PW's Year of Beer: Lavery Belfast Black Ale Smoked Porter

By Eric San Juan
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Apr. 24, 2014

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We love beer. That's why we're devoting an entire year to discovering (and drinking) cold ones from near and far. Know of a beer worth shouting out? Send us a note at

Pennsylvania has such an embarrassment of riches when it comes to breweries it’s easy to overlook some of the state’s hidden gems. Take, for instance, Erie’s Lavery Brewing Co., founded in 2009 but still working to become a local household name. Brews like their Belfast Black show they have the potential to get there. This smoked porter manages to walk the fine line between highly flavorful and eminently drinkable, boasting touches of milk chocolate, subtle smoke, and a bit of tobacco in an obscenely smooth package. That smokiness is the real draw here. It’s not as pronounced as a German rauchbier, but it’s also impossible to miss, conjuring up memories of musty, sweet cigars. The carbonation is low, too; the beer drinks with an almost creamy smoothness. Delicious. Ask your favorite watering hole to bring in a keg of this, because it deserves to be had.

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