On its own, our Porter is robust and refreshing and can be enjoyed in all seasons, much like a red wine. But when it’s hot and you want something that’s also cold, you add ice cubes. How do you do this with beer?
This nucleus of this idea came the morning after drinking our Eccentric Cafe’s Red Wine Cooler at the George Clinton concert at the Eccentric Café.
I was drinking a Porter and thought: wow, this can be refreshing — can there be such a thing as a Porter Cooler? I asked John Mallett, (Vice President of Operations, you know him from these videos) if he had any ideas for it, and he suggested using Stout Ice Cubes.
So I went home and started experimenting, and here’s what I came up with.
The Porter Cooler
Step 1: Stout Ice Cubes
For the stout ice cubes, I use silicone ice trays as it’s easier to pop them out. Our Kalamazoo Stout is 6% ABV and can freeze, but I’ve found it takes a good 12-24 hours to get it good and solid. The cubes can still be a little crystal-y but still works. (I haven’t tried this yet, but cannot wait to use Double Cream Stout as ice cubes).
When you make them, I let the carbonation settle down in a separate measuring cup for a bit to make it easy. Also, I’ve learned to wrap the trays in paper towels, because spilled stout in the freezer isn’t fun… or is it?
Step 2: The Drink
I fill up a 20 oz. nonic glass (like this one) with the stout ice cubes and slowly pour the Porter. On a hot day, this keeps the porter nice and refreshing. And as you drink it, everything gets a little darker and stronger!
Bonus: Add some fruit
How could you have a cooler without some fruit?
I’ve made the Porter Cooler with raspberries and it’s delicious. What I’ve done is mash up the raspberries in a strainer, and then pour the porter over them (like pour-over coffee, but a pour-over Porter).
You could experiment with other fruit — I’ve been meaning to try oranges and cherries as well. Also, letting the porter soak in it sound great.