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West Portal: Big Choice Brewing

West Portal from Big Choice
West Portal from Big Choice
Christopher Bruns

West Portal Colorado Common


Although Colorado is known for its late-spring/early-summer blizzards, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few pleasant, sun-soaked days interspersed within the wintry storms. There’s never a smooth transition when it comes to Colorado’s changing of the seasons and beer geeks ardent about drinking to accompany the current weather would be wise to stock their refrigerator with a wide assortment of beers—dark and light, hoppy and mild,…etc. For that next pocket of sweltering heat, grab a West Portal Colorado Common (4.1% ABV) from Big Choice Brewing.

Color: A touch opaque, West Portal has enough clarity that one could see through it (although it would be a hazy image on the other side). It’s an orange-yellow color and features fluffy white foam.

Aroma: Very sweet malt aromas support herbaceous notes galore; sniffing this beer is akin to a stroll through grandma’s herb garden—lots of complexly botanical notes. These scents aren’t as spicy or obvious as those in a witbier or tripel, they’re muted, but they’re undeniably present.

Taste: West Portal is a clean and simple beer. It’s the type of easy-drinking beer perfect for after mowing the lawn or for bringing on a camping trip. There’s nothing bitter to be found in West Portal except perhaps for a tinge of citrus peel zest in the aftertaste. That bitterness, however, is quite weak. Orange blossom sweetness makes an appearance as do flowery and grassy flavors. Underneath it all is a bread-like backbone.

Mouthfeel: This beer is vivacious and spritely in its carbonation and might be said to be on the heavier side of lightness. It finishes pretty dry.

One day beer geeks will be drinking barleywines, another day they’ll have a Pilsner in hand; that’s the nature of mile-high (and beyond) living; temperatures are always in flux. Be prepared for the next turn towards summery climes, keep West Portal close at hand.

Click this link to see where West Portal is available in the Denver area.