AboutKevin Kain, Author at PorchDrinking.com
Wild East Brewing Co. is kicking off Pride Month with the release of Acceptance. It’s a statement meant to let customers know that making all people feel accepted is important to the brewery. Brewer/co-founder Brett Taylor says, “We make this beer as a reminder that you’re welcome to be you. We see you and we care about you.”
It’s highly unlikely that Strong Rope Brewery owner Jason Sahler envisioned barley and sailboats when he earned his Sustainability degree from New York University. Yet there he was several years later, receiving a delivery of New York State grown barley that had been sailed down the Hudson River to his brewery in Brooklyn. It’s just one example of the unanticipated ways Sahler applies his sustainability background to his business.
With its Austrian lineage, you might think it was a given that Stowe, Vermont’s von Trapp Brewing would have Vienna Lager as a core release when it opened its doors in 2010. Not so, according to the brewery’s Quality Manager Jack Van Paepeghem who says, “von Trapp Brewing was originally conceived to be a strictly Helles-producing brewery by our founder, Johannes von Trapp; however, at the request of the family, Vienna was added to the opening lineup to provide a slightly darker and maltier option.”
Despite the brewing industry’s significant growth in New York’s Hudson Valley, as well as the City of Hudson’s notable brewing history, there’s a shortage of breweries in town. There’s currently only one. Return Brewing is doubling that figure with their unique operation that includes what they call “Tavern”, “Garden” and “Archive” beers.
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.