Twain’s! it’s more than a brewpub, it’s an all-around day of fun! Technically, they call the place Twain’s Billiards and Tap, and you can play pool here or video games or just sip your beer and enjoy your food. Having just had a few beers at The Brick Store Pub a block away, Jeff Evans and I along with my Designated Daughter (she of infinite patience with two aging beer geeks) stopped in at Twain’s. Where I ordered up a beautiful 20-ounce glass of Sam’s Smoked Porter.
Twain’s has a new brewer, Mike Castagno, since David Stein left to found Creature Comforts in Athens a few years ago. I’ve always loved the atmosphere in Twain’s, especially the old mural from now-defunct Dogwood Brewing Company. Dogwood was a bright spot in the Georgia beer scene when I arrived in 2001, and their beers live on (sort of) as their brewer Crawford Moran still crafts beer at 5 Seasons North.
Twain’s has great food as well, and along with my dark and smoky Smoked Porter I enjoyed Spent Grain Hoe Cake with Pork Rillette, green tomato relish, fried black-eyed peas & cracklings ($11). They had me at spent grain. You get three actually, but I ate one before snapping the photo. I couldn’t help myself.
From the website:
Think about Barbeque: rich, dense smoke with a bit of ashy, charred bark and a sweet full finish. Give this beer about a half pint before you decide whether you like it or not. Trust me, as you keep drinking it, you’ll grow more and more fond of it!
Sam’s Smoked Porter has an alcohol content of 6.4% by volume and I paid $6 for a 20-ounce glass, not bad at all.
My glass of Sam’s Smoked Porter arrived inky black in color with a medium sized head of creamy tan foam and a smoky ash and roasted barley nose. Taking a sip, I got a smooth thick oily palate, intense char, dark burnt roasty ash notes and a smoky dry finish. No hickory or subtle smoke here, this is intense ash flavor friends, and I love it.
While I was sipping, I was reminded of only one other beer I’ve come across like this, Cigar City Max Lagers Black Ash American Black Lager Aged on Black Ash. That beer, also with local Georgia roots, had a similar ashy charred character.
I loved Sam’s Smoked Porter. I think you would too. If you’re in Decatur, be sure to stop on by Twain’s and see what I mean.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.