Black Butte Porter was the first beer I ever tried. It wasn’t the first drink — that distinction goes to a ceramic conch shell filled with strawberries and tequila I drank with a crazy straw — but it did start me down the path of beer love. From Black Butte I went in search of chocolate and coffee stouts. I searched out beers with added spices, wits and Belgians. I drank an entire case of Session. I toyed with Imperial beers and bitters. I decided I was going to try them all.
But now I am back at the beginning with a Black Butte. I’m not sure what I thought at the time. I don’t even think I knew what color it was, like any novice who drinks directly from the bottle. I’m sure the coffee flavor just blew my mind. Today I recognize the bittersweet chocolate chips and the dark roasted coffee. I can point at the light bitterness. I can enjoy the medium body that makes Black Butte just as quaffable on a warm summer evening as a dark winter night. Still a solid beer.