On the return trip from a recent 9U baseball tourney with My Benevolent and The Urchins, we had a hankering for a quick meal before we began the hour long ride home. To satisfy our cravings, we stopped at a shopping center that was located between the field and the highway. This center was complete with all the necessities: a Wawa, a barber shop, a Wendy’s, and of course, for upscale dining, an Uno Pizzeria & Grille.

Over the years, we have made many a stop at Uno’s in our travels through the Northeast and have come to respect them for two things: food everyone can agree on and a more than adequate beer list. I never underestimate the importance of the beer as I find that after a long car ride, or in this case, a ridiculous amount of time spent in the hot sun (as a fair skinned gentleman of Irish descent, I should probably spend as little time in the sun as possible. It burns! It burns!) watching 9 year olds play baseball and 40 year olds go berserk watching 9 year olds play baseball, a beer might be just the thing to cut the dust.

During this visit, the Uno’s beer list was more than satisfactory as I found a new beer, the Tanilla Porter from Knee Deep Brewing Company. Knee Deep is a brewer that had rather humble origins in 2010 as a contract brewer quenching the thirst of beer enthusiasts in the Lake Tahoe area. After a rapid growth, Knee Deep renovated what was the former Beermann’s Brewery in Lincoln, CA in 2011, and as the quality and demand continued to grow, moved to a new 28,000 square foot facility in Auburn, CA. Besides the Tanilla Porter, Knee Deep produce 9 other year-round beers and their Aviator Series.

Here is what Knee Deep has to say about the Tanilla Porter…

Made with only grade-A Tahitian vanilla beans, Tanilla carries a smooth chocolate flavor complemented by the delicate intensity of vanilla beans, and a rich aroma of coffee.

Now that we know a bit more about this beer, let’s get on with the review…

  • Appearance: Black with quickly dissipating foam.
  • ABV: 6.3%
  • Aroma: Wet bread, coffee & cocoa nibs .
  • Taste: Medium mouthfeel, creamy with mild flavor. More chocolate than coffee with just the slightest bitterness in the finish..

The Verdict

After 4 hours in the hot sun, sitting in the bleachers at a 9U game, I needed a beer. While this one had somewhat muted flavors, it was cold, and it was most definitely refreshing. I liked it enough to seek out other offerings from Knee Deep. Their Breaking Bud IPA sounds like it might be a winner.