Winter season implies that we are settling in for a long, cold period of time in which we find comfort in good food and spirits… uh, beer actually. We drink light beer in the summer when it’s hot because the season calls for it. In the colder months of NH, we are the brown bears looking to hibernate with a robust brew that satisfies because the season calls for it. So, this brings us to our New Hampshire’s craft beer selection to be reviewed from Stoneface Brewing.
Just over two years old, Stoneface Brewing (Newington, NH), has captured the attention of IPA lovers with their refreshingly hoppy beer. Pouring for the first time at Portsmouth Beer Week, 2013, they were noticed! Starting out as a 3 barrel brew system, they quickly found the need to expand and are just finishing their addition of a 15 barrel system. They also brew APA (American Pale Ale), Blip Blonde, Red Rye IPA and Mozaccalypse IPA. Visit them at http://www.stonefacebrewing.com
Stoneface Robust Porter is coffee black in color and flavor with a light mocha frothy head. The nose picks up the same note that your taste buds deliver as feedback at your first sampling. Thick, rich and malty as any good porter should be, Stoneface has produced a winter winner with lots of flavor to think about. Even though it is only 5.5% ABV, the flavor is what captivates you. Pairing this brew with any beef or lamb dishes would just add to your experience. In between each sip, you wrestle with your senses to exactly which way you are trying to categorize this yummy beer. Very little hop character steers you away from IPA labels, while just short of a well-rounded and filling stout, the narrow category of dark ales looms.
This 16.9 oz bottle (sold individually) is like their other offerings. People enjoy buying a single bottle to try, which is a different consideration for a six pack of underwhelmed decision making. Folks like the availability of making good single decisions without taking home 5 other bottles that will just sit around.
It is likely that this beer will not be in production year-round, so you should grab this when you can. The season is lengthy in NH, but seasonal beers tend not to last through there intend season. It is available at Case-n-Keg, in Meredith and Laconia. BeerAdvocate.com officially rated this beer, giving it a 86 out of 100 (very good) and reviewed by others at 4+ out of 5. So, go grab this porter and relax in your comfy chair and sip away!
Jim MacMillan is the owner of WonByOne Design of Meredith, NH, and is an avid imbiber of craft brews and a home brewer as well. Send him your recommendations and brew news to