind. The taste has lots of toasty malt below rich coffee and chocolate. The taste seems closer to a strong brown ale than a stout, but the coffee and chocolate additions mask that somewhat. It's fairly sweet. Very rich with flavor. There's just a ton of chocolate and coffee to the beer. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy and does wonders for the beer. Good nutty, coffee finish. Excellent addition to Port's lineup.

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Board Meeting from Port Brewing
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 662 ratings