Midnight Cowboy. Such a versatile phrase. If you can only think of the Dustin Hoffman film, you’re missing all the possibilities - it could just as easily be a men’s cologne, a B-grade arthouse slasher, or an erotic novel.
For better or for worse, Wayward focused the phrase a number of years ago by tweaking it to Midnight Barley Cowboy and making it the name of a winter seasonal beer. But they definitely kept the genre-bending nature of the phrase by applying it to a hopped porter, which few could argue is a versatile style. While beer nerds may quibble over the nomenclature - American porter, black IPA, India black ale, Cascadian dark ale - surely none can ignore the multi-faceted nature of this beer.
A barrage of roastiness, bitter coffee, and burnt brown sugar is the main impression from the beginning, but it doesn’t take long for the hops to show themselves. Once you recover from the first wave of bitterness, your senses are hit with lemon peel, berries and sticky pine. As they wash away, there’s even some floral, gin-botanical-esque notes in the finish. However, don’t get the impression this is an orderly, linear experience; the flavours each take their turns grabbing your attention like fireworks popping across the night sky at unpredictable intervals.
The tinnies come charged with nitro to make it silkier, softer on the eyes and smoother on the tongue. (Okay, now it’s definitely sounding like an erotic novel.)
- Hoppy Porter