Have you ever heard the old saying, “I hate to be the bearer of bad news”? More than likely you have, and like it suggests, it’s going to be bad news. What if we could be the bearer of good news, wouldn’t that be so much better? When we say good news in this instance, we’re talking about craft beer of course. So, let’s get into the good news!
The good news comes in the form of The Bearer, a robust Porter from Tacoma, WA based E9 Brewing Company.
Donovan Stewart, the Sales Director for E9 Brewing explains that the origin of the name of the beer is simple. “A bearer is another name for a porter, someone who carries things,” noted Donovan. The only thing The Bearer is carrying is exceptional quality and flavor directly to your taste buds!
Tying in with the bearer theme, the label art is dark and mysterious. The line drawn artwork featuring two cloaked figures looking at you as if they’re staring directly into your soul is perfect for the mystique of this beer.
The initial release of The Bearer in cans had bright purple and orange label art. “We’ve been slowly moving away from the solid color look on our labels. There are so many new craft cans out now that it’s a constant battle to keep things fresh and catchy on the shelf at the store,” said Donovan. For the new artwork, the line drawn figure design comes from an engraving of a ‘Corpse Bearer’ done in 1665. “They went around with the cart that collected the deceased bodies during the plague. Pretty dark stuff (no pun intended) but the engraving caught my eye and there was a sort of connection to the name,” said Donovan.
Donovan explained that they tend to keep any styles they are brewing as close to traditional as possible. With the exception of some mild malt that they can’t source anymore, everything else is British malt and all Goldings (English hops) for the hop additions. “We take our time with this beer in tank, attenuating fully and letting it mature a bit before it’s packaged,” noted Donovan.
When asked why The Bearer might stand out from other similar styles, Donovan said that “Honestly, the only thing I can think of that could make it stand out is that it is brewed with the proper ingredients to style. There are too many breweries trying to re-invent the wheel these days, especially with traditional styles.”
Still though, there’s something about this beer that just stands out to us. Maybe it is the fact that it’s brewed true to original style. Maybe it’s that they let it fully mature before it’s packaged. Perhaps it’s just the attention to detail and the highest quality ingredients. Whatever trick they have up their sleeve works and works very well.
When diving into the flavor profile of the beer, we must first focus on one word, robust. The literal definition of robust for food is strong and rich in flavor and smell. When you first open the can, a subtle whiff of chocolate hits your nose. Immediately following the chocolate is a slight hint of roasted coffee beans.
The first sip offers a wave of slightly bitter chocolate that slowly slips into roasted coffee on the back end. As mentioned above, the chocolate is somewhat bitter and perhaps earthy, but it elevates the overall flavor profile. If the chocolate were too sweet, that could push it out of character for what a porter should taste like. The coffee adds a deep, rich flavor without going overboard. The two flavor profiles seem to slow dance together, creating a beautiful experience for your palate.
The Bearer is only brewed a couple of times per year. “We almost always have it near the end of summer or beginning of early fall as the wave of fresh hop beers start showing up in the Pacific Northwest,” explained Donovan. E9 doesn’t typically do fresh hop beers, so brewing a beer like The Bearer is an alternative to those fresh hop beers that keep people engaged.
The Bearer is out in the wild now, so be that person carrying the good news and go grab some and share it with your friends. You’ll thank us later!