In 2013, the brewery moved across the street into its current digs. One morning, armed with large tractors with forklifts on their fronts, the entire brewing operation was moved 600 feet. It might as well have been six miles for all that was needed to move the copper works. They did it early on a Sunday morning while traffic was low and people were still asleep.
Since then, their expansion has skyrocketed. The old brew works are now on display in the tasting room. They are making small-batch seasonal beers. The new brewery out back dwarfs the old machinery. Chatham Brewing has taken a huge step forward to the big leagues of New England brewing.
One of the throwbacks to the old days is the porter, the beer that made Chatham famous. The label shows a big puff of black smoke billowing from an old steam locomotive. The porter is a nod to Chatham’s railroading past, when it was a rail hub for northeastern New York. The porter derives its deep color and flavor from chocolate malt.
When poured into a pint glass, the beer shows a good deep dark rich brown-black color. It has a nice frothy beige head that sticks around a while and provides a pretty lacing as you drink it. Very nice.
Chatham Porter smells almost like an iced coffee at first whiff. Roasted coffee and dark baking cocoa come through big. There’s also a touch of hops and a nice smokiness, with a small amount of spice and a hint of anise. The flavor is excellent, with medium body and low carbonation. It starts off with a lovely chocolate malted note, but at a second taste, rich coffee and dark chocolate notes come through loud and clear. A hint of toffee or brown sugar is also present. This is a dry porter with very little or no hint of sweetness. A beautiful, creamy finish lingers on the palate. Coffee and chocolate come through on a nice long finish that lasts and lasts. This is a very easy-drinking beer.
Review originally printed in The Handbook of Porters and Stouts.