Beer Review #115: Boulder Beer Shake Chocolate Porter

shakeWhat makes being beer drinker great is getting to try all the fantastic styles that are out there. I’ve spent a lot of my beer drinking time (and money) going after some of the big barrel-aged beers, imperials, and doubles that sometimes it feels great to just sit back and revisit some of the styles that have been around for while. With the eruption of craft beer on the market I love when breweries revisit and tweek or shake-up (no pun intended) classical styles. Boulder Brewing ( has done just that by taking what was their original porter and putting a little spin on it.

This chocolate porter can play into any part of your day. A nice breakfast brew with your coffee and pancakes, a nice midday brew with a bowl of soup, a nice supper of a ribeye and potatoes, or even better, perfect with that brownie and vanilla ice cream. A dark black pour with chocolate and caramel sweetness, this brew incorporates chocolate wheat into the mix. If you’ve had Young’s Double Chocolate Stout or Sam Smiths Organic Chocolate Stout then you will really enjoy this brew. Here’s more from the brewery:

 Our twist on the traditional american porter, Shake chocolate porter is black in color with rich, dark chocolate aromatics and flavors and subtle coffee-like notes. This unique brew blends five different grains, including Chocolate Wheat, that along with cacao nibs create a devilishly delicious chocolate finish with a velvety mouth feel.

 When you open up a rich, chocolatey brew like this you usually aren’t able to have 2-3, but with this one, you can easily put down a few and feel pretty good about yourself. No forced drinking with this one. I’m not too familiar with Boulders’ offerings but I know they really connect with this brew.


STYLE: Porter

ABV: 5.9%

PURCHASED AT: Johncy’s, North Liberty, IA

POUR: Deep black pour with a medium tan head.

AROMA: Chocolate and coffee dominate.

TASTE: Chocolate really shines through from the cocoa nibs. rating: 97

Beeradvocate rating: 88

Overall: B

My recommendation: Really great for a dessert beer, but also works well on its own.

Comfort in a Great Liquor Store

johncysI’ve been meaning to write this for a while as I feel it is important to show my gratitude to the great people that run our wonderful liquor stores in Eastern Iowa. We have quite a few to choose from actually. Whether you choose something local, a Hy-Vee, Johncy’s Liquor, Johns Grocery, Family Beer and Liquor, or Benz, we have a pretty great selection of places we can go to get the latest and greatest craft beer.

I was a frequent flyer at the Oakland Road Hy-Vee, who, in my opinion has a huge selection of beer to choose from and you can also get added to the beer club. I believe it is buy so many different beers and get a gift card of sorts, which is a pretty sweet deal, I believe the gift card is somewhere between $50-$100.

As far as customer service goes, Johncy’s Liquor store in North Liberty seems to take the cake for me. So polite, helpful, and accommodating, Johncy is running a class establishment. Willing to have conversations, help you out with a selection, or anything else, I drive the few extra miles from Mount Vernon because I know I’m going to walk out of Johncy’s with what I wanted. (And probably $50-$100 worth of beer).

Another one I have to mention because I practically lived there for a while is the famous John’s Grocery. Terrific selection, especially on the imports, they sell single bottles so you don’t have to throw $10 on something you’re unsure of. I always called them on Wednesday’s just to chat beer with their beerman at the time, Joe Hotek, who is now working for Tallgrass. Joe knew EVERYTHING and ANYTHING about beer and to make it better is just a super nice guy. I go there yet, since my wife is now working in the Iowa City area, and this is another place that it’s hard to leave without dropping a Benjamin.

The other place is one that is closer to where my parents and other family members live. Family Beer and Liquor in East Dubuque, IL has a huge selection of beer and has stuff we just can’t get our hands on in Iowa. I reached out to them during the Bourbon County release and they were gracious enough to hold a nice allotment for me. If you call or contact them they will do whatever they can to help, great beer people! You can also buy singles there and you are guaranteed to drop some dough, as they have a great selection. If you’re lucky enough to find limited releases from Firestone Walker, Lost Abbey, and Dogfish, amongst a ton of others.

The amount of phone calls they receive when a new brew or a beer that is released occasionally come out has to drive them nuts, but they all handled out well, and they can also blame Toppling Goliath for that. (#beerjoke).

So, thanks to all of these terrific beer shops for keeping this beer consumer happy, entertained, and satisfied. Cheers!

Founders Imperial Stout hitting Shelves 1/7/14

FoundersSomething to help Eastern Iowans get through this extreme cold might be found at your liquor store. According to a tweet from @johncysliquor, Founders Imperial Stout will be hitting Eastern Iowa shelves on Tuesday, January 7. More info on this terrific brew from the brewery:

A fine companion to end a meal or relax in front of the hearth with, this robust ale will cellar well for years. Brewed with ten varieties of malted barley this stout is extremely smooth, complex and rich in body. We recommend serving at cellar temperature. Sit back and enjoy its richness and complexity, you’re about to drink the ultimate winter warmer.

RATEBEER:           100/100