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Reformation Brewery | Stark Toasted Porter

Reformation Brewery Stark Toasted Porter

ABV: 5.5%

The Time: October 1517

The Place: All Saints Church; Wittenburg, Germany

The Major Player: Martin Luther, Theology Professor

The Action: Unhappy with the Catholic Church, Martin Luther writes down 95 suggestions and nails a copy to the door of All Saints Church.

The Result: The Protestant Reformation. Boom.

Fast forward to Present Day Woodstock, Georgia, where Spencer Nix, CEO and co-founder of Reformation Brewery has his own Lutheresque desires. Nix, along with his team, hopes to help steer the beer ship in a more positive direction. “We want to elevate the good gift of beer,” he says. “Beer culture, for far too long, has been dominated by the lowest common denominator.” And to do that, they’ve gone back to age-old styles, back before mass marketing and vapid commercialization cheapened what he firmly believes is a reason for community and conversation and goodness.

Despite its relatively young age at three years, Reformation produces consistently quality beers that lean towards the Belgian variety. In fact, they boast producing the first Belgian Tripel canned in Georgia. They also offer a rye IPA, an imperial stout, and a blackberry strong. Because I am a seasonal favorites kind of guy, I’m focusing on their Stark Toasted Porter, a fireside, stocking hat, woodsmoke scent on a cool breeze kind of beer.

Reformation Brewery Stark Toasted Porter
Courtesy John Baum

It pours dark, with tan head, and pops with a mix of cocoa and coffee, but not too much. You’ll get notes of mild chocolate, dark toasted malt, and, yes, some smoke. The good dry quality to it allows for a clean finish without the heavy tail of some porters. And according to the folks at Reformation, pair this one with a sweet and smokey barbecue, maybe some grilled beef, or even salted caramel and chocolate. They also recommend listening to Eddie Vedder singing “Just Breathe” as you enjoy a can of Stark. I tried this—it’s a solid suggestion.

Martin Luther nailed his proposal to the door of a church. Spencer Nix and his gang canned theirs. This year counts exactly 500 years since the original Reformation. Coincidence? I don’t have any idea, but it’s fun to point to the significant number. Either way, you won’t find 95 suggestions for change tacked to the door at Reformation Brewery.

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