If you find yourself in Wisconsin this winter, grab yourself a Porter Joe, one of Wisconsin Brewing Company’s (WBC) new seasonal brews. Wisconsin Brewing Company, founded in 2013 by brothers Carl and Mark Nolen and brewmaster Kirby Nelson in Verona, Wisconsin (a suburb of Madison), has quickly established itself as a major player in a competitive Wisconsin craft beer scene. In addition to brewing great beer, WBC has integrated itself into the Madison community, establishing itself as a popular happy hour hangout in the summer with a great dog-friendly lawn.
Porter Joe, as the name implies, is a coffee-infused porter that is perfect for the cold Wisconsin winter months. The beer is the product of a collaboration between Nelson, the WBC brewmaster, and Rob Jeffries, the master coffee roaster for Barriques, a local Madison coffee and wine shop. Jeffries sums up the combination of coffee and porter found in Porter Joe as “tasting better together than they do apart.” Jeffries and Nelson worked together to find the right blend of coffee beans to pair with WBC’s existing Brown & Robust Porter, and the result is fantastic.
One of the things that makes Porter Joe unique is the fact that it really is just porter and coffee–there are no other distracting flavors like you find in some coffee-infused beers. Porter Joe has a great aroma due to the combination of dark coffee beans combined with the hops and malt of the porter. The taste of the beer really hinges of the correct proportion of beer and coffee, with the bitter, toasted flavor of the coffee and hops blunted just enough by the sweetness of the malt. Porter Joe has a pleasant aftertaste, which is good because it stays with you for a bit. The beer has a dark brown hue complimented by a tan head.
If you’re looking for a great beer to enjoy on a cold Wisconsin night, grab a Porter Joe from Wisconsin Brewing Company, the product of two local Madison institutions. I’m heading to the fridge to grab another now.
Aroma – 10/10
Appearance – 8/10
Taste – 9/10
Palate – 8/10
Overall – 35/40
Beer Stats – 5.2% ABV