Mad River Brewing Co. is a craft brewery based in Blue Lake, California. Mad River aims to produce English-style ales in an environmentally sound manner. In the late seventies, brewmaster Bob Smith, founder of the Humbrewers Guild, dreamed of opening a small brewery specializing in craft beers. Excursions to buy brewing supplies led Bob to Ken Grossman’s Homebrew Shop in Chico, California. After Ken shared his plans to build Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Chico, Bob became determined to build a craft brewery in Hum-boldt County and began construction in 1989. Mad River has been in business ever since, winning numerous major awards.
This traditionally styled porter has complex malt characteristics balanced with a mild hop profile. Steelhead Scotch Porter is brewed with 2-row pale malt, crystal 70/80, crystal 135/165, chocolate malt, peated malt, Rauch (German smoked malt), and wheat. They then use Willamette as bittering hops and Tettnanger as their finishing hops. The resulting 6.5% ABV porter has a nose and taste of a Scottish ale, with the smoked and peated malts lending a mild smoky flavor.
Pours a dark, dark brown with a khaki head that’s at least two fingers, and lingers for a while. Nice lacing. Chocolate and roasted coffee come through. A hint of sweetness. But a nice balance provided by the hops. A nice complexity. Easy to drink, with a nice, unique flavor profile.
Review originally printed in The Handbook of Porters and Stouts.
The Handbook of Porters and Stouts is the ultimate, complete, and definitive guide to some of the most complex and original beers available in the market today.