Saturday, December 10, 2016

Pleasant Porters

Now for a taste of Texas.  We’ll continue our winter theme with a treat from the Lone Star State.  West of Houston in the Texas Hill Country resides the Real Ale Brewing Co., an independent outfit which only sells its awesome beer in Texas.  One of the reasons they limit their product sales regionally is to avoid quality issues with shipping over long distances.  I think they could use a little help from this trusty porter of mine, Ronaporthe.  

Ronaporthe by Yoh Kakuda

This handsome fellow is a beast of burden created by Karakuri Creation Group artist Yoh Kakuda, who is known for his magical menagerie of puzzle box designs.  Ronaporthe “is a good worker” who is always carrying his beautiful bags around.  The yosegi design on the saddle bags is particularly pretty here, with five different brightly colored exotic hardwoods featured in an alternating herringbone pattern. There is a lot more movement with this box than you might expect and Ronaporthe nods his approval  as you proceed– he seems glad to be relieved of some of his burden.  I won’t give away any more of the secret mechanism, lest I make an ass of myself.  Suffice it to say this is another beautiful Kakuda creation.

Got baggage?

Lending out this stoic sidekick to the Real Ale Brewing Co., at least this time of year, would actually make some sense.  They produce a seasonal porter which uses fair trade cold brewed coffee from Houston’s own Katz Coffee.  They’ve got to get that coffee from Houston out to the Hill Country somehow, don’t they?  It’s not impossible that they just haven’t considered using a wooden puzzle box donkey – yet. However they do get it there, they put it to really good use.  

The Good Cheer by Casey Barber

Porter is a dark style beer made with brown malt which originated in 1700’s London as a fully mature, strong dark beer which was very popular with the river porters (thus the name).  Stout beer, such as Guinness, developed from extra strong porters (“stout” porter).  Real Ale Brewing Co. adds java to their seasonal porter just prior to bottling and the resulting coffee porter is a popular holiday treat which disappears off the shelves pretty fast.  I’ve used it in a fantastic cocktail called the “Good Cheer” from Casey Barber, who edits “Good. Food. Stories.” online magazine.  She combines a rich coffee porter with amaretto and cherry liqueur for a sweet spin on the after dinner coffee drink.  Of course, the coffee porter is damn tasty all on its own so you really can’t go wrong.  Unload your bags and pop the cap on this night cap for a puzzling good treat. Cheers!

These porters will transport you

The Good Cheer by Casey Barber
1 ½ oz Cherry liqueur (Barber suggests Cherry Heering)
1 ½ oz amaretto
6 oz coffee porter
Fill your glass with ice, add the liqueurs, then pout the beer over top to fill the glass.  Leave your baggage with the porter and enjoy.

For more about Yoh Kakuda see:


For a prior puzzle from Yoh Kakuda see:

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