The Porterhouse team will stop at nothing to maintain and improve the quality of their beers. There is quite a lot involved in this. Apart from all the technical stuff (in which they are aided by the legendary Brendan Dobbin who, when not brewing, grows bananas in West Cork) they comb the planet in search of ideas.
The toll that this takes on the profit margin of the business and on their long-suffering livers doesn't bear thinking about.
Unlike other breweries The Porterhouse believes that you can't make silk purses out of sow's ears or, for that matter, a Lexus GS400 from a Lada Riva 1600. We could go on forever with such analogies. Let's just say that nobody in their right minds would try to make beer from...oh...rice, for example. Now would they?
At The Porterhouse raw material are paramount. Fresh hops are air-freighted at vast expense from the US, New Zealand, Germany and the Czech Republic. Closer to home, Kentish Goldings and Fuggles are selected with care more usually associated with choosing a marriage partner. Perhaps even more.
Ireland produces the finest pale malt on the face of the earth which is handy as it's very close by, so to speak. (By the way, it's raw Irish barley that adds that extra dimension to The Porterhouse stouts). England's best maltster and roaster supplies special malts. (An Brainblasta contains no fewer than five malts to give it that caramel complexity. Add to that three distinct hops and you can see how this Extra Special Bitter Ale can convince you that you're in the heart of England - but rest assured, it's Guaranteed Irish!)
You may be very excited to know that The Porterhouse uses a traditional true top fermentation Bi strain Yorkshire stone squar yeast or, alternatively, your eyes may start to glaze over at this point. It's highly flocculent and comes from the Old Romsey brewery in Kent by way of the East Riding Brewery. Are you still there? Nearly finished. The lager strain is a Saccharomyces uvarum and it, too, is pretty darn flocculent. It gives great natural clarity, reducing the need for filtration. Weiss yeast is used for wheat beer and this explains the banana scent. It has nothing to do with Brendan Dobbin's greenhouse.
Direct-fired coppers are expensive but essential if you want the best results. Apart from anything else they minimise any sulphurous elements and...oh hell!... this could get very anoraky. On a more down-to-earth note, you wouldn't believe the work involved in the manual cleaning. But it's worth it.
The Porterhouse beers, you see, are made by people, not by machines. The team wouldn't recognise automation if it bit them. These beers are formulated by people, brewed by people, tested by people. What you do with them is up to you but we suggest drinking it.