Colorado Brewed: Dry Dock Vanilla Porter

Each Wednesday in this column I post my insights about one of the thousands of beers brewed in the great state of Colorado. Feel free to shoot me an email with your suggestions of Colorado beers you’d like me to feature – Lee Williams at – or leave your ideas in the comments.

Vanilla and coffee have become the de facto seasoning of creative brewers looking to spice up their stouts and porters. The reasoning behind the wide adoption of these two distinctive adjuncts is simple; both compliment the malty chocolate character of the beer styles perfectly, conjuring the vivid delights of coffee shop and restaurant dessert menus.

Dry Dock uses more than two pounds of Madagascar and Tahitian vanilla beans in each seven barrel batch of its vanilla porter. The result is a beer that loudly and proudly announces its vanilla addition.

The beer greets the expectant imbiber with the sweet aromas of vanilla extract, vanilla wafer cookies, toffee and confectioner’s sugar.

The sweet treat vibe continues unabated in the drink. Flavors of milk chocolate covered malted milk balls, clove, brown sugar and molasses all feature prominently. The finish has a clean astringency that reminds me of a robust Baltic porter, with hints of biscuit and of savory beef extract.

My immediate want is to pair this rich, but not heavy or cloying beer, with a heavy and cloying dessert like white chocolate bread pudding or a weighty cut of unadulterated New York style cheesecake. Chocolate chip cookies, a brownie or blondie would be a simple and succinct match. Soft, but not overly pungent cheeses would also buddy up well. The more adventurous might like to try this beer with a slice of barbecue sauced Hawaiian pizza.


  • Brewed in Colorado by: Dry Dock Brewing Co., 15120 E. Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014
  • Released: Year round in 22oz bottles and on draft
  • Beer style: Herbed / Spiced Beer
  • ABV: 5.5%
  • IBU: 33
  • Hops: ?
  • Grains: ?

Look for another Colorado Brewed next Wednesday, and check out the previous installments at

About Lee Williams

Beer writer. Founder of Hoptopia. I write for various beer related publications, websites and festivals. Email -