AboutChea Franz, Author at PorchDrinking.com
With systemic racism and police brutality at the forefront of the national conversation, many are taking pause to reflect on how we move forward. Inclusivity and diversity have been a part of much of that conversation, and we’re seeing these themes discussed in the craft beer community.
It’s no secret that craft beer lacks diversity.
While springtime in Colorado can be tumultuous with unpredictable weather, a picturesque sunny and clear day in the Centennial state means one thing: patio season. Located in a city that runs deep with craft beer heritage and culture, Fort Collins-based Maxline Brewing has one of the best patios in town due to its heavy rotation of live music and food trucks during the warmer months.
A popular seasonal that comes back year-after-year, just in time for patio weather, is Maxline’s Raspberry Basil Saison. While we can’t enjoy this delicious beer on their patio currently, we can certainly grab a crowler or six-pack to imbibe at home—with shades, of course.
The COVID-19 crisis has state officials and health agencies alike urging the nation to practice social distancing to reduce the spread of the virus. Currently statewide shutdowns of bars and restaurants have been mandated in highly populated states including Colorado, Illinois, New York, Ohio—and the list is growing as we speak. San Francisco is in full lock down mode and stocks are plummeting. If ever was there a time to stay in and be a recluse, it’s now.
Chances are, your Netflix account is about to get a lot of traction—but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re self-quarantining or just plain bored, use this handy guide to help you determine what to watch—and drink—when you’re chilling at home looking for a Netflix binge.
We’ve watched their love stories unfold in front of our TV sets. Some make us wistfully sigh when they embrace, while others have us scratching our heads at their dysfunctional behavior. Good or bad, these couples prove that relentless love prevails. This Valentine’s Day we’ve rounded up some of our favorite TV couples — and the best beers to pair them with.
With Halloween fast approaching, there’s nothing better than sharing some good old-fashioned ghost stories with a beer in-hand. From pesky ghosts that interfere with a beertender’s duties, to restroom peeping toms, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite haunted brewery establishments and bars. Trust us, you’ll need some liquid courage to enter through these doors.
This is a sponsored post from Avanti F&B
Revenge seekers and lovers of grindhouse cinema be aware—this month’s featured movie for Avanti F&B and Alamo Drafthouse’s Summer Movie Series is Kill Bill: Volume 1. The cult classic will show on their 30-foot outdoor screen on Tuesday, June 25, from 9 to 11 p.m. at Avanti F&B (3200 Pecos St, Denver, Colorado 80211).
With her hit Netflix show “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” and her book The Life-
I have a confession to make. I sometimes hide beer from my husband. We’ve all been there before where the fridge becomes a free-for-all for everyone in the household. Being in my mid-thirties, I’m well past the point of leaving post-its to call beer dibs, so I resort to hiding precious beer that I’ve been clamoring to enjoy—in the broom closet (he’ll never find it there). And in my broom closet that is where you’ll find Ska Brewing’s Sour Apple Gose, a beer that is meant to be savored even if it’s in secret.
Imagine, if you will, a bicycle trip through Belgium. That bike ride served as the catalyst for a butterfly effect that helped to change the face of beer in America and encouraged a new generation of brewers and beer drinkers to prize flavorful, full-bodied and well-balanced liquid. This surge, partially powered by New Belgium Brewing, has swept us into a new world of craft beer. Had this journey not taken place, there would be no Fat Tire. Without Fat Tire, there would not be New Belgium Brewing Company, and, without them, we may not have access to such a bountiful cornucopia of craft beer.
Nestled at the foot of the Continental Divide at 8,000 feet lies Buena Vista, a Colorado town known for its pristine mountain peaks and roaring rapids. This weekend more than 45 breweries will be pouring beer along the Arkansas River at the Second Annual Rapids & Grass Beer Festival, a weekend long event on June 29 – July 1, that includes unlimited beer samplings, live music and rafting. If the sweeping mountain views of the Collegiate Peaks and the Sangre de Cristo mountain range weren’t enough of a draw, the beer will be; Jester King Brewery, Beachwood Brewing, Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales and Wiley Roots (slushy sour, anyone?) are among many notable breweries that will be pouring beers.
Here in Colorado, it’s the beginning of the season for patio sitting, flip flop wearing, and summer time imbibing. The abundance of sunshine has got me in vacation mode and not just any kind of vacation mode—the kind where you sink your toes in the sand and smell the salt in the air. Sadly, I won’t be embarking on such a vacation anytime soon but Funkwerk’s Pineapple Provincial, paired with a tiny umbrella, will take you on a tropical vacation one delicious sip at at time.
Back in January, Ska Brewing released Rue B. Soho, a grapefruit lager that marks the brewery’s first release in 2018 that’s now available in all of Ska’s markets. For me, it’s a crushable beer that hearkens back to time of care-free nights and rowdy music; a time where your ticket stubs were a badge of honor and wearing the band’s t-shirt to a concert was so passé.
After a bit of time in hibernation, Lone Tree Brewing’s Horchata Stout comes back for a third year—this time with refreshed artwork. Horchata Stout is part of the brewery’s Branching Out series which consists of experimental, super limited beers in large format bottles that are great for sharing. On a side note, I was able to capture a photo of Horchata Stout not only resting on a lone tree but also nestled among branches. How’s that for art in the most literal sense? Okay, now back to the beer…
Lately, there has been quite a few articles about the rise of pastry stouts and why this is a problem, such as this recent article from the Chicago Tribune that argues we’re forgetting what beer tastes like. In case you did not know, a pastry stout is beerspeak for liquid dessert. Most often, pastry stouts include cacao nibs, vanilla, coconut and other adjuncts that help enhance the stout to emulate sweet treats.
The pastry stout debate, IMO, is moot. As craft beer continues to diversify, so do our taste buds. What is beer supposed to taste like nowadays? The answer is no longer “hoppy,” but subjective. It could be barrel-aged and malty, super hazy or fruity. The craft beer landscape is vast and ever-changing, with new hop varieties, ingredients, and techniques that pop up every day. Whether you’re a Reinheitsgebot beer purist, or you prefer your beer to taste like a chocolate bomb, the beauty of craft beer is that there is something for everyone. And pastry stouts, much like other styles of beer, if done well, are fantastic. WeldWerks Brewing‘s Peanut Butter Cup Achromatic Imperial Stout is one such example.
Whether it’s highly sought after collaborations, sold out brews or buzzworthy beers of yesteryear making a sudden reappearance, we’ve got the lowdown on what you should try before the year is over! Word to the wise: some of these beers have already been released via one day sales and are unavailable—like Tom Cruise’s youth. We recommend you brush up on your bribe game, head to your nearest bottle trade and do some serious campaigning.
On Thursday, October 26 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. friends, family, and Fort Collins community members will come together to raise money for a CSU Ram family in need. Hosted by New Belgium Brewing and Colorado State University at the New Belgium Porch at CSU’s football stadium, this Thursday’s “Happy Hour on the Porch” will be donated to CSU Associate Athletic Director Doug Max and his family who suffered a devastating loss recently when a fire heavily damaged their home and took the life of their daughter Rachel.
Once again, for the fourth year in a row, we get to try Strangely Epic, a blend of two celebrated beers from Strange Craft Beer Company and Epic Brewing. The beer was first created in 2013 for Denver’s Collaboration Fest. Crafted at both breweries and named Strangely Epic and Epically Strange (for where each beer was brewed and blended), the collaboration brews release is eagerly awaited each year.
As autumn fast approaches, and we start seeking winter warmers and other beers that are heavier in body and spiced with fall in mind, it’s important to remember— it’s only September! Many breweries are releasing their fall seasonals, but with warmer temperatures still trending in Colorado, I’m looking for something fruity with a more substantive ABV. Luckily, Bonfire Brewing has just that—Pink-I Raspberry IPA.
Situated on the Cache La Poudre River and about 65 miles north of Denver lies Fort Collins, home of the CSU Rams and where craft beer flows in abundance. Two years ago, I moved to Fort Collins from Denver and I was a bit apprehensive; Denver was home to me. There was always something to do — whether it was a Rockies game, art opening or new brewery to check out. And admittedly, as a proud Colorado Buffalo (#Skobuffs), Fort Collins felt a little like enemy territory.
But like one of those teachable Hallmark movie moments, Fort Collins proved me wrong. This college town is the fourth largest city in Colorado but it has plenty of local charm. Fort Collins is laid back like a lackadaisical Sunday afternoon. It’ll make you want to hop on your cruiser bike and ride over to the nearest brewery and watch the sun sink down across the foothills. Fort Collins has made me a tourist in my own state — which is really refreshing. And so, I present to you, the best spots to visit the next time you’re in Fort Collins — in my humble opinion, of course.
Toppling Goliath Brewing Company, a brewery that RateBeer has awarded several “best” categories including double IPA, strong stout and American amber or pale, will be making its Colorado debut during the week of the Great American Beer Festival. The esteemed Iowa brewery will have a special GABF tapping at Tap and Handle in Fort Collins, Colorado at 5 p.m. on Monday October 2 (the brewery will also make its way down to Denver on October 4 at LowDown Brewery).