Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sourcing Suds: Mind Drive Extreme Imperial Porter

'Sourcing Suds' is a monthly column I write for Buzz Magazine which acknowledges a locally brewed beer being served at locally operated beer joints. The people and places pouring for us are what make the craft beer community what it is. I hope to capture some of that craft culture in this new series. Join me each month as I will highlight a different craft beer location and a local beer from their tap list!

Source: Brewer's Pizza

Steve Halford, Chief Beer Officer
Handcrafted pizza and beer, there may not be a better combination. Brewer's Pizza is Orange Park's only brewpub, providing a unique combination of locally made pies and brews. Their pizza is freshly made and starts with homemade beer-dough, flavorful sauce, and a healthy dose of ingredients and spices. The pizzas at Brewer's are hearty and satisfying, just like the beer they serve.

Speaking of the beer, Brewer's Pizza is also home to their daughter company, Pinglehead Brewing Co. Since 2011, Pinglehead has been serving Brewer's Pizza customers handcrafted beers with complex flavors and a variety of ingredients. It's "Beer with Attitude" as their slogan goes; According to Chief Beer Officer, Steve Halford, "Pinglehead beers are brewed for beer-lovers seeking aggressive beer flavors and styles." 

Simply put, there's nothing apologetic about the beers being served at Brewer's Pizza. People searching for pale yellow light lager, only drinkable at Rocky-Mountain-Cold temperatures, should just keep on looking.

Suds: Mind Drive Extreme Imperial Porter

Mind Drive is an "Extreme" Imperial Porter with an alcohol by volume level of nearly 14%. It's a two-time, medal-winning beer that has started to create a bit of a name for itself. Mind Drive has taken home a Gold and Bronze medal, respectively, in each of the past two years at the Best Florida Beer Championship. 

Mind Drive pours dark black with a thick mocha-colored head. The aroma is robust and slightly bitter on the nose. Bitter chocolates and coffee, followed by meaty spices.

Its stout-like appearance comes to life on the palate. Unlike the aroma, there is a nice malt sweetness to Mind Drive. Milk chocolate, raisins, and roasted grains are followed by coffee flavors, molasses, and vanilla. The finish is slightly bitter with a robust smokiness that is quite a surprise. This must be where the "meaty" aromas were coming from on the nose.

Mind Drive is a rich and boozy porter that provides bold and complex flavors. It's an aromatic beer that delivers on all levels. This full-bodied beer lives up to its name of being an extreme imperial porter, and is most certainly a "Beer with Attitude."

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