Can it be Spring yet??! I’m so ready for it. Still, usually I’m a seasonal kind of guy when it comes to my drinks. I like whisky in winter and gin in summer. I like red wine in the cold weather and white in the summer sun. I enjoy a pale ale in the spring and a stout in the fall. But as we wind down out of winter looking (longingly) to spring, I’m enjoying a porter with equally longing music.

I picked up a six pack of the Black Hook porter made by Red Hook brewery because Red Hook beer has roots local to Seattle and I felt it had been too long since I had done a music and beer pairing. To my surprise, my choice couldn’t have been more perfect for the time of year.

As I cracked open the Black Hook, I immediately smelled the faint scents from the porter. They weren’t super present but I got aromas of caramel, chocolate and charcoal. All pretty faint but there nonetheless. Then I tasted the porter and found it was the perfect beer for the time of year. I tasted the chocolate in dark chocolate tones, it was smooth and a touch bitter. But it was warm. Not warm like a whisky or even a stout but warm enough for late winter looking forward to spring.

The beer gives you the feeling of change. It makes you ready for it or reinforces the feeling if you were ready for a change to begin with (and most of us are ready for the weather to change, that’s for sure).

This feeling is what gave me my basis for my pairing. As soon as I heard “Feelin’ Alright” from Joe Cocker’s album With a Little Help From My Friends, I was hit with the perfect pairing.

The longing in Cocker’s voice for change is so real and sincere it’s impossible not to feel what he’s feeling as he sings. This reality is sung in the first line of the entire album: “Seems I got to have a change of scene.” Don’t we all. This is a motif of the entire album and it’s why the Black Hook porter from Red Hook beer goes so well with it.

We’re all ready for a change. A change for better weather and global climate. We’re all ready for a change and in the evenings after long days of working towards that change we can listen to Joe Cocker and drink a cold Black Hook porter.