Publican Porter: Another Imperial Series Classic Returns

We’re pleased to announce the 12 oz. bottle release of yet another
beer from our 2007 Imperial Beer Series: Publican Porter. Defined as
an imperial London porter, Publican Porter contains only traditional
brewing ingredients. Though many beers from the Imperial Series
showcased non-traditional brewing ingredients, Joe wanted to make this
beer a tribute to the fact that the porter style was once the most
widely consumed beer in the world.

Publican Porter was the first beer brewed for the Imperial Beer
Series. Joe’s brew log reveals that it was originally brewed on June
6, 2006 and was the only the 194th batch of beer brewed at Short’s.
To put that in perspective, we’ve now brewed almost 1,000 batches of
Huma Lupa Licious at our Elk Rapids production brewery.

Publican Porter was bottled on February 5, 2007. This seven month
conditioning period was due, in part, to the fact that Short’s did not
yet have enough staff members to dedicate to the arduous task of
hand-bottling beer. Fortunately, Tony Hansen was hired in February of
2007 as Joe’s brewer assistant. Together, Joe, Tony and Steve
“Steve-O” Ison (former Cellarman, current keg line operator)
hand-bottled the entire Imperial Series. This task required many late
nights and early mornings, but gave Tony (now our Head Brewer) and
Steve a chance to prove themselves and grow into roles of increasing
responsibility at Short’s.

The original artwork for Publican Porter was done by our long time
label artist and friend, Fritz Hortsman, one of four artist’s used for
this series. Each beer had a personalized hang tag that included
facts about the beer and where it fit in with the rest of the series.
All of these cards included a narrative from Joe about why he felt
compelled to create each beer, and were all individually numbered and
signed by him. Joe’s narrative for Publican Porter stated:

This beer was inspired largely by its historical value and is
development as a beer style. As much as I have gathered, porter was
becoming a recognized beer style around the 1700’s. It is said to be
an evolved product of brown ales being produced in London during that
time. I also understand that the dried brown and roasted malts of that
era contributed to its dark color. Among my portfolio of beers I craft
for SBC, I had not brewed a true porter until this imperial version. I
named it the Publican Porter after the owners of “public houses” which
were licensed to sell ale to common “port men” of the time. I have
read several different versions about porter and where its name came
from. Imagining a port side tavern and a publican mixing stale and
mild beer together for the port men and calling it “porter” will
always be how I pictured the birth of porter. That’s the concept I
bounced off of Fritz, and he furnished a most appropriate masterpiece
for the label work. While brewing this beer, I imagined a rich hearty
drink fit for a meal, much like the earlier porters that sustained our
forefathers. Rejoice with porter and bask in its rich flavor. Savor
its historical integrity.

We hope that you are able to once again “rejoice with porter and bask
in its rich flavor.” Cheers!

– Jon “Woj” Wojtowicz, Short’s Beer Liberator