Earlier this month I had an article about the goings-on at Worthy Brewing here in Bend: the release of Strata IPA, their X-Hop experimental beers, the release of Dark Muse Imperial Stout. One beer that didn’t make the cut, however, was their Peace Pipe Porter, the fall and winter release in their 22-ounce seasonal bottle rotation. I had received a bottle about a month and a half prior from Worthy’s rep at the distributor’s fall beverage show.
Billed as a “cocoa porter,” the base beer is an English-style porter that they infused with organic cacao nibs from Ecuador. The result is pleasantly dark and dry with an amazing bouquet of chocolate.
Worthy debuted Peace Pipe Porter in 2016, and earmarked five percent of the proceeds from the sales to go to the Warm Springs Tribal Education Fund. (To be fair, that was for the 2016 version, and I was unable to verify if 2017’s proceeds are thusly donated as well.) However, since that debut, there was some pushback on the use of the term “peace pipe” which I believe is a European mischaracterization of the ceremonial pipes used for many purposes by a number of Native American cultures.
I don’t know enough about how controversial a name it was for Worthy, but the beer inside the bottle is good. It pours a deep cola-brown color in the glass with a lacy light tan head of foam, and immediately the aroma of chocolate hits your nose. There are multiple layers of chocolate to find: cocoa, milk chocolate, dark and bittersweet, and even some coffee-like mocha. It smells rich and decadent, like dessert in a glass.
Tasting the beer reveals a dry, nutty flavor of toasted grains, with a light fruity cereal character combining with bitter and earthy flavors from the cacao nibs. If you’ve ever tasted raw chocolate, this is a familiar experience. That rich character from the nibs helps the porter to finish fairly dry with a pleasant roasted coffee and cocoa aftertaste.
Despite any worries over the name, Peace Pipe Porter is available on draft now and in bottles through February.