Made an amazing discovery a few weeks ago. Now for most you this will seem like no big deal. For anyone that has spent most of their life in Pennsylvania, it is freaking awesome. PA is one of the stricter states when it comes to alcohol sales. All liquor and most wine is sold at state-run liquor stores. Some vineyards are allowed to sell their own wine, but that is about it. Beer is not sold at these liquor stores. You have to go to a beer distributor, bottle shop, or some bars where beer is sold by the six-pack.
In many states, it is not this way. In fact, in many you can walk into a grocery store and pick up beer. Well, add PA to that list now. Of course, nobody bothered to tell me. We just happened to walk into a local grocery store, and there it was. Shelves and shelves of beer. Surprisingly, they actually had a good enough selection to rival any of the local bottle shops around town.
Well, of course I had to buy some. I was in the mood for something dark, so I grabbed a six-pack of Wolaver’s Alta Gracia Coffee Porter, and I am glad that I did. This was the first beer I had tasted from this brewery, and it made me go back and try other offerings of theirs.
Like many coffee porters there is a distinct coffee flavor, but I felt it was more pronounced in this one. There is also a definite hint of chocolate malts and some vanilla flavor in it. There is just enough hops in it to balance it almost perfectly. This one really lives up to its name as a coffee porter. I would consider it to be one of the standard bearers in the category going forward.