AboutDavid Nilsen, Author at PorchDrinking.com
The bare shoulder and neck of what we assume is a human woman is sketched in pencil. The lines vary in shade and weight like they’re drawn from shadows. Where the neck meets the face, a skeletal jaw emerges, the teeth all wrong like they were ripped from something that hunts the dark forest. The upper teeth are human, and above them, the hollow eye sockets of a skull that nonetheless seem to stare straight into us.
And it’s here the nightmare really begins. Massive branches of a great tree split from the top of the skull like an antler rack, too heavy for the neck but held up by a hidden, infernal strength, stretching their limbs and fingers into the fog. Looking closer, the creature’s own arms bear a faint pattern of bark, the entire thing some alchemy of primeval nature and inchoate humanity stalking the landscape of our dreams.
Anchorage Brewing in Alaska’s most populous city has been known for its sour and mixed-fermentation beers since opening in 2010, and will soon be adding a new layer to its sour program: a 14 bbl coolship on the rooftop deck of its new expansion. While a new coolship at an American craft brewery is noteworthy on its own, this one is even more unique in being the first all-wood coolship in commercial operation. It was made by Foeder Crafters in St. Louis, Missouri.
“As a native of Oregon, the natural bounty all around us informs everything we do,” said Christian DeBenedetti, founder and brewer at Wolves & People. “As a brewer interested in a hyper-local approach to making beer, Oregon offers so much in the way of things for us to seek out and experiment with.”
Fifth Street Brewpub in Dayton, Ohio, found their new head brewer in a way perfectly befitting the small, neighborhood establishment’s community focus: through a hometown connection and a pint at the pub.
As breweries across the country look at how to better protect their employees and patrons from sexual violence and harassment, Fifth Street Brewpub in Dayton, Ohio, has sought outside help to train their staff effectively. Fifth Street recently became Gem City Safe Bars-certified through YWCA Dayton, who runs the local chapter of the Safe Bars program.
Of all the buzzworthy beer categories today, one earns that buzz(zzzz) more than others. Honey beers are growing in popularity, and they take their distinguishing ingredient from the amazing honey bee. Each honey bee worker flies hundreds of miles in her lifetime, pollinates thousands of flowers and communicates with her hivemates by dancing. One brewery from Oregon is shining a light on bees by using the sweet stuff in a quenching beer redolent of summer wildflowers.
A new beer from N.E.W. Ales Brewing in Middletown, Ohio reclaims a sometimes controversial phrase to celebrate Pride Month. #AlphabetMafia is a 4.9% ABV Hazy Pale Ale brewed in collaboration with Colorado’s Goldspot Brewing. Both breweries are woman- and LGBTQ-owned, and the beer’s name references a term coined as a barb toward the LGBTQIA+ community that has since been adopted by many of the community’s members.
“I was absolutely terrified to walk through the door,” said the co-founder of Rabid Brewing in Homewood, Illinois.
She didn’t need to be.
Chocolate beer is nothing new. Brewers have been throwing cacao nibs into stouts for years now. But with a growing recognition among brewers of the flavor potential of fine cacao in various forms, the possibilities for how chocolate can be used in brewing are expanding rapidly. And that’s exciting.
I started a podcast in 2020 called Bean to Barstool, which uses craft beer and bean to bar chocolate as dual lenses for exploring the world of flavor. I wrote in the initial media announcement for the show that people should “think of it as a dream journal written in the complex alphabet of beer and the eloquent vocabulary of chocolate.”
Warped Wing Brewing Company’s taproom on an uneven brick side street in downtown Dayton, Ohio, is pretty quiet for early December. The hulking, 80-year-old concrete building that once housed the Buckeye Iron & Brassworks foundry is normally humming with beer drinkers, and on the early December Saturday when the brewery’s beloved Whiskey Rebellion bourbon barrel-aged Imperial Stout is released, the cavernous facility is always packed with celebratory fans. A line begins early that morning waiting for bottle allotments and extends through the cracked cement of the parking lot, past the building, and around the corner of the block.
This year’s release, of course, is different, though the enthusiasm for it is as vibrant as ever.
“Brewers like to craft things, so we ask them, ‘What is it you’re looking to do?’”
Whatever the answer, Keith Seiz likely has good advice to offer any brewer or distiller looking to incorporate honey. Seiz is a representative of the National Honey Board, and—along with honey sommelier Alison Conklin—recently presented information on honey beer and spirits for a group of industry writers and editors.
Little Fish Brewing Company is coming to Dayton, OH.
When the news broke last week, beer fans across the Gem City let loose a celebratory cheer. The Athens, OH-based brewery known for its mixed-fermentation sour and farmhouse-style beers (they just won their first GABF medal for Cleft) has been distributing bottles to the Dayton market for years and has long been one of the most respected breweries in the state. Still, the two-and-a-half-hour drive along Ohio’s winding back roads was always a lot for Dayton beer fans who wanted to visit the Athens taproom. Now, Little Fish will be just a short walk from downtown.
Last week, Lock 27 Brewing in Dayton, Ohio, won their first ever medal from the Great American Beer Festival for their Wolk (pronounced “Volk”) Witbier. But that wasn’t really the plan. They’d submitted the refreshing wheat beer and a handful of others mostly to get constructive feedback from the world-class beer experts who judge at GABF. Soon enough, an opportunity for growth turned into a chance to celebrate.
What if the money you spent on beer also supported deserving causes in your community? That’s the question the founders of Lady Justice Brewing in Aurora, Colorado, asked themselves a few years ago when they were working in the non-profit sector. Kate Power, Betsy Lay, and Jen Cuesta were having a beer after work, commiserating about the lack of funds for the causes they believed in. What if their beer money could help?
Wolf’s Ridge Brewing head brewer Chris Davison found out his brewery had won two medals at the Great American Beer Festival in the most 2020 way possible: over Zoom while getting his daughter ready for bed. The Columbus, Ohio, brewery’s team had a company Zoom call going while the awards were announced virtually from Denver. Chris had bedtime duties, and parenting supersedes brewing.
Oktoberfest started as a wedding celebration in Bavaria in 1810. Two centuries later in 2009, Great Lakes Brewing Company brewmaster Mark Hunger tied the knot and poured his brewery’s Oktoberfest lager at his own autumn wedding reception.
“Picking the beer for the wedding was a no-brainer. From what I can remember, it was a hit,” he says with a laugh. “We went through a keg.”
Wolf’s Ridge Brewing in Columbus, OH has claimed many an Ohio beer drinker’s heart since opening in 2013 and their new core beer celebrates the agriculture of this state that calls itself “The Heart of It All.”
Orpheus Brewing in Atlanta, Georgia, is launching a new paid internship program to improve racial inclusion and equity within the craft beer industry. The Leadership Diversity Program will hire one applicant at a time for six-month periods and train them in all aspects of brewery operations, with the goal of those graduating from the program going on to leadership careers in the craft beer world.
When craft beer fans hear the term “farmhouse ale,” we usually think of Belgian Saison and French Bière de Garde. A new book by Norwegian author Lars Marius Garshol expands our understanding of farmhouse brewing traditions. Historical Brewing Techniques: The Lost Art of Farmhouse Brewing (Brewers Publications, 2020) digs into the history and variety of farmhouse ales throughout Scandinavia and the Baltic region.
Ohio ordered all bars to close for on-premise consumption on March 15, 2020 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Barrel House, a beer bar and bottle shop in downtown Dayton, chose to close completely to protect customers and staff. When they announced they were reopening for carryout on May 1, they showcased their irreverent sense of humor with the very first item on their list of customer guidelines: “Everyone wears a mask or fucks off.”
“Some folks didn’t think that was as funny as we did,” said Gus Stathes, who co-owns the bar with his wife, Sara Stathes.