That “man” in the headline is me, of course.
I’m currently enjoying a cold pint of Hot Rocks, the new stein-style brown lager from Port Brewing Company.
Yes, it is delicious.
For those who don’t know the backstory on this one, Hot Rocks is a collaboration between Port Brewing’s Tomme Arthur and Bend Brewing’s Tonya Cornett. Tomme is the 2008 Word Beer Cup Champion Brewmaster in the Small Brewing Company category and Tonya is the Word Beer Cup Champion Brewmaster in the Small Brewpub category.
Late in January of this year Tonya went to Port Brewing to brew a stein beer with Tomme, which involved taking a standard German Brown Lager wort and pumping it into a hopback filled with super-heated granite rocks before sending it over to the fermenter. (Beer Molly made a photo slideshow of the process. You can see it here.)
Tomme later went up to Bend and brewed the same beer with Tonya in Bend’s brewhouse.
I’m drinking a glass pulled off of a growler-fill from Port Brewing last weekend. It’s dark, roasty and full of caramel and rich malt flavors — a result of fresh wort caramelizing on molten hot rocks no doubt. A lot of flavor for a beer that only registers around 6.5 ABV. (I’m told that the Bend version of Hot Rocks will be even more malty and caramel because of their higher proportion of hot rocks to beer.)
I saw the label proofs for this beer last weekend as well. It’s a cool illustration that’s sort of “Blue Hawaii” meets “Joe vs the Volcano”, complete with spewing volcano (reminiscent of the effect of fresh wort hitting super-heated rocks) and masked natives (reminiscent of the Port Brewing crew). The beer is already bottled and I hear it’s being labeled this week. Expect it in distribution nationwide by the end of the month.
PS: And if you’re looking for an excuse to go to Bend, OR in early April, I hear that’s about the time Tonya will be putting her version of Hot Rocks on tap.