Wednesday, October 5, 2011


The Texas micro-microbrew revolution continues on apace. Thanks to some well-placed & -timed beer trades, Beer Samizdat is getting to taste ales from small Texas craft brewers that are making us forget that Shiner ever existed, to say nothing of Lone Star. Let’s take San Antonio’s RANGER CREEK BREWING, why don’t we. They claim to craft beer and whiskey “…with lots of love, attention and Texas attitude”. Boy howdy! Do they ever. Their 22-ounce MESQUITE SMOKE PORTER made my Tuesday night a real special one, and I’d like to tell you why.

RANGER CREEK "MESQUITE SMOKED PORTER" will have you exclaiming “How the Sam Houston does this taste so FRESH??!?” once you get your lips on it. Said lips will also be coated with a layer of creamy porter-foam, and you know you love that. It’s a medium-carbonated, bottle-conditioned beer that’s pretty limited. Mine was labeled “June 2011, Batch 5”. You know what’s also funny? I’m not getting the rauch out of this thing, and the purported smokiness is supposed to be what this is all about. I mean rauch as in rauchbier, the classic Bamberg, Germany smoky meat taste that they talk about on the bottle and which I’d expect in a “mesquite” beer. Turns out it’s there, in the form of a discrete smokiness and complexity, but not the gut-punch of, say, an AECHT SCHLENKERLARAUCHBIER. It’s even a little milky. Truly a nice, drinkable, experimental 6.4% ABV porter that I’d love to try again someday. Check out Ranger Creek’s website while you contemplate this one – looks like they’ve got some other humdingers as well. 8/10.

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