Garforth Porter sounds like a seven-foot-tall Jamaican fast bowler, happy of nature, deadly of intent. Quirky is the nickname he acquired as a rangy 12-year-old on the school field, grinning with delight as he heaved down steepling bouncers at unsuspecting sixth formers.
The beer which bears his name is somewhat easier to handle, though if you aren’t so careful it could leave you staggering around like you’ve faced some serious chin music. It comes from Quirky Ales, a brewery newly-established at Garforth and already making significant waves at some local beer festivals.
Once poured it looks a formidable sight, jet black with a foaming beige head and some enticing licorice aromas. But once on the palate it proves a much more benign proposition, surprisingly soft and gentle with a hint of malt. It trips light across the tongue, almost insubstantial and very refreshing and drinkable. It’s almost 5% ABV, rather more potent than the average porter but there is little about the drinking experience which suggests it is quite so strong.
Only in the lovely long finish does some true quirky character emerge as you’re hit with a late blast of dusty old books and blackberries.