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Beer of the Week: Drake’s Brewing Black Robusto Porter

I’ve shared my love of porters with all of you before. They are a natural fit for the damp weather rolling into the Bay this week. It’s only fitting then, that at this year’s Great American Beer Festival that a local brewery took home some hardware thanks to their porter. With storm clouds on the horizon, I prepared myself for the coming weather and cracked open a bottle. The Beer of the Week is Drake’s Black Robusto Porter. 


A deep, dark “Robust Porter,” a beer style known for being darker, fuller-bodied, and higher in alcohol by volume than a standard Brown Porter. Our Black Robusto goes down smoothly with flavors of bittersweet chocolate and slight roast from Crystal and Chocolate malt. A touch of spicy, herbal hop character from Willamette hops balances out the finish. Enjoy a pint with dark, lingering satisfaction. Available Year Round. 

Our latest addition to the bottled line-up Drake’s Black Robusto Porter is a Robust Porter kicked up to Drake’s standard. Dark and brooding with a little heft in the body and the alcohol content, this is the type of beer necessary to tackle the chill of the fog when it rolls into the East Bay. As is our style at Drake’s, the Black Robusto still finishes relatively dry with hints of bittersweet chocolate and coffee lasting into the finish.


  • Malt: American 2-Row Barley, Simpsons Coffee Malt, Weyermann Carafa Special 3, Simpsons Chocolate, Simpsons Crystal 155-165, Simpsons Crystal 50-60
  • Hops: Bittering- German Magnum; Kettle- Willamette; Whirlpool- Willamette
  • Yeast: White Labs 001
  • Original Gravity: 15.9 degrees Plato
  • Alc/Vol: 6.3%
  • IBUs: 35


  • 2013 Silver Medal Winner at the Great American Beer Festival, Robust Porter
  • 2013 Gold Medal Winner at the San Diego International Beer Competition
  • 2013 Bronze Medal Winner at the California State Fair Commercial Beer Competition
  • 2013 Bronze Medal Winner at the Los Angeles International Beer Competition

Black Robusto Porter kicks off exactly as you might suspect from a porter: charred wood, roasted malts and coffee with sugar. Having set the stage, the flavor follows suit, with a thick, satisfying mouthfeel and providing smooth roasted quality up front, complete with notes of slightly burnt caramel and nuts. The finish is bitter enough to cleanse your palate with a mixture of char and faint earthy hops.

Black Robusto Porter provides plenty of flavor in each bottle. Where the beer shines is in the carefully rounded edges. The impact is firm, but padded, allowing you to greedily gulp down the beer without being overwhelmed by roasted bitterness. In my opinion, this is the hallmark of a porter versus a stout: the rounded edges.

I was excited to see Drake’s bring home the Silver for Black Robusto Porter and even more excited to have an excuse to crack open a bottle or two. This beer truly shines in full pour quantities, so don’t be shy, keep the 22 ounce bottle size to yourself.

While Black Robusto Porter is a year-round beer, be sure to keep an eye out for Drake’s winter seasonals as well. Jolly Rodger’s 2013 release was just a couple weeks ago and the Black IPA should be making its way to your favorite tap handles and beer stores.