Travel Writer Baltic Porter
Last May, I was one of four travel writers hosted by Visit Spokane on a culinary-focused media tour. One of our fun outings was visiting River City Brewing. They put us to work in the brewery – grinding malted barley by hand and stirring the mash – to make our own small batch of beer. We willingly lent a hand, since they promised to send us some of finished product.
At first I thought they were joking; then I realized how canny it was of River City to offer this hands-on opportunity. I’ve been on many brewery tours, listened to how it is made, admired the stainless steel tanks, and tasted many a beer. Sure we got to do all of the above, but actually helping to make the beer was a new experience and one I will never forget.
Imagine my delight when a package from Spokane arrived on my doorstep this week. I eagerly opened the box to discover six bottles of opaque coffee-colored “Travel Writer Baltic Porter.” River City even designed a special label for “our” beer. I especially liked the tag line, “Not all who wander are lost . . . some are just looking for a good beer.”
And it is good beer! I’m kind of a middle-of-the road beer drinker, preferring ales and IPAs. I abhor insipid watery beers – I want something with taste – but I had always shied away from Porters, thinking they would be too strong or bitter.
Well, I love this Travel Writer Baltic Porter, and not just because I helped make it. I found it to be just as the tasting notes say, a “Malty forward brew with slight sweetness balanced by good bitterness from dark grains and hops. Smooth for a higher flavor intensity beer.” It is smooth, with great flavor and a slight coffee-like finish. The only bad thing about this beer is that I only have five more bottles left!
Many thanks to Moose, Todd, Emily and Gage at Spokane’s River City Brewing for the great experience and for sending us the beer. If you travel to Spokane, stop by their taproom at 121 South Cedar Street. And, thanks again to Tim Robinson and Payton Scheller at Visit Spokane for showing us travel writers such a good time.