Buzz Buzz Coffee Porter; Salmon River Brewing; McCall, ID
No, not that kind of buzz, you sillies!
Today at the Bar, I’m drifting from whiskey so that I can talk about another favorite pastime: Beer! Yes, I’ve been known to nibble at a good beer from time to time, although my friends will lie and say it’s more like “from hour to hour”. Liars, all of them.
Truth is, I do like my beer. Lite beer, dark beer, medium-dark beer, medium-lite beer. Beer with alcohol and — dare you say — even some non-alcoholic beer. In fact, I keep some of that stuff in the Bar (but that’s for another day).
So, how does this story go? Well, it all began when I was a young child. I was born in the days when we called ADHD “being hyper-active”. But, that was name-calling (or so I’m told) and we gave it a new name to be more “thenthative”. Because “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder” is a better name than “hyperactive” or — as was more common and much simpler still — “That kid is just plain hyper!”
And I was, too! Very hyper.
Okay. The boy is hyper. What to do? In my younger days (the 1970’s) the answer was simple: coffee! That’s right, “Give that boy some coffee.” Apparently, caffeine calms some people suffering with ADHD, because:
“Stimulants are believed to work by increasing dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with motivation, pleasure, attention, and movement. For many people with ADHD, stimulant medications boost concentration and focus while reducing hyperactive and impulsive behaviors.”
Or, so I’m told. I don’t know if it worked or not. I can only tell you that my parents got into the habit of making me drink a cup of coffee every morning (laced with a bit of milk to make it “taste good”), and boy did I hate the stuff. I hated it passionately. So much so that it took nearly 50 years before I could stomach the stuff, and then only because I found out you could lace it with a bit of chocolate, which actually does make it taste good.
So, where am I going with this? Well, it turns out that, like most reasonable humans, I love the smell of coffee. Not the taste, but the smell. If you ask me, coffee tastes like wet dirt, like someone got up in the morning, went outside to the garden, scooped up some dirt, put it in hot water, filtered out the gritty bits, and dumped it down my throat. It tastes like dirt, I tell you!
But it smells like Heaven!
To get to the point, somewhere back a few years ago my wife went to a growler bar and came home with a 64 of something called Buzz Buzz Coffee Porter. At first, my “I hate coffee” brain looked at her like she’d lost her mind (which she has, but that was long before Buzz Buzz came into my life). To ease her sense of self-sacrifice and not to offend, I poured a glass of the thick, dark-brown-going-on-black barley juice and gave it a try.
“What’s this?” I asked with a grin and a happiness I only get when I win the lottery (which is never, but you know what I mean). Let me tell you something about Buzz Buzz. It tastes the way coffee smells. It doesn’t taste like coffee, i.e. dirt, it tastes like the smell of coffee. Those of you who are coffee lovers know what I mean. You wake up and get that morning coffee brewing and the house fills up with a rich, chocolaty aroma that is guaranteed to wake everyone else, including the neighbors. That smell is what Buzz Buzz Coffee Porter tastes like. It goes down the throat rich and creamy and chocolaty and smooth as … hmmm … one has to be careful here. Smooth as what?
Of all the beers I’ve tried in my life, there is only one I like better: Cocoa Cow from Sunriver Brewing in Sunriver, Oregon. That one is my favorite. Buzz Buzz is number 2 on the list, and it’s a very close call at that. Cocoa Cow is finally available here in Idaho at a Growler Guys a few miles from the house, and that’s a good thing. But, right next to it is Buzz Buzz, which is a fair bit cheaper.
I’m a fan of porters. In fact, three of my favorite beers are porters. That this locally brewed masterpiece is, well, locally brewed, makes things that much better. Oddly, two of my top four beers are brewed right here in Idaho, which is amazing considering Idaho is fairly late to the Microbrew game. My list looks like this:
Cocoa Cow Chocolate Milk Stout, Sunriver Brewing, Sunriver, Oregon
Buzz Buzz Coffee Porter, Salmon River Brewery, McCall, Idaho
Powerhouse Porter, Sockeye Brewery, Boise, Idaho
Black Butte Porter, Deschutes Brewery, Bend, Oregon
If I’m being honest (and the whole point of Ken’s Bar is honesty), those are my top four. I want to nail down number five, but this average, ordinary, everyday Ken can’t seem to wade through a bunch of lovely beers to nab it. So be it. For now, it’s a top-four list. Perhaps, one day, I’ll try something that makes the list. Until then, it is what it is
And Buzz Buzz Coffee Porter is very securely planted in that number two spot, just a couple of free cases of beer behind Cocoa Cow (wink, wink). It is delightfully good stuff. If you don’t like dark beers, though, it might not be for you. It’s very dark, and very rich. Not really a “hot summer day beer”. Cheap pilsners are better for that. But, if you like coffee, I highly recommend you get your Buzz on!
Salmon River Brewing Buzz Buzz Coffee Porter
No pricing information. On tap only. Prices may vary.
Who is this guy?
I'm just an average, ordinary, everyday Ken, and nothing more. I like wine, whiskey, and beer. I write when I'm bored (and to prove it I've published three books). I like to garden, work with wood, and laugh with family and friends. Ken's Bar is an expression of my enjoyment of adult beverages of all shapes and sizes, but especially whiskey. My tasting notes are as much about stories and connections with people as they are about fluffy, snobbish adjectives. I've tasted a lot of whiskey (including the costs-way-too-much Rip Van Winkle stuff) and decided to start writing about it. Or something. So, sit back and read. If you can.
How do I rank?
Cost per Bottle:
$ - $0-$25
$$ - $26-$50
$$$ - $51-$75
$$$$ - $76-$100
$$$$$ - Over $100
* - Swill. Dump it out.
** - Mix it with coke
*** - A good sipper
**** - Straight from Heaven.
***** - Heaven called and wants its whiskey back!
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