I lead a rather compartmentalized life at times. I like it that way. It gives me a sense of order (and probably a false sense of control). Order is comforting. I can write whole reams of paper on the placebo palliative of order. But that can wait for another post.
Back to compartmentalization. I tend to keep the various streams of my life from crossing. Work stays at work. Personal life stays out of my office. Even in my online living, I tend to keep barriers between my Internet PersonalitiesTM. Somewhat. I do cross streams a bit, but it’s somewhat one-sided. It’s kind of like how Tom Jackman tries to keep his life and family a secret from Mr. Hyde. Which doesn’t always work out…but the Bionic EastEnder is there to keep things sorted for the most part, so it’s all good.
What the hell was I talking about?!
Oh, yeah. Compartmentalization. Here, then, is a rare moment when I’m letting Dr. Jekyll’s and Mr. Hyde’s lives mix it up a little bit…for a beery good cause. So there’s a podcast I’ve been listening to for a while now called Here Goes Nothing. It’s a show about…nothing. And everything. It’s whatever you want it to be, really…movies, music, beer reviews, rants, ramblings…the whole nine yards, the kitchen sink, and a partridge in a pear tree. What makes it a gem is it’s hosted by two of the most amazing blokes you’ll ever hear. Not only do I find Boz and Casey to be two of the hands-down funniest people to populate this planet, but I’m very proud to consider them both to be my friends.
Sadly, life has roadblocked their ability to continue to record Here Goes Nothing. All I can say to this is a very loud FUCK CANCER. So, to honor (and honour even) their efforts, their humor, their rants, their chemistry, and their all-around awesomeness, I named my very first attempt at home-brewed beer after their show. I even designed a label just for them:
I was trying to make it a label somewhat akin to the grunge-effect labels used by their favorite brewery, Brew Dog (WOOF CLANG), but with deep, bold colors and a strong “heavy metal” font for my heavy metal dudes. And, of course, we here at LobaBlanca Brewing Co. made sure to include the proper paraphrase of a popular Here Goes Nothing truism (“Now That’s Metal!”)for this particular beer’s quote: “Now That’s Porter.” Here’s what the labels looked like applied to my three bottles:
And now, in that fine Here Goes Nothing tradition…
Loba’s Beer Review: Here Goes Nothing Chocolate Maple Porter
As I already wrote, my cousin did very well in her beer selection for the home brewing kit she gave me, because I love nothing more than a nice dark beer. And how much more black could this lovely porter be?
And the answer is none, none more black.
I cracked open my first bottle and was very pleased to hear the hiss of carbonation. One of my biggest worries was that I didn’t add enough yeast to the brew or that I didn’t activate it enough. It’s not quite as frothy as it could/should be (you can see from the photo that there was no head whatsoever when I poured). However, porters tend to not be as frothy as lighter beers anyway, and I’ve also come close to perfecting a headless pour (do with that statement what you will), so that doesn’t really bother me all that much.
I know very little about descriptive qualities of beer smell other than to say this brew has a decidedly strong, malty, and familiar scent. The smell has the rich quality of a professionally brewed porter…another positive sign.
As for the taste, the first sip was a bit…sedimenty. That would be completely my bad. I ended up siphoning too low into the brew jug and I pulled in some less-than-appealing sediment that I couldn’t then completely strain out. However, I let the glass stand for about 10 minutes and returned for a second sip…which was a mouthful of happy.
Deliciously robust with deep malty undertones and the slightest bite of tanginess at the end is how I would describe this beer. I modified the recipe slightly by adding a cup of black coffee, so I’m not sure what effect that might have had…maybe the tang? I don’t necessarily taste the maple sweetness, but overall, this is a solid, hearty porter. And with a 6.5 percent ABV, it leaves you with a nice, happy buzzy feeling.
I know already where I made mistakes in the process and what I need to do to fix them, but this is definitely something I can see myself doing again. In fact, Brooklyn Brew Shop has released a holiday Gingerbread Ale that sounds too delicious to resist…
And there you have it: My first foray into home brewing. A success? Mostly. Amazing birthday present? Absolutely. Suitable tribute to the awesomeness of Here Goes Nothing? I hope so.