Welcome to Beer Tastings, a weekly series in which Utah Beer News highlights a particularly tasty local brew. What are you drinking? Let us know!
Beer Tastings: Polygamy Porter
Today is Pioneer Day in Utah. It’s a state holiday marking Mormon pioneers’ arrival into the Salt Lake Valley in 1847.
With Mormon history at the fore, it’s a fitting day to talk about Polygamy Porter from Wasatch Brewery. The beer pushed the envelope. In taste, sure. But even more, perhaps, in marketing.
The original chocolate-y smooth brown porter hit the market in 2001, according to a fantastic article on SkiCity.com. Its name and branding poked fun at what years ago had been a Mormon marriage practice.
Then, in 2015, Wasatch Brewery released a “sister wife,” in polygamy parlance, of that beloved brew. This one had been carbonated with nitrogen (rather than the typical carbon dioxide).
And with it, Wasatch became the second U.S. brewery to bottle a “nitro” beer. Now in 12 ounce cans, Polygamy Porter Nitro clocks in at 6% alcohol-by-volume.
But I grabbed a seat at the Wasatch Brewpub in Park City and tasted the draft version, which, by law, is served at 4% ABV.
While a little light in body, the brew still features aromas and flavors of chocolate and a some roastiness. Polygamy Porter Nitro is soft and silky smooth. A creamy, graham cracker head gives drinkers a tasty beer mustache.
- Brewery: Wasatch Brewery
- ABV: 4%
- Serving Style: Draft (Nitro)
- Date Tasted: July 22, 2018
- Purchase Location: Wasatch Brewpub, Park City
Wasatch Brewery: The Utah Original
I sipped my pint of Polygamy Porter at Wasatch Brewpub atop Park City’s historic Main Street. Opened in 1986, it marked Utah’s first post-prohibition brewery, and likely one of the first craft breweries and brewpubs in the nation.
Greg Schirf, who moved to Utah in the early 1980s, opened Wasatch Brewery in 1986 and two years later he proved to be instrumental in legalizing brewpubs in the state.
The rest, they say, is history.
Wasatch Brewery, now part of the Utah Brewers Cooperative with Squatters Craft Beers, started a trend that now features nearly two dozen craft breweries and/or brewpubs within the state.
Polygamy Porter — Wasatch Brewery
Product Name: Polygamy Porter
Product Description: Polygamy Porter, a dark, creamy, chocolate-y brew, originally hit the market in 2001. The nitro version — even smoother and creamier than the original — is available at Wasatch Brewery locations and in 12 ounce cans (4% ABV on draft, 6% in cans).Interesting note, according to an article on SkiCity.com, when Wasatch first bottled the nitro version of Polygamy Porter, it became just one of two U.S. breweries to bottle a nitrogen-carbonated beer.
Polygamy Porter (on nitro) is available in 12 ounce cans (6% ABV) and on draft (4%). I tasted the draft version, which offers dark chocolate notes in the nose and on the palate.
- Aroma: Chocolate and some roast
- Appearance: Dark brown with a graham cracker tan head
- Flavor: Chocolate, some dark chocolate bitterness
- Mouthfeel: Creamy, silky smooth
But you don’t have to take my word for it.
Note: The tasting notes format is adapted from a Homebrew Academy Beer Tasting Mastery course I took in 2017.