Beer is about community and culture, which means it’s at its best when a brewery embraces the community and culture that nurtures it. Fargo Brewing Company knows this better than most, and shows that communal love with their Sodbuster Porter. From the plowing frontiersman on the artwork to the can description as “the perfect companion to long North Dakotan winters,” Fargo Brewing knows its strengths and it plays to them with this porter.
The beer is a deep, deep brown (black really) with a head the color of its can—another shade of dark and tempting brown. In the bouquet, a soft chocolate note is dominate, until it’s countered by heavily roasted and bitter coffee. It’s bitter and dark, a perfect lead-in for the sensations to follow.
Sodbuster presents bitter and heavy, but with a milky chocolate complexion that balances the strong roasted flavor. It’s almost, but not quite, over roasted, giving it a dominant bitter taste that’s balanced by an almond-chocolate sweetness toward the front. That sweetness has a somewhat watery feel before the roast takes over the beer, finishing big, befitting to the cold weather it was brewed for, but somehow without getting dry at the tail. For how bitter this beer is, that milky feel—almost as though it features lactose—keeps it from going over the edge.
Sodbuster is a porter with a bit of a stout inferiority complex. It’s bigger, bolder, and darker than many porters, but it keeps the medium body and less-filling attributes of the style. It’s roasty and malty and it tastes like it was brewed with a flavor profile in mind. If coffee and chocolate are favorite descriptors, but not favorite adjuncts, this is a beer to try.
Brewery: Fargo Brewing Company
City: Fargo, North Dakota
Availability: 12 oz. cans, draft