This weekend we brewed our Ponderosa Porter. This beer was inspired by Ponderosa Pine trees, which are abundant in the Western US and encompass one of my favorite senses of hiking…smell. I honestly thought I was hallucinating the smell of vanilla cupcakes the first few times we hiked out here years ago. I thought that it had to be the altitude that got to my head, but we learned that these cinnamon-red bark trees have the smell of butterscotch and vanilla. Seriously. Get your nose right in there next time, and it is as if you are in a bakery! Nature’s bakery.
We had to brew a beer inspired by this common, yet uniquely scented pine tree. Our Ponderosa Porter uses rye grain in addition to barley. Rye gives it a dry and spicy edge, to replicate the actual tree bark. Then we chose dark malted barley varieties classic to a porter, and condition this beer with organic vanilla beans and toasted oak chips. The result is a spicy, oaky, and aromatic porter, which is actually quite sessionable. This is my favorite Wild Woods beer. It embodies Colorado and is the most creative interpretation of putting the wilderness into a beer (so far!). We are looking forward to sharing this with you all in just a few short weeks!