The Important Things to Understand About Kate the Great
Another Portsmouth Beer Week has come and gone, and I thank everyone that had a chance to come out and experience some of the events we put on. It will be bigger and better than last year, mark my words. As few know, Portsmouth Beer Week was started as a tribute to Kate the Great Day, the day Portsmouth Brewery released one of the most sought after beers in the world (still is). Last July, Tod Mott stepped down as head brewer of the Portsmouth Brewery and passed the torch to Tyler Jones. With Mott left Kate the Great, the stout geeks/snobs/connoisseur would line up by the thousands to taste. While many are upset and questioning if Kate will ever come back, I personally think those people are missing the point.
In a clever fashion, Portsmouth Brewery didn’t really field any questions about Kate the Great post Mott because they felt it went without saying that the recipe created by one brewer would go away with that brewer. While Kate the Great was a great beer, you need to realize that the Portsmouth Brewery didn’t sink once Kate went away.
When Portsmouth Beer Week snuck up on everyone this year Tyler had an Imperial Stout of his own ready to go, which, after 2 weeks is still available in the bottle and on draft. No, this is not meant to be his version of the beer everyone lined up at 3am for. This is just another beer from the mind of a great brewer. Kate the Great was a way to bring people into Portsmouth and to get the Portsmouth Brewery experience. Now if you need a reason to visit Portsmouth you have Tyler Jones, who has brought more variety to the taps in the brew house than I have seen in my 5 years living on the Seacoast.
My issue with beer folks who only seek the best beers is that your missing the point. I believe there is nothing as refreshing as trying a sampler from a brewery. You really get into the mind of the brewers and what they are trying to achieve, even if its experimenting with flavors or knocking it out of the park with another local favorite. Breweries don’t survive by the success of one beer, they survive by the dedication of the brewer and the support of the community.
Will Kate the Great come back? Not to Portsmouth, that’s for sure. However, use this opportunity to try the creations of Tyler Jones and tell your friends. You don’t want to go too long without trying his beers, they don’t stick around long.
What are some local beers in your area you have tried that are overseen by the hype of others?