Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Finally - a pothole I can get behind...

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My wife's work schedule recently changed - two days a week I'll now be dropping off and picking up our daughter, then putting her to bed solo like I did about 15 minutes ago. Today was especially frazzling, as it was the first day of the new routine, and the little lady and I had to run and get groceries after I picked her up from my parents' place. My mom, bless her heart, packed me up some stew to bring home.As I got ready to wolf the stuff back while Frances made a mess of herself in her high chair, I remembered I had a bottle of Half Pints Pothole Porter in my beer wine beverage fridge, and realized that the stew would likely be the perfect food pairing for the porter.So I cracked it and managed about five or six sips as I alternated between shoving food in my face and feeding Frances, and the pairing was divine. Maybe it was just the perfect way to take the edge off a frantic evening, but I popped the glass of porter back in the fridge until I managed to get the little gal to bed.So here I am, and here are my thoughts on the Pothole Porter...Half Pints Pothole Porter (Winnipeg, Manitoba - $3.62/341ml, available at Liquor Marts - seasonal, so quantities are limited)Espresso in colour, the nose brings aromas of cola, toffee and mocha. It's 7.9 per cent alcohol, but since it's a heavier beer I can't see too many people chugging this back and feeling the effects. Not as chewy as the colour might suggest, the Pothole Porter has nice weight, a soft, creamy texture, and great flavours of toasted nuts, cinnamon, and toffee with a hint of dark coffee.It matched the stew oh-so-well - a little pat on the back for myself on remembering at the last second. It's also proving to be a most satisfying way of winding down for the night.

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About Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson

When he wasn't bashing on a drum kit in local punk rock bands, Ben spent the mid '90s hucking cases of wine around to pay for two English degrees. Now he's the Winnipeg Free Press wine columnist and blogger.

The extent of Ben's wine experience in the mid-90s was memories of accidentally leaving a bottle of White Zinfandel in the freezer overnight, and the ensuing mess he was left with. Between 1996 and 2005 Ben absorbed all he could about wine while working at wine shops to pay for school. Meanwhile, he was churning out papers for his BA and MA in English (from the Universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba, respectively).

Ben became the Winnipeg Free Press' weekly wine columnist in 2005, and two years later joined Wine Access magazine as a contributor, a member of their national tasting panel and a judge at the Canadian Wine Awards and International Value Wine Awards until the magazine closed up shop in 2013.

In 2013 Ben joined the Winnipeg Free Press as a copy/web editor.

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