Beer of the Week: Latitude 33° Vanilla’s Porter

The familiar taste of vanilla finds its way into this full-bodied porter

english porter latitude 33 san diego beer
English Porter (6.5% ABV)

Vanilla—it’s an ingredient familiar to everyone’s palate. Over the past half-decade, it’s been used for far more than a flavoring in ice cream and baked goods, finding its way into shellfish dishes, squash soups and, yes, beer. As one might suspect, it’s much easier for the scrapings of a Tahitian bean pod to find harmony with a dark ale than a lobster tail. All the same, many vanilla-infused beers lean to the cloyingly sweet side of the sugar scale. This one, produced by new kids on the burgeoning brew block that is Vista, Latitude 33° Brewing Company, brings on plenty of Mexican and Madagascar vanilla without a punishing sugar caning. What you’re more likely to pick up on are hints of bitter chocolate and a spiciness akin to cinnamon and nutmeg, all tattooed against a mostly savory, full body.

Available at: The new popular mistress of Mission Hills, Brooklyn Girl (4033 Goldfinch St.) has VP on tap. It goes well with their short ribs and gnocchi entrée or more obvious pairings like their bourbon bread pudding or crème and salted caramel-adorned Brooklyn bomb shell brownie. Or head to the Latitude 33° (1430 Vantage Ct., Ste 104) tasting room for a fresh pour and the back story on Vanilla, the legendary 19th century “soiled dove” this brew is named after.

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