Old Bongwater Hemp Porter | KettleHouse Brewing Co. (Southside Taproom)

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20 Ratings

Brewed by:
KettleHouse Brewing Co. (Southside Taproom)
Montana, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Olde Bongwater Hemp Porter also won a gold & bronze medal at the 2008 & 2009 NABA brewfest, respectively. We add pelletized industrial hemp to our most notorious brew. Seasoned beer drinkers will detect a slight nutty or grainy flavor emanating from the approximately 1/2 pound of hemp seeds per 16 gal keg. This Porter is a rich, chocolaty, robust style porter.

25 IBU

Added by beernut7 on 08-19-2002

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 20 |  Reviews: 7
Photo of neckbeered
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of stallion_air21
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of ToddKehoe
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Flathead_Monster
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of JAHMUR
3/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of jimmyjazzercise
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of beergil
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of elglueckert
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of juicebox
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of bergdj
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of rogerthegill
3/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of laxguy13
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of EricCioe
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of harrymel
4.52/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this beer a few times, and it continues to be good.

A: pours a dark, nearly black ale with not allowance of light passage until you're down to the last ounce or two, then it's a dark maduro color. Single finger, latte head falls in a minute or two and leaves a thin sheet of the same.

S: Nutty, malty, coffee hide in here. The hemp oil changes the texture of the nose. Very nice. Some hints of graham, flour.

T: Dried coffee grounds, cocoa, hazelnuts; a nice malt baseline and the hemp oil creates the slightest resin flavor. A bit woody.

M: Medium to heavy body with medium carbonation. The feel is silky, smooth and the finish is the same slickness.

O: My favorite beer coming out of Missoula. Outstanding. If Kettlehouse was really thinking, they would can this rather than some of their others.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My last of the alotted 3 pints at Kettlehouse.. a harried lady behind the bar paid pretty good attention to me the entire time I was there, but christ.. seriously.. she was working her ass off.

Poured into a shaker pint.. lite tan head and a dark brown brew that is pretty hazy when held to a window.

Nose is lite coffee with some background chocolate.. the smell is a little lacking cold.. and doesn't improve as it warms..

Flavor is only mildly better.. lite chocolate and distant cold brewed coffee.... there may be some nuttiness, but I could easily be imagining things.. more roasty as it warms, but for all the local hype, this is just a pretty average American Porter.. the body is light for the style and the carbonation is a touch heavy.

I love the Cold Smoke and the Double Haul.. but this brew seems to be a gimmicky afterthought.. "descent" American porters are a dime a dozen.. and this brew falls firmly in the middle..

I've had this brew a bunch of times in my travels through Montana.. and pretty much always come down with this same opinion.. I love what the crowds at the taproom.. and I appreciate the pull with the "counter culture" name.. but really this brew probably needs a touch more body and a descent amount more flavor mid-palate.

 1,263 characters

Photo of baos
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got a growler of this when I went to ol snaylor's wedding with pard, Starkey and Squaremy. I remember hiking around the ski resort and riding up and down the ski lifts in early summer drinking straight from the growler.
Nice dark and refreshing maybe a bit of dark chocolate and coffee. Good feel and its good as it warms. pard and I drank almost the whole growler as we watched the rest play Frisbee golf. Great beer go to Missoula just to drink this!

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Photo of loren01
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Poured a cola color, one finger width tannish head, went away quickly. Good lacing
S: Strong smell of coffee beans, smells earthy
T: Tastes same as smell, good strong coffee flavor. Also slight chocolatey flavor
M: A little too watery
D: Good smelling and tasting porter but the mouthfeel is a little off, would have this again though, good beer.

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Photo of Knuckles
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I lived in Montana for five years, and had never once heard of the Kettle House in Missoula. I got out there often enough that, had I known, I would have paid them a visit. The brewery itself is on a funky street in Missoula which involves a wee bit of shucking and jiving to get to, but once you do, this beer makes it worth the effort (that and the fact that the price of the growler and the beer was $10.50!).

I really had my doubts about this beer when I bought it. I'll be straight up and say that the only reason I did buy it is because of the name. I was in Missoula, had the opportunity, so I seized it. I was further worried, as the plan was for me to haul it all the way across the country in 90+ degree heat everywhere we went, hoping against hope that a 5% beer would be robust enough to handle the trip (yes, it did ride shotgun in a cooler for most of the journey). I needn't have worried, as this baby came through just fine.

Let me make this very, very clear: I love porter. It's my favorite style. I tend to judge all breweries by their porters (with the notable exception of Silver City, as I think that it is by far Don Spencer's weakest offering), and Kettle House will be no exception. This is a flat out splendid beer.

Appearance: Just a wee bit hazy, but otherwise nice and dark brown, glowing ruby when you hold it up to the light. Exactly what I expect out of a porter.

Smell: Just a hint of malt, and a tiny bit of grainy bitterness in the end. No aroma hop presence to speak of, and that makes this BA very, very happy.

Taste: This beer is freakin' delicious, there's no two ways about it. I could drink this all night (and would have, if I hadn't had to share the growler with FirstMan and my sister). This is the best porter I've had since the one from Harmon, and that's saying something. The finishing grainy bitterness is also in this beer, but it lacks the roasted punch of some. It's got almost a coffee-esque finish to it. Delightful.

Mouthfeel: Porters can be hard to get right, in my mind. Frequently they'll be way too thick, and occasionally they'll be too thin. Truth be known, I'd prefer the latter to the former. Thick <> Porter in my handbook of B-SQL code. This beer strikes a wonderful balance. I love it.

Drinkability: The only reason this motherfucker doesn't get a 5 is simply because it's only available at the brewery in Missoula. If I got out that way more often (and good lord, I wish I did),

 2,471 characters

Photo of FirstMan
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this from a growler that was lovingly transported across the country to me here in Wormtown.

Let's just get it out of the way first that no, this does not have any "wowie" elements (as per the text printed on the growler) since it's brewed with industrial hemp and not the kind of stuff that makes its way through tunnels at the Washington/British Columbia border.

That said, it was a very good American porter. Pours a beautiful deep dark brown with crimson aspects when the light hits it. Enough clarity to distinguish it from a stout.

Smokey, lightly malty nose with warm brown sugar notes.

Evenly balanced flavoring. Less malty than the nose would have you think. Lighter dryness with a warm, lingering smoke character. Hop bitterness is just enough to give it that dryness, but not overpowering at all.

Quite drinkable. We were sharing the growler between 3, but I could have easily taken care of it myself.

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Photo of beernut7
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brewery reminds me of Magic Hat with a more western feel. Missoula is a lot like Burlington and the beer is just as good. This hemp-brewed porter is a bit lighter in body than most, but that does not stop the smooth buttery flavor come through a small bit of chocolate. Good.

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Old Bongwater Hemp Porter from KettleHouse Brewing Co. (Southside Taproom)
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 20 ratings