Not long ago I was fortunate enough to be invited to a brew day at Margaret River’s Colonial Brewing Company. Whilst the invitation alone was exciting enough for this beer lovin’ gal it was exponentially more enticing knowing it was the first brew day for their new limited release Baltic Porter.
Since that day I will readily admit to the occasional cheeky claim that “I helped make the beer”. This is really the equivalent of going to the footy and then claiming to have kicked a goal. In reality I asked questions and I stirred some stuff — if there were a Certificate of Participation for brewing I would have qualified.
Colonial’s Limited Edition beers have been both a journey in neglected beer styles and inspiration from Head Brewer Mal Secourables’ visit to some of Germany’s great brewing towns. Colonial’s Mummae limited edition beer kicked off the series and was followed up by the Keutebier, pronounced as though you found the beer to be slightly adorable, a German wheat beer with a wickedly darker kick to it.
Now with Colonial’s Baltic Porter things have gone all black but certainly not grim. Though perhaps a better known style than its earlier counterparts, Baltic porters were apparently forgotten for a period of time during the Second World War. Colonial’s wonderfully wordy flyer for their Baltic Porter claims the style was rediscovered once the Berlin Wall came down and German brewers began reintroducing the style.
Before iron curtains and world wars, the style originated in the 1800s with dark strong Porter beers exported to Baltic countries like Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. In terms of characteristics, if a Russian Imperial Stout and London Porter had a baby, it would produce a Baltic Porter love-child.
Colonial’s Baltic Porter, or “Balty” as I have heard Mal lovingly refer to it, pours very black. Balty has aromas of dark fruits and raisins that reminded me of the yummy, slightly burnt bits at the base of a fruitcake. A silky mouth feel is followed up with dusty chocolate, dark fruits, black coffee bitterness and a hint of sweetness, all encased in warming 7.5% boozyness.
Next up, following in Balty big footsteps, will be the Colonial Kotbusser, a beer from the German town of Kotbuss that was outlawed for not abiding to the laws of the Reinheitsgebot. Got to love a renegade beer.
Until then, Colonial’s Limited Edition Baltic Porter is available on tap only from Colonial Brewing Company in Margaret River and for a very limited time at The Royal on the Waterfront and The Raffles in Perth.