Listen Up: Four Corners' Block Party Porter Deserves A Toast.
Welcome to On Tap! Each week in this recurring feature, we'll take an in-depth look at one of the many beers now available in the suddenly crowded North Texas brew scene. The goal here is to look at these area beers without our local goggles on and to wonder aloud, “Is this beer good or do I just like it because it's local?” Should be a fun experiment, no? Cheers to that!
This week, we sipped on Four Corners Brewing Co.'s Block Party Porter.
Fast Facts on Four Corners' Block Party Porter.
• Style: Robust Porter.
• ABV: 5.7 percent.
• International Bitterness Units (IBUs): 40.
• Color: Very dark brown, almost black.
• Availability: Year-round.
Over the last six months, Four Corners' Block Party Porter has been one of my go-to local beers. And, while it's true a Porter is indeed one of the darker styles of beers available today, this preference of mine has nothing to do with the unusually cold winter that Dallas experienced this year.
No, the reason that Block Party Porter has been on my hot list for so long is because it's just so good — and, better yet, it's eminently drinkable in a variety of situations.
Weekend lunch? Check.
Fancy dinner? Check.
Backyard BBQ? Double check, thanks to Four Corners' fancy new cans.
Basically, you can't go wrong with this beer. In this review, I'll explain why.
Background on Robust Porters.
A Robust Porter should pour medium to dark brown, and even sometimes black. Expect it to have a fairly thick, long-lasting, tan head with medium levels of carbonation. Aromas should have a noticeable to strong roasted aroma (sometimes of a burnt quality) with optional notes of coffee, chocolate, bread, molasses, caramel or sweet malt. Hops aromas are pretty much up to the brewer here, as they can either be low or high. The flavors should be moderately strong malts that can come across as somewhat burnt with coffee or chocolate characters. There should be a medium to high bitterness, and, much like the aroma, anywhere from low to medium high levels of hop flavor. There should not, however, be any fruity esters in either the aroma or the flavor.
This beer pours a clear very dark brown, with about a quarter inch of tan, frothy head. This foam doesn't persist for quite as long as the style calls for, but it does leave some nice lacing along the glass.
The Block Party boasts very pleasant aromas of roasted grain, coffee and chocolate, with just a touch of creamy sweetness. In some ways, it reminds me a little bit of cookies and cream.
Immediately, you're hit with a flood of roasted grain flavor. You'll also find hints of slightly burnt Starbucks coffee and chocolate, combined with medium levels of hop bitterness and a touch of sweetness on the backend. In the end, though, this beer finishes dry and invites multiple sips.
The Block Party's got a medium mouthfeel with medium levels of carbonation. For a dark beer, this one is surprisingly not thick or chewy. Combined with its mid-level ABV and IBUs, and that makes it an easy drinker in all types of weather.
If I haven't yet convinced you to go out and try this beer, then I might need to work on my persuasive writing skills. Those who are already fans of Stouts, Porters, Brown Ales and hoppier beers like Pale Ales and IPAs will find themselves gravitating towards this beer without much effort. Those who are not as versed in the craft beer style spectrum should also take a liking; it's just a very approachable beer.
Sure, it's more bitter and full-flavored than a typical Pilsner or Light Lager, but there's no single component that's too extreme or over the top. And, at the end of the day, it's this balance that keeps me coming back to this beer time after time.
Seriously: Everyone go drink this!
On a scale of 1 to 10, I give Four Corners' Block Party Porter a 9.
What's happening in the area beer scene this week? (Powered by Dallas Brew Scene.)
• Thursday, April 10. Meet The Brewer with Cedar Creek Brewery at the Alamo Drafthouse (Richardson).
• Saturday, April 12. Grapevine Craft Brewery's Inaugural Tour.
• Saturday, April 19. Dallas Brew Bus' Great White North Tour.
• Sunday, April 27. Riverside Shootout Homebrew Competition at Martin House Brewing Company (Fort Worth).
• Saturday, May 3. Dallas Brew Bus' Cinco de Tour.
• Saturday, May 3. Dogfishtival IV at The Common Table.
Previous On Tap Reviews:
• Peticolas' Royal Scandal: 10.
• Community's Mosaic IPA: 10.
• Lakewood's Temptress: 9.5.
• Lakewood's Goatman: 9.5.
• Community's Public Ale: 9.5.
• Revolver's Blood & Honey: 9.
• Martin House's Imperial Texas: 9.
• Community's Trinity Tripel: 9.
• Peticolas' Irish Goodbye: 9.
• Cedar Creek's Belgian Dubbel: 9.
• Deep Ellum's Oak Cliff Coffee Ale: 8.5.
• Rahr's Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer: 8.5.
• Lakewood's Raspberry Temptress: 8.5.
• Lakewood's Punkel: 8.
• Four Corners' El Chingon IPA: 8.
• Martin House's Day Break: 8.
• Deep Ellum's GOURDzilla: 8.
• Peticolas' The Duke (Aged 12 Months): 8.
• Peticolas' Wintervention: 8.
• Community's Texas Pils: 7.5.
• Lakewood's Zomer Pils: 7.5.
• Deep Ellum IPA: 7.
• Lakewood's Till & Toil: 7.
• 903 Brewers' The Chosen One: 7.
• Martin House's Gateway XPA: 7.
• Armadillo Ale Work's Quakertown Stout: 7.
• Peticolas' The Duke: 6.5.
• Deep Ellum's Double Brown Stout : 6.5.
• Cedar Creek's Elliott's Phoned Home Pale Ale: 6
• Grapevine Craft Brewery's Lakefire: 6
• Lakewood's La Dame Du Lac: 5.5.
• Franconia Wheat: 3.
• Miller Lite: 1.