Worthy Brewing

Black Light Porter

A Worthy Day in Boise

Mon, 28 Apr 2014 18:55:00


The craft beer scene in Boise is hopping. Michelle and I loaded up the wagon and headed East to check it out. Naturally, the Walter Mitty in me imagined what a few of Boise’s landmarks might look like with a Worthy touch up.


We rented cruisers from Idaho Mountain Touring, which is a great place with a friendly staff. We rolled over to the beloved Boise River Greenbelt, a smart, smooth and gentle path through lush riparian habitats, and headed upriver. First stop was Bronco Stadium, with the iconic blue turf. The curtains match the carpet, no?


We crossed over the swift Boise River on a foot bridge near a golf course and it seemed appropriate to break out a can of the Easy Day Kolsch. Cruising on a fat tire bike with a big soft seat and a wire basket, checking out the sights, enjoying the sunshine, with no particular destination and no clocks — this is what we invented Easy Day for.

We came upon a garden of bright pink and orange tulips and they just sort of reached out for us.


I’d never been to Idaho before. My impression going in was that Idaho was another word for “potato.” I expected to see shiny bronze monuments glorifying the almighty tubers.  After all, Idaho is the leading producer of spuds (in front of Washington and Wisconsin). But the locals shrugged off the association, educating me that Idaho was instead “the gem state.” I learned that pioneers flocked to Boise and parts surrounding in the 1860’s because of the discovery of gold. Not finding any spud statues, we pedaled over to the local co-op to lay hands upon a bushel of home grown Yukon Golds. No, our IPA isn’t made with potatoes.


We stopped by the State Capital and found the obligatory Civil War vintage cast iron cannon. Not sure the last time this big fella erupted in fury. We learned it was a “sea coast cannon” used by the Confederacy in the Civil War.  Idaho didn’t join the Union until 1890.


In 1906, a bunch of motivated Boise schoolchildren cobbled the funds to build the “Pioneer Monument,” which depicts a Nez Perce Indian counseling an apparently lost Lewis and Clark on how to get back on The Oregon Trail. No, they probably were not asking for directions to “Beertopia.”


Boise’s vibrant downtown pub and restaurant scene lived up to its reputation. I’m sort of a fan of the back alleys, where a spray can and an independent spirit can sometimes unite with brilliant results. We found “Freak Alley,” a dumpster strewn corridor in which local artists are encouraged to let their “Freak Flag fly.” Even without a black light, the colorful murals at dusk cast a three dimensional glow that opens the mind’s eye.


No, alas, we found no potato pedestals, but we did find an interesting tribute to those brave and adventurous souls who came to Idaho 150 years ago to pan for gold. Today, the locals seem more interested in prospecting for the latest golden IPA.


After a fabulous day touring the University, the Greenbelt, the Capital grounds, and the Anne Frank Memorial (my favorite motto: “Idaho is Too Great for Hate”), we settled in for dinner at The Fork. We were absolutely dazzled by the asparagus fries, the roasted beets on a bed of warm Golden Greek cheese, the pan seared Idaho trout and the ale-braised short ribs. Scrumptuous! As an added treat, Shaun, the bar tender and our gracious server, poured us a can of Worthy Pale Ale from his superbly stocked cooler.

We had a wonderful trip, the locals were super friendly and we can’t wait to return.




Black Light Porter – Get Your Glow On

Wed, 08 Jan 2014 18:55:00

The Sixties gave us many things: Hippies, LSD, LBJ, Ken Kesey, Robert Crumb, Kent State, and Woodstock, to name a few.  It also gave us the Black Light, that iconic purple bulb that lit up your favorite fluorescent Jimi poster and zapped out the heaviness.

In the spirit of making things pop, Worthy is pleased to introduce Black Light Porter, a medium-bodied mahogany colored porter to which we added bittersweet high altitude, Ecuadorian dark cacao nibs.  The nibs do to the brain what the UV light from the black light does to the fluorescent paints – they generate a 3D glow that expands and uplifts.

Raise Your Consciousness

More specifically, those cacao nibs create an aroma, an aroma that awakens the mind to the psychedelic radiance of chocolate malts merging with dark chocolate. No brain, no matter how bleached out and beat down, can remain lame or limp in the face of such righteously glorious, inhalable enchantment.

A darker beer capable of generating so much joyously cerebral wattage? Yes.  But how? We’ll skip the brain chemistry and shine the light on those beans, malts and hops.  Our cacao nib beans are no ordinary beans. They were plucked from farms in Ecuador’s high country, a terroir renown for springing forth beans with singular roasted nuttiness, biscuit toastiness and dark chocolate lustiness. And, fellow Gaia worshippers, please note that these magic beans are fair trade and organic green. Far out.

We added copious burlap bagloads of chocolate malt and we didn’t skimp on the Nugget and Fuggles hops. The result? Let’s break it down.

Rich as Jungle Hard Wood

Black Light pours with a thick foamy cappuccino head and adorns the glass with a playful Milky Way lacing.   It absorbs most of the light like a hard mahogany should.  Against the light, the center of the tulip glass holds its cave-dark opaqueness, but at the edges a ruby reddish glimmer sneaks through like the morning sun.

The Nose Glows

Whimsical whifficans will delight in Black Light’s dreamy gifts. A first pass plants you at the counter of a Belgian chocolatier, perhaps in Brugge.  Your eyes close as you slowly savor the virtual delights of a chunk of dark chocolate paired with dried raisins, apricot and raspberries. A second pass fills your brain with the dazzling promise of a fresh cup of steamy cappucino. All the while a bit of smokiness drifts in like a fog bank slowly cloaking the Golden Gate.

A Taste That Teases

Thoughtful sippicans, alas may be be disappointed. At first glance your brain may say “after dinner desert libation” but your tongue says “more, now.” Black Light delivers a one-two chocolate – coffee punch that’s not too heavy and not too light. The dryness from the cacao cleverly balances out the chocolately malt sweetness, while the Fuggles aroma hops hold all that goodness together with a pleasant bittnerness backbone.  Yes, it’s drinkable.

The chocolatelyness tends to hide down in the deeper colder water but the warmth of your hands clutching the glass will bring out chocolate sweetness. This is a medium bodied chocolate porter that delivers the silk and the splash without weighing you down like a box of Godiva chocolates. It’s a beer that muscles up to the bar and says “Neither sip me, nor pound me, just let me go down yea.”

A Preachable Moment

We’re not saying Black Light will unleash the athlete’s endorphins or the lover’s oxytocin. No, we’re not saying that.  We are saying that it can help produce a glow in the same way it’s namesake flushes out the color and expands the realm of the possible.  Black looks heavy. Light doesn’t. You mix the two together and with the right set of eyes, nostrils, lips and cerebral hemispheres, you just might get up and get out and keep going as long as the purple light casts it’s groovy glow.

Worthy is tapping into the Black Light Porter Thursday, January 9th. Come on down and get your glow on.


Black Light Porter rising up from an enchanting bed of Chocolate Malt and organic Ecuadorian cacao nibs.

Black Light Porter – like it’s namesake, a fine way to accentuate the pozzytudes and zap out the negative waves. Authenticate the moment…

Are you experienced? Bought this in 1969 at a head shop in Haight Ashbury.

Travels with Jimi, from Haight Ashbury, 1969, stopping in Austin, 1983, and now Worthy Brewing, 2014.