AboutLoren White, Author at PorchDrinking.com
For a variety of reasons, breweries often find it challenging to produce both quality Lagers and Ales– many breweries focus solely on one or the other. One would be forgiven for thinking that the Hazy IPA-producing superstars at Other Half Brewing would be one of these one-trick pony breweries but beers like Ivy City Lager are proof positive that Other Half’s Lager game is no joke.
While many people associate Other Half with their vast assortment of Hazies – at their DC location, only three of the 20 taps are pouring a non-hazy beer — they have quietly been turning out world-class Lagers like their Zipfeltännle Pilsner collaboration with German brewing legends Rothaus, Box Car Helles, and of course the aforementioned Ivy City Lager.
Get ready, beer fans: Oozlefinch Beer and Blending is hosting Friends with Benefits Sour Beer Fest on May 22, 2021. The best part is, unlike in normal times when events were only held in-person, if you live in the District of Columbia or one of the 32 states that allow beer shipping for the event, you can attend from the comfort of your couch. Plus, if you do live near Oozlefinch’s Fort Monroe, VA location, they are considering–COVID conditions permitting, (fingers crossed)–holding an in-person event to coincide with the virtual one, according to the website.
A lot of breweries have found success by carving out a niche, focusing on a particular style of beer. Beyond a few other perfunctory beers to round out their draft list, they mostly stay in their lane. So, when a brewery comes along that can brew the entire spectrum of beer styles and do them all well, it is all the more impressive. In the DC metro area, Bluejacket is perhaps the best example.
Few styles can be as divisive among craft beer fans as fruited Sours. Some avoid them altogether, while others see them as the pinnacle of craft brewing. From time to time a beer comes along that can successfully bridge this divide. Side Project Brewing Pêche du Fermier is the poster child for this kind of mass appeal.
Produced by one of the greatest American brewers of sour beers, Side Project is as highly regarded as they come. Their ability to consistently produce delicious and complex beers is staggering and explains why trying to find their beers sometimes feels you’re on a quest for the holy grail.
On these cold winter days, few beers are more ideally suited for the weather than Fremont Brewing Company’s B-Bomb Bourbon Barrel Imperial Winter Ale. A Winter Ale that sees extended time in bourbon barrels, it serves up more than enough alcohol to warm up your insides, while delivering tons of fall spices and vanilla barrel notes. At 13% and coming only in large 750ml bottles, it’s a perfect beer to break out and split with any friends and family you may have in town for the holidays.
For many German beer fans, late September doesn’t just mark the onset of autumn or the beginning of a new school year. It’s the only time of year for eating too many brats, listening to polka music of questionable quality and drinking delicious beer. It’s Oktoberfest! During any other year, many would be dusting off their lederhosen and making pretzel necklaces, while visions of frothy overflowing beer steins danced in their heads.
Yet, even though COVID-19 is, sadly, torpedoing our hopes of having in-person Oktoberfest events this year, never fear. There’s still plenty of first-rate Oktoberfest beers to be had. Here in the Washington, D.C., Beltway area, those mourning the cancellation of this year’s festivities are finding solace in Port City Brewing’s exceptional take on the classic Oktoberfest Märzen Lager. Despite only being distributed in D.C., Virginia, Maryland, and some select areas of New York and North Carolina, this beer has gained international renown. It took home the gold medal at the 2014 World Beer Championships, silver at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival and is currently ranked the 27th best Oktoberfest/Märzen style beer in the world by reviewers on Beer Advocate.
With what seems like a never-ending supply of new exciting beers coming out these days, it’s not uncommon to see a beer that was a whale just six or seven years ago now sitting on the shelf collecting dust. So when you come across a beer that has been able to generate the same high level of enthusiasm from ever-fickle craft beer fans AND sells out immediately year after year, you know you have discovered something truly exceptional. The Bruery’s Black Tuesday Imperial Stout is such a beer.
First released over a decade ago, in 2009, Black Tuesday continues to enjoy a near cult-like following in many craft beer circles. It is currently ranked 17th on Beer Advocate’s list of best American Imperial Stouts and 62nd for all around best beer.
The Brewers Association recently published the results from their third COVID-19 impact survey, aimed at gauging the state of the craft brewing industry. While things are far from rosy, as states begin to loosen restrictions, many craft brewers are beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel.
The previous survey in April found that nearly 60% of breweries surveyed expected to be out of business in three months or less if conditions did not change. Fast forward seven weeks and this most recent survey finds that nearly 82% of breweries in the survey are either very or somewhat confident in their ability to remain open through 2020.
With so many breweries closed or offering limited service, it is a serious challenge to find a steady supply of great beer. Luckily, there are a few notable breweries that are offering shipping to states with a more liberal policy on out-of-state beer shipping (thank you VA, DC and AK!). Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery is one such notable example.
The good people at Jackie O’s are not just selling their more commonly found offerings, but have also opened up their cellars and are selling early examples in their sought-after Polycephaly series, including Polycephaly IV.
German Beer Day, April 23, celebrates the enacting of the Bavarian Beer Purity Order, or Reinheitsgebot, which officially restricted beer ingredients to water, hops, and malt (the existence of yeast was not understood in 1516 but was later added). While it is impossible to say where German beer would be today without the Reinheitsgebot, it has helped make German beer synonymous with high quality and consistency across the five centuries since it was signed.
In honor of German Beer Day, we’ve put together a roundup of some of America’s best German-style breweries, who focus primarily on producing and preserving these historic German-styles.
With the obscene number of Hazy IPAs being released each month, often by lesser-known producers, it can be tricky trying to figure out which beers to buy and which ones to avoid. Unless you like selecting your IPAs based solely on the quality of the artwork on the can, or the cleverness of the pun in the beer name, it’s critical to have go to brewers who’s product you know you can trust. Brewers whose beer you know to buy up every time, sight unseen, because they’re certain to be delicious. Veil Brewing Co. in Richmond, Virginia, is that brewery for me.
So when I was out picking up supplies (read: stockpiling beer) for the mandatory COVID-19 hibernation period and came across Veil’s new Hazy IPA release, Broz Day Off3, I bought all the cans they’d sell me…and true to form, they did not disappoint.
Pale Lagers have a complicated history in the US. In the wake of prohibition they were the preferred style of the emerging “macro” brewers. Using cheaper grains and industrializing the brewing process, they were able create low-cost Lager beers that allowed them consolidate their share of the beer market and squeeze out smaller brewers who couldn’t compete. Fast forward to 1978 and a once thriving and diverse US beer market had atrophied to only 44 breweries, most of which were producing the homogeneous, low quality, watered down beers that would come to be known as American Adjunct Lagers.
It’s that time of year again. The Brewers Association’s 13th annual craft beer and food pairing event, Savor, will be making its return to Washington, D.C. on May 5th. Tickets for this don’t miss event go on sale February 18th for Brewers Association and American Homebrewers Association members, and February 19th for all non-members. Three different ticket tiers will be available for purchase: general admissions ($139), premium ($179) and VIP ($249). Be sure to mark the date down in your calendars to get your tickets!
With the inferior American adjunct Lager varieties produced by the industrial brewers and the explosion of craft brewing, lager-style beers have largely fallen out of fashion in the United States. Yet, while IPAs may be all the rage in the U.S., in Germany, Lagers still reign supreme and no one is producing better examples of these beers there than Private Landbrauerei Schönram.
Around this time every year, as the temperature starts to dip and the days shorten, it’s all too common to hear people complaining about the winter. Alas, these poor misguided souls must not be craft beer fans. You won’t hear any grumblings about it being winter around my house. When winter hits that means it’s Hardywood Gingerbread Stout (aka GBS) season! It’ll make you reminiscent of the holiday season.