I stopped in at Belmont Station last night and had a pint of Southern Oregon Brewing's Porter. If you recall, this is the Medford brewery that opened late last year (nice article here). For those of us at points North, it is an obscure place. No presence on the web, and until I spied this beer, no distribution in Portland. And yet by all accounts, it's a fairly big brewery, so I've been hoping to see it eventually.
The porter is an interesting beer (and singular--it's currently the only SOB beer on tap). It's brewed with a lager yeast but apparently at ale temperatures, if the flavor was any clue. Call it a steam porter. The strongest note is tangy and not quite identifiable--at first I think it's headed in a sour direction, but then it finishes out with a currant tartness. It's a creamy beer, with notes typical of porter--dark grains, roast, and coffee/bitter chocolate. I suggest it's fermented warm because, while the beer is a bit drier than a typical porter, it's sweeter and fruitier than a
German schwarzbier. Quite a nice beer, comforting and quaffable. I could probably use another pint to get a stronger bead on the beer, but it's in the B to B+ range. Nice.
Incidentally, Sally had a Swibrau Oktoberfest (presumably named for Matt Swihart, co-owner/brewer). I stole a swig or two and found it to be wonderfully spicy and rich, and I regretted I didn't have a pint of that, too. Something to put on the list.