Provisions Series: The Workman's Friend | The Bruery

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Provisions Series: The Workman's FriendProvisions Series: The Workman's Friend
84 Ratings
Provisions Series: The Workman's FriendProvisions Series: The Workman's Friend

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
The Workman's Friend is our take on a classic imperial porter. One of the more classic and "to style" beers we've brewed around here, it's a rich and creamy strong porter with a big malty backbone. Roasty and with a hint of smoke in the finish, a fantastic beer to get you through the foggy months of winter.

ABV: 8%, IBU: 20, SRM: 50, Release: One time only

Added by womencantsail on 11-12-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 84 |  Reviews: 39
Reviews by berebrando:
Photo of berebrando
4.57/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

the bottle doesn't give a great deal of insight into what this beer will taste like. the workman's friend, an imperial porter, it says. 8% alcohol by volume for a richer life, it says.

this beer pours deep black with a massive tan head. The medium-sized bubbles dissipate pretty quickly, leaving a thin layer of light brown where the head mingles with the beer. the first thing i smell is chocolate, complemented by bananas and severely roasted malts.

taste is deep, dark roasted malts and heavy chocolate malts. i taste some cherries and lightly sour apples. most surprising of all, this beer is thick and viscous. this is a very thick beer, and i like it! great beer, i'd recommend it to all. is it drinkable, maybe not as drinkable as a session ale - but it's not like i'd ever think of dumping it down the drain!

 820 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Callmecoon
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of Mora2000
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this beer.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a tan head. The aroma has a lot of roasted malt as well as some nice meaty smoke notes. The flavor is more of the same. The meaty BBQ notes dominate the flavor but there are also components of roasted malt, chocolate and coffee in the background. Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice, complex smoke beer that didn't disappoint.

 442 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another beer from the Bruery that hides the alcohol well.

Pours a dark black with  a dark tan head. Decent lacing.

Aroma is sort of sweet with roasted grains. Can't put my finger on why this beer smells so great compared to some other imperial porters I have had.

Taste is solid. Roasty and smooth. Slightly sweet with a dry finish. Tasty.

Mouthfeel I think could use a bit more body but it's not bad. Great carb.

Overall another awesome provision series beer. Glad I got some on tap at the provisions store and grabbed some bottles.

 539 characters

Photo of nickd717
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A couple tasters at Bruery Provisions.

Pours very dark brown in color, but slightly translucent, with a small light tan head leaving nice swirls on the beer.

The aroma is full and excellent, somewhat smoky with well-balanced roast, dark chocolate, and coffee.

The flavor also has a good smokiness to it, yet more subtle than something like Alaskan Smoked Porter. Rather ashy, dry, and bitter, with charcoal-like roast, black coffee, and semisweet chocolate. Alcohol is nowhere to be found despite the higher ABV.

Medium-full bodied with a smooth and silky mouthfeel, and a finish that sticks with you.

An excellent offering from The Bruery. I look forward to the bottle release.

 684 characters

Photo of Kegatron
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a few glasses. Pours black with a smooth mocha head. Rich and sudsy look. Smells of citrus, dark fruit, roast cocoa and touch of tobacco. Tastes of dark fruit, ripe citrus, cocoa powder and burnt roast. Pretty tight profile. Fuller bodied with a sharp and crisp feel. Barely any alcohol. Great Porter here with full flavors and a smooth body for the higher ABV. Great dark beer fix.

 400 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Bung
3.65/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml. Blackish brown pour, a ton of tan head. Normal for the Bruery brews I've had and quite annoying to me. No matter how careful I pour, this overly large head is present, like many "Belgian" inspired brews. Annoys the crap out of me, but I'm probably in the minority here.
Obviously, this retains and sticks quite well.

Earthy aroma, toasted malt, some chocolate, chocolate covered banana.

Taste is some malt and molasses and a bunch of fruit, especially banana. Some pumpkin ale spices? The spiciness catches me by surprise and I'm not sure if its good or bad. Cocoa, some red fruits and more of a plantain like flavor in the finish.

The carbonation is gentle, but there is more than I would prefer. Keeps it just a bit too active in the mouth, and to me keeps the body a bit thinner than it should be. Just a slight warming and goes down easy aside from the carb.

The only dark brew done with Belgian strains I've really enjoyed is Black Ops. I just don't enjoy the amount of fruit they empart.
Expecting more as I always seem to be with the Bruery, I'll leave it at that.

 1,082 characters

Photo of bombadil
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of sergeantstogie
4.73/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

BLUF: This is easily the most perfect porter I've had.

Almost black with hints of brown and ruby creeping in around the edges. The smell is very subdued. Only a hint at what goodness is waiting for you. I had no idea it was smoked but after the first couple of sips it goes from being strong to a very well crafted complement to the rest of the malt backbone. It tastes like smoked chocolate with a slight twang. Perfect. If the smell was stronger this would have been damn close to all 5's. It says to enjoy in the winter but this is the hottest day I've had this year and it is absolutely perfect as I am prepping my grill for steaks. Beers this good need to be year round.

 677 characters

Photo of jlb502
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of EgadBananas
4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to StarRaptor for plucking this off my wants!

Pours black as night. Looks very stout-like. Mocha colored head of about a finger adorns, leaving nice lacing.

Aroma is ripe with dark and milk chocolate, BIG roast character, also an espresso quality with some faint smokiness in the back.

Initially, there's nice espresso flavors up front, with a rolling chocolate note and big roasted malts. Slight smokiness and dry cocoa powdery finish. Surprisingly thought for me, as it warmed up, the flavors became a bit dull from freshly poured.

Medium to full in body, definitely creamy. Carbonation is good. Drinkability is great.

Overall, very good. I think this will stay on my wants. More chances at trying this is a good thing.

 738 characters

Photo of enelson
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of jsanford
3.25/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of jmarsh123
3.59/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black and opaque with a finger of tan head that recedes immediately.

Smells of some semi-sweet chocolate, roasted malt with a little touch of smoke. Some dark fruit as well. Something weirdly sweet (maybe banana) I can't quite put my finger on.

Starts off with a bit of roasted malt. Notes of leather, molasses stone fruits and licorice come through. A bit of smoke comes out towards he end, increasing as it warms. The weird banana flavor is there again.

Creamy mouthfeel with maybe a touch too much carbonation.

Overall not bad. There are some good flavors here, but he weird banana like flavor knocks it down a few pegs for me. Still pretty easy drinking. Roasted malts are featured heavily and sweetness is kept in check.

 738 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft at Bruery Provisions. Black, almost opaque. A thin but lasting head tops the beer.

Great malt-forward aroma. Dark chocolate, coffee with milk, a little charred malt and smoke. Nutty too, with a note of toasted bread.

Opens with a smooth roasty malt character, flavors of toasted whole grain bread and nuts right behind. Creamy mouthfeel; also has a bit of a milky flavor to it. Medium-full body. Little bit of sweetness, very well balanced. This is a delicious porter, I could drink a lot of this.

 506 characters

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to mlaroche for this one.

Pours a dark brown, practically pitch black color, good sized tan head, fades at a moderate rate with only a few spots of lacing.

Smell is primarily roasted malt, picking up a bit of smoke and tobacco aroma, very earthy with a dash of wood, the smokiness actually becomes more prominent as it warms.

Taste starts out with a roasty toasty malt flavor, bit of bittersweet chocolate, smoky tobacco seeks in and lingers just long enough and leaves before it becomes a distraction, a nice nuttiness in the aftertaste, carbonation is moderate yet soft and lends a decent creaminess to it.

 618 characters

Photo of freduardo
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Buck_Jones
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of GbVDave
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a wide stemmed DFH snifter. Extra special thanks to Ineedabeerhere for this from our most recent trade!

A: Pours dark brown, just a shade lighter than pure black. A wonderful, whipped mocha meringue head grows to about three fingers thick before falling off to a thin skim with a smooth, unbroken collar. Sadly, hardly any lace was left behind.

S: The first thing I picked up from this vanilla. Fresh vanilla. Fresh vanilla drizzled with fudge and mixed with dark chocolate covered espresso beans. Some heavy roast is present, as well.

T: Tons of fudge, espresso, dark chocolate, vanilla bean, brownies, scorched malt, molassas, dark fruit, and a bit of piney hops.

M: Pretty damn near perfect. Smooth and full at first but then the door swings the other way and it gains a bunch of dry roast, spicy hops, sweet booze drenched raisins, fruity tang, and bitter coffee. Finishes with the full compliment of sweet, sticky, dry, and spicy, with loads of prickle. Excellent.

D: Fantastic! The Bruery needs something like this in their year-round portfolio...or at least a (semi) seasonal that isn't "for sale in CA only". C'mon, guys!

 1,167 characters

Photo of deniserat
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of sendsilk
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Skuter
5/5  rDev +21.4%

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Provisions Series: The Workman's Friend from The Bruery
Beer rating: 4.12 out of 5 with 84 ratings
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