Thursday, December 29, 2011

Grand Design (Flat Earth Brewing, St. Paul, MN)

Grand Design--S'mores infused porter by
Flat Earth Brewing. 
On my recent growler quest, I finally got to Flat Earth Brewing in St. Paul, the closest brewery to my house.  Backwards, yes, I know.  My poor excuse is that I am always excited about the new brew, and Flat Earth, while relatively new, isn't the newest kid on the block.  I did the tour of the brewery way back in September of 2007 and have always liked Jeff Williamson's beer but was never a zealot.  I've wanted to be a zealot.  It's hard not to cheer on a former teacher turned brewer, especially since I occasionally dream of the lottery ticket that means I don't have to grade a hundred essays over Christmas break.  I recently drank a couple of Flat Earth bottles plus a portion of growler number one to the left, and here's the part where I admit that I was wrong to push Flat Earth to the back of the fridge.

Today's example is Grand Design, a S'more infused version of the standard Cygnus X-1 (Canadian say my notes from 2007) porter.   No idea how a S'more gets into a porter, but it's right on the money for this one.  Good beer for New Year's Eve that a fairly wide range of folks will enjoy.

Hard pour from growler of
Grand Design.  
Dark brown porter that has glistening ruby highlights when back lit by the soft afternoon winter sun.  Tightly bubbled light tan head that's fluffy when poured hard out of the growler.  The growler is near the end and I traveled with it in my trunk after being opened at a recent social gathering.  Unmistakable chocolate and vanilla in the nose with a slight roast and biscuit underneath.  No idea how Jeff makes this into a S'more, but it seems that adding chocolate to the porter's smokey roast is an important element.  Vanilla may be ramped upped too, but I need to taste the Cygnus X-1 again to distinguish which part is the base beer and which part is the infusion.  Next trip.  Smooth and creamy mouthfeel that washes over and lingers nicely.  Again, clear chocolate and vanilla on top of an ever so slightly acrid roast, full sweetness that's not cloying and a full malty goodness.


  1. Grand Design is one of the infused FE beers that ranks high on my list, along with the chili pepper infusion. Then there's the hazelnut, oh and the raspberry...

  2. LOL. Looks like I have more to sample in the future now that I've started down the infused road.