About- Emma Wargolet
With a deep love for family and friends and food, Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday (until someone brings up politics). It also means that afterwards, I can blast All I Want for Christmas Is You as much as I want and no one can say anything.
Black Calder Brewing, a new brewery opening in Michigan, launches on Black Friday. As the first Black-owned brewery in Michigan, owners Terry Rostic and Jamaal Ewing recognize how significant this is for representation and diversity in craft beer. PorchDrinking chatted by email with Rostic and Ewing to find out more about Black Calder Brewing and what to expect from the brewery.
Sometimes it can be extremely difficult to look at the silver lining of 2020, particularly for those working in the craft beer industry. Being able to experience the Beers With(out) Beards festival helped me see at least one silver lining: Craft beer festivals have never been more accessible than right at this moment. Living in the Midwest, I would not have been able to make it to the Beers With(out) Beards festival in-person, so being able to join this festival of incredible women and non-binary people working in craft beer was a dream.
As someone who was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Oktoberfest is not just a type of beer or a festival in Germany; it’s a state of mind. With the cancellation of many Oktoberfest events, people have to be creative in their celebration. Personally, give me a day where I can justifiably drink beer and eat sausage all day and I’ll be a happy camper.
As with every other 2020 beer festival, Beers With(out) Beards, the country’s largest celebration of women in craft beer, is doing things virtually this year. I had the chance to chat with Grace Weitz, the woman who started the festival back in 2018, about how the festival began, what we can expect for this years’ festival, and how going virtual offers up the ability to reach an entirely different group of women.
While the main virtual festival is on Saturday, October 10, you can add on workshops that take place on the Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday before. You can buy the digital passes up until the day of the event. However, if you are looking to purchase the beer box of female-led breweries, sales end on Monday, September 14 (at the end of the day).
Recommending the television show What We Do in the Shadows has become a regular part of my conversations with people. Developed from the film of the same name, WWDITS is one of the best new comedy series to debut in recent years. Throwing the sophomore slump cliché out the window, the second and most recent season is absolutely hilarious, and earned an Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy nomination. They’ve somehow created a hilarious vampire television show that does not lean on shticks or gimmicks, and have developed characters who, despite killing humans, are sympathized with and cheered on.
The sheer number of breweries within Chicago limits would lead you to believe you would never need to leave the city to get your craft beer fix. While this is technically true, there are many Chicagoland suburbs that have great breweries that, unless they distribute to the city, Chicagoans will miss out on.
Striking a balance between tart and sweet is a difficult task. Fortunately for beer lovers, Riverlands Brewing Company has done just that with their Acid Prism: Buried in Berries. A companion to their Acid Rainbow, the Buried in Berries is a bold Fruited Sour with raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, vanilla, and milk sugar.
Beermiscuous, a local beer cafe in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago (and another new location in Highwood, IL), recently celebrated their sixth anniversary, having opened on June 27, 2014. In years prior, they have hosted events ranging from tappings of special beers to raffles that give the winner two free beers each week. With the current state of COVID-19, Beermiscuous instead hosted a virtual tasting, hosted by co-owner, Austin Harvey.
In recent years, books written by comedians about their own lives have become extremely popular. From Amy Poehler’s Yes Please to Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, these books of essays blend humor, life lessons, and important experiences into a relatively quick read. With shelter in place orders still set in place, what better way to spend your time than with a delicious beer and an entertaining book?
The below books are focused on those of BIPOC authors; you can find your local Black-owned bookstore here to support Black-owned businesses!
In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, people across the country have been supporting the Black Lives Matter movement through protests, donations, signing petitions, calling their representatives, and more. But one more way to more directly make the craft beer industry a more diverse and welcoming community is by actively spending your money at Black-owned breweries.
There is one universal truth in this world: the Bon Appetit YouTube channel is perfect. From Claire Saffitz attempting to recreate your favorite snack foods to Brad Leone’s chaotic fermentation process, the chefs at Bon Appetit have become minor celebrities. What better way to honor the hours spent in quarantine binging their videos than to pair each chef with a beer? So, next time you press play on Chris Morocco recreating Guy Fieri’s trash can nachos, make sure you have the perfect beer in hand.
A large Memorial Day cookout may not be an option this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the delicious foods that come with the barbecue. For those who are social distancing together, you can still put together a fun, albeit small, Memorial Day event. While PorchDrinking can’t do the cooking for you, we can give you the perfect pairings for those classic cookout foods!
Mother’s Day may be well-known for mimosas, but here at PorchDrinking, we prefer something a little more hoppy. While Mother’s Day will be different than previous years, it doesn’t mean you can’t pick up some of your favorite local brews. If you can’t be with your mom, consider delivery as a nice surprise; and if you are a mom, stock up and know you have a day free of homeschooling. Need some inspiration? Check out our Ultimate 6er and you’ll be sure to find the perfect Mother’s Day beer for a video chat.
We all can agree we miss happy hours at an actual bar or brewery. Thankfully, with technology and the advent of to-go beers, we are fortunate enough to be able to have virtual happy hours with friends and family. After spending roughly 42,000 hours on virtual happy hours, here are some do’s and don’ts that will help make your time online even better!
During these uncertain times, it is comforting to know that many breweries are still working on new flavors and beers to be consumed in the safety of one’s home. Energy City Brewing, located in the Chicagoland suburb of Batavia, Illinois, is reliable in its innovation of beer recipes and desire to release new brews to the public regularly. Relatively new to the brewery game, they received their official license on St. Patrick’s Day 2017, and brewed their first stout that same day. The stout in question actually began as an award-winning homebrew of co-founder David Files, who began homebrewing in 2005.
Every once in a while, a truly insane beer comes around and delights the masses. Chicago Craft Gin Week Is A Real Thing (CCGWIART) from Off Color Brewing is one of these beers—if the masses love a sour, that is. Off Color brews up some of the best beers in the Windy City, from their experimental Miller High Life collaboration, Eek!, to the delicious dessert that is Dino S’mores Russian Imperial Stout. With CCGWIART, the brewery has yet another unconventional (yet delectable) feather in its cap.