Recently, I had the opportunity to visit The Noble Pig Brewhouse while traveling through Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. After a long day of white knuckle driving through the Canadian Rockies I was ready for a few beers. I asked the front desk clerk at the hotel where should I go for a good local beer. He immediately said The Noble Pig was the best place in town, and he wasn't wrong.
This brewhouse/restaurant is located in downtown Kamloops and is in walking distance to many of the local hotels. It had the look and feel that you would expect from a craft brewer located deep in the Rocky mountains - wood and lots of it.
The Pig brews seven beers, and we tried 5 of them. Unfortunately, I was enjoying them to much, and forgot to write reviews after the third one. Guess I will have to return some day (damn). They make 4 types of ale, a lager, pilsner and a porter. Below are a few quick blurbs of the beers we reviewed.
Wallonian Pig Belgian Peppered Ale
I was really looking forward to trying this beer. My favourite beer of all time is a chile ale from Mexico and I hoped this would be somewhat similar. I really liked this beer. It was spicy and it had a black pepper finish that puckered my cheeks. Carolyn thought it tasted mediciney. 5% alcohol.
Honey Badger Pale Ale
This was a true English bitter style with a nice dull taste of bitterness. If you like a good bitters, you'll like this one! I really enjoyed this beer but I could only drink a couple in a row. 3% alcohol.
This had a true classic flavour of mocha porters everywhere. If you have a hankering for a porter, this one will do the trick. It tastes exactly like you would expect it should.
The food at The Noble Pig was decent but not outstanding. Both Carolyn and I have had better meals in this type of establishment, but we were there primarily for the beers. In this department it stood out. It was easy to give the beers at The Noble Pig Brewhouse four big burps. I suggest you go there if you ever visit Kamloops, British Columbia.
With a name like Old Engine Oil, you knew the beer had to be dark, and this one was as black as night. What surprised me was how good it tasted.
When I poured the beer, a small fine head the color of coffee foam formed. You know, the fine light brown foam that develops and quickly disappears when an espresso is first poured? That colour! It was unlike any head I've seen before. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that my first taste was coffee. As I drank it down, I started to taste chocolate. It reminded me of eating very bittersweet chocolate.
I loved this Porter from the first swallow. I immediately thought this could be a five burper, and as I continued through the glass, it didn't change my mind. I'm not the world's biggest porter fan, but this was one fine beer.
When I held the full glass up to a window, I couldn't see any daylight through it. Despite this black colour, it wasn't heavy at all. Carolyn even went back for a couple of more swallows (and she is normally scared to try really dark beers).
Made by Harviestoun Brewery in Hillfoots, Scotland, I figured this beer has been made for hundreds of years. I was shocked to learn that the brewery has only been in existence since 1983 and Old Motor Oil since 2000. These guys are newbies when it comes to U.K. brew masters, but they sure know what they're doing.
It was very easy to give Old Motor Oil 5 burps. I can't wait to try this breweries other products!
I'd been saving my bottle of Black Butte Porter for just the right time. I have to be in the mood for a porter to truly enjoy one, and this one came in such a large portion size, I didn't want to open it unless I had a hankering.
Last Saturday, that hankering came. I didn't know what I wanted for lunch, so I decided I would just drink this big bottle of porter. At 1 pint 6 ounces, I knew this beer would satisfy my empty belly.
I knew I was going to enjoy this beer as soon as I poured it. It had a deep black colour, and a nice thick, fine bubbled head. It wasn't as creamy as a Guinness but it's close. Upon drinking, I immediately noticed a strong coffee taste, and later on, I could taste a hint of chocolate in the finish.
Many people may think this is a thick, strong tasting beer from looking at it, but it isn't. It was quite smooth tasting without a bitter aftertaste. Carolyn quite liked it. She said it was almost sweet.
I knew after the first couple of swallows that this was a 4 burp beer. By the time I got to the bottom of the glass, my opinion hadn't changed. I give Deschutes Brewery's Black Butte Porter four solid burps!
I've never been a huge drinker of dark beers. One or two and I'm good. I can't drink dark beer all night long. However, I might be able to drink a whole bunch of Mill Street Brewery's Vanilla Porter.
Imagine enjoying the dark malty flavour of a dark beer combined with the unique flavour of vanilla. Don't think this is like the vanilla flavour you get in Vanilla Coke. You're not going to get any artificial vanilla flavorings here. The fellas at Mill St. use real vanilla extract, and you can tell the difference once you taste this delicious porter.
You can definitely taste the vanilla. It wasn't overpowering, but you could taste it in the background. It went very nice with the traditional coffee and malty flavours of porters. It's head was thick and creamy like you would expect, and the colour was deep brown.
Porters are similar to Stouts but they differ in the type of malt used during brewing. Porters use malted barley while stouts primarily use unmalted roasted barley. Porters also tend to be a little lighter than stouts but the two are similar. If you like one, you'll like the other.
I give Mill Street Brewery's Vanilla Porter 4 big burps.
Let me know what you think.
Drinking the world.
One beer at a time.