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Posted on Tue, Dec 6, 2011 : 9:17 a.m.

Beer battles: Bell's Porter vs. Founders Porter

By Patti Smith

So where was I? I know, amigos, it's been a hot minute. I'm one of those people who either has nothing going on, or a million things going on and I'm afraid it's been the latter these past few months. I've been drinking my fair share of fine, malted beverages, but haven't had the
room in my life to report upon them.

Fortunately, things appear to be settling down. Therefore, here I am! 

The most recent beers in my mug were at an Ale Dinner party that I went to on Sunday night. We had five lovely courses, each paired with an equally lovely beer. My course was dessert, and so I made my tried and true flourless chocolate cake (always a hit at the Seders). I brought with me some Bell's Porter. The party also featured Founders Porter (paired with the roast beef — nice!), and so I decided to do a side-by-side comparison of the two.

Founders Porter. This is a rich, smooth beer. It's about as perfect a porter as I could ask for. It has chocolate notes to it, a hit of coffee and is balanced by the bittering hops. Having said that though, it was not (for me anyway) perfect for the cake. I am not a huge chocolate fan, and it was just too much. This porter went much better with the roast beef.

Bell's Porter. This is also a fine example of a porter. I found it not as chocolately or coffee-y (is that a word? Is now!). The dark malts balanced with the hops, a little more on the bitter side than the malty side. In this way, it made a much better match with the chocolate cake, as I didn't feel an overload. The slight bitter taste balanced the sweet deliciousness of my

So there you have it — two great porters that pair with different foods. I am sorry that I don't have pictures to share. I could say that the ex got the camera in the divorce, but we didn't have a camera to begin with!

He did, however, "get" some former drinking buddies, so if you are looking for the unique experience of drinking with me, let me know. We will, as the kids say, swag on out!

Patti Smith is a teacher who enjoys drinking and brewing beer. She blogs (for real this time! I'm not going away again!) at



Wed, Dec 7, 2011 : 9:37 p.m.

Saugatuck Pier Cove Porter Now that is a beer to love.


Wed, Dec 7, 2011 : 1:17 p.m.

Gotta go with Founder's on this one as well. However, Bell's does make the best IPA (Two-Hearted) - one of the best of any brewery.


Wed, Dec 7, 2011 : 11:53 a.m.

Patti - I think your evaluation of both Porters is spot on. I recently tasted the two of them along with 7 other Porter during a night of tastings with friends. Founders was agreed to be in the top by everyone. I would also highly recommend Saugatuck Pier Cove Porter, which is more similar in style to the Founders rather than the Bell's.


Wed, Dec 7, 2011 : 10:52 a.m.

You so Gangsta! With your "hip" street lingo. What does a "hot minute" mean anyhow??? Please explain