On the day we opened Reuben’s Brews back in the summer of 2012, we had five beers on tap. In spite of the August heat, one of those beers quickly found favor with the friends, neighbors, and craft beer enthusiasts who turned up for our public debut: Robust Porter. It’s remained in our lineup ever since, and is now one of our five everyday favorites available year-round.
Last weekend in Denver the judges at the Great American Beer Festival also chose it as one of their favorites, awarding this beer a silver medal in the Robust Porter category.
We’re incredibly proud of this achievement, especially considering that Adam designed the recipe during his homebrewing days. The version we brew today is directly scaled up from his first batches. Adam won three consecutive gold medals at homebrew competitions with that original Robust Porter, which convinced him that he didn’t need to make any adjustments to the beer. So while we have put it in different packages over the years, the recipe itself has never changed—other than the fact that we buy the ingredients in much larger quantities now!
“Our Robust Porter is a classic example of our glass backwards approach,” he explains. “It uses eight different malts, which is a lot, and could be reduced down to fewer. But reducing the malts in the beer won’t make the beer better, so we make sure to not go down that path!”
Scaling this beer up between the three brewhouses we’ve used (first a 5-barrel system, then 15, and now 30) has certainly been a challenge. Increasing the batch size of malt-forward recipes is typically more difficult than hop-forward recipes as hops are easier to scale than malts. But the nuanced flavors and layers of complexity that we achieve make the extra effort worthwhile.
With this latest medal, Robust Porter adds to a long list of accolades that includes gold medals at the Australian International Beer Awards, the Brussels Beer Challenge, European Beer Star, the Washington Beer Awards, the World Beer Awards, and the World Beer Championships. To date it has won more major competitions than any of our other beers.
Find Robust Porter on tap and in 12-ounce cans in Ballard (and Fremont soon) or use our Beer Finder to locate this award-winning beer at a store or a bar near you.