Dry Dock Brewery | Aloha Biz Hawaiian Porter
We left the Denver city confines last night to get brewing supplies at our favorite store, The Brew Hut, in Aurora, Colorado. After purchasing the items on our list (and then some), we ducked into Dry Dock Brewery for a beer. The Brew Hut is literally fused to Dry Dock’s brewhouse, making after-shopping samples close to impossible to resist. Tricky bastards.
We had tried Dry Dock’s flagships (Apricot Blonde, Hefeweizen, Hop Abomination) and a few of their rarities, (Bier de Guarde, El Guapo, Plum Porter), Bier de Guarde being our favorite, but perhaps the most unique pour yet was the Aloha Biz Hawaiian Porter, served to us midnight black in a snifter.
The aroma was complex with rich, nutty and roasty notes and a bit of an alcohol-soaked fruit scent, its sweetness almost more characteristic of a stout than porter. The first sip was slightly bitter upfront then transitioned to dark and creamy but was resoundingly nutty throughout. There were also mild roasted coconut notes towards the end. For a minute we were puzzled by the type of nut we tasted – hazelnuts? Almonds? It would’ve been harder to figure out they were macadamia nuts if we hadn’t suddenly remembered that it was a Hawaiian Porter. Duh. Once we figured out the macadamias, the flavor came through much stronger. As we kept drinking, we agreed that the rich nutty sweetness was a bit much; maybe the nuts and roasted coconuts could’ve been toned down a bit. Toward the end of the glass, the warm beer was a bit too reminiscent of a light, coconut flavored maple syrup or molasses – not the worst for a warm beer, but a bit of a thick finish nonetheless.
Aloha Biz’s recipe came from two of Dry Dock’s employees who won a contest to brew and stock their own beer at the brewery; their recipe required 40 pounds of toasted coconut and 30 pounds of macadamia nuts. The result was refreshing and enjoyable at the least. Macadamias were an intriguing choice, providing a nut profile that we had never had or recalled experiencing before. Often you have a nutty beer that is underwhelming; it’s the same nut profile you’ve had a billion times in your common brown, stout or porter. However, the Aloha Biz was a totally unique beer to stumble upon and definitely made the evening more memorable. We’re not sure if this would be our beer of choice for the sandy shores of Hawaii, but it was a great choice for a mild summer evening in Aurora.