AboutKevin Kain, Author at PorchDrinking.com
Reflecting on Good Word Brewing’s lager releases since opening in 2017, brewer/owner Todd DiMatteo candidly admits they’ve gotten better. He’s made a number of them, but only brewed Helles one other time before this effort, Are You Living in a Computer Simulation. Though it’s a fine beer as is, he will continue to refine it.
Most craft beer enthusiasts in the U.S. respected and enjoyed English beer a generation ago. The American craft beer revolution itself was in many ways based on traditional British beer styles. As the scene created its own identity, and a younger generation came aboard, the British presence took a back seat. This was coincidentally during a lull for beer in England. A lot has changed since then, and it’s time to revisit this nation that is so integral to beer.
Wandering around the countryside in Central New York, it’s not uncommon to find a stray hop bine growing along the edge of a field. You may even find a hop house, a unique architectural relic from a bygone era. These are harder to spot as most simply look like a dilapidated barn. However, at Wayward Lane Brewing Co. in the town of Schoharie, one of the state’s newest breweries has renovated one into a modern farm brewhouse.
The 2020 release of Landbier Dunkel by Schilling Beer Co. offered a tremendous reward for those savvy enough to not dismiss this classic beer style. It was also not a surprise that Schilling brewed a rich, flavor-packed beer that wasn’t a cloying brown mess. In just a few short years, the New Hampshire brewery has proven to be a reliable producer of well-executed lagers.
In sharp contrast to Wrench, Industrial Arts’ incredibly popular NEIPA, their Helles from the State of the Art series is exceedingly bright. Its execution is consistent with the entire ethos of the brewery, perfectly captured by its name.
Spooky places have an incredible ability to make people irrational. In these circumstances, alcohol can be the best weapon to fight any fear you may have. While pretty much anything will do the trick, here’s an Ultimate 6er for spooky places around the country, and an ideal local beer pairing.
The concept of an Oktoberfest style beer conjures up whimsical stories similar to those about the creation of IPA and Saison. Cute stories, but not quite accurate.
While there has been a significant amount of discussion about how women should or should not be portrayed in advertising and social media, it’s refreshing to focus on women behind the lens. By browsing social media these days, it’s easy for a craft beer enthusiast to discover numerous examples of their work, and that’s great news for an industry that greatly struggles with equality. Women are involved in every aspect of the craft-beer business, and photography serves as an excellent demonstration of how their efforts have provided a boost to the entire industry.
The following highlights just a few of the professionals helping to advance the craft beer scene with their photography.
People Power Beer is a charitable collaboration started by New York’s Threes Brewing in 2018. Raising funds to support the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), it symbolically launches on July 4th with participating breweries releasing their own version up to Election Day this November.
On paper, Dutchess Ales GB doesn’t scream traditional English Ale. This Pale Ale includes a variety of hops like Centennial and Amarillo, and ferments with a hybrid yeast containing three different strains, none of them English in origin. However, this is a beer that works well in the pub (remember those?), several pints at a time. In that sense, it’s 100 percent spot on.
Discussing cask ale on a recent episode of Beer Sessions Radio, Greg Engert, beer director and managing partner of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, said “this is an experience you cannot replicate at home.” Indeed. A critical component of cask ale is how it is handled and served, best done by an experienced professional at the pub. With venues closed, this poses an obvious challenge for brewers and consumers of this niche style of beer. However, a few breweries are now embracing bag-in-box (BiB) beer to get real ale in the hands of their customers.
Suarez Family Brewery focuses on three broad styles including, per their website, “ales of mixed fermentation, unfiltered lagers and other crispy little beers.” The brewery specializes in making refined, humble beer, a unifying theme connecting these styles. Crescent, their “Belgian inspired refresher” is no exception. Though just a few years old, Suarez Family Brewery has demonstrated mastery that often takes decades to acquire.
I love the Super Bowl solely because of the food. Chips and guac, Italian heroes (or wedges, as they call it where I’m from) and chili are all great, but wings are my favorite. Since beer and wings go hand in hand, it’s fun to take this pairing a step further and combine the two. There are many ways to do this and we’ve provided a few easy ideas.
By far, my favorite holiday beer is Brasserie Dupont’s Avec Les Bons Voeux (translated as “with good wishes”). It’s made year-round, but only brought to the United States during winter. The beer began as a treat to brewery visitors during the holidays and, as it only makes its way to the United States around the holidays, it remains a special treat for us.
For Subversive Malting and Brewing, making their own malt is not just about quality, control and flavor. Their carbon footprint, relationships with farmers, and the local economy are perhaps more important. While slogans like “go local” are often used in the craft beer community, creating a truly local product is nearly impossible for most due to the lack of local grain and malthouses. Subversive is working hard to make it happen.
The third Pils & Love Festival returned to Portland, ME this past July and, to honor the occasion, approximately 40 of the 60 participating breweries gathered to make a collaboration brew (a list of the breweries that participated is below). The festival was hosted by Oxbow Brewing Company and furthers a state-side version of Birrificio Italiano’s Pils Pride festival in Italy. Birrificio Italiano is known for its Tipopils, which puts a spin on a German pilsner by dry-hopping the beer, something prohibited by the Reinheitsgebot; the Pils & Love collaboration beer takes its inspiration from Birrificio Italiano’s classic.
New York’s North Fork region has emerged as a destination for those seeking a getaway on Long Island’s East End without the glitz found in the nearby Hamptons. Though wine has been a draw to the area, beer is now becoming part of the attraction. More so than the Hamptons, the North Fork is the ideal place for a weekend getaway well into the shoulder seasons. Here are some ideas for a weekend getaway to the North Fork.
The best beer to pair with a Labor Day BBQ is light and smoky. Beers like Schlenkerla’s Helles, or the historic Polish beer known as Grodziskie (“Grätzer” in Germany), can’t be beaten. They have the perfect combination of being refreshing and low-alcohol, with a smoky character to complement whatever’s cooking on the grill.
Folksbier Brauerei opened in early 2017 on a quiet street in Brooklyn’s Carroll Gardens neighborhood, just a stone’s throw from Other Half Brewing Company. While Other Half has had explosive growth with their constantly changing list of hazy IPAs, Folksbier’s model is quite different with a more consistent lineup focusing on traditional ales and lagers. This is not necessarily keeping up with the latest trends, but maybe that’s changing slowly.
With the 2019 release of Summer Landscape, Industrial Arts Brewing Company moves into the second year of its Landscape Series. These seasonal beers are meant to highlight New York State ingredients, and are entirely produced with materials grown within the state. This latest version is another success for the brewery.