Posts ByEric Griffin, Author at PorchDrinking.com
It has been just over two years since the inaugural Side Project Invitational came and went, setting a new standard for craft beer festivals. Not long after its debut on February 2, 2020, the entire world was shaken by the COVID-19 pandemic, the effects of which are continuing to bare their teeth even into the early parts of 2022. It hasn’t all been bad, though. On January 31, Side Project announced the second Invitational, which was to include not only Barrel-Aged Stouts & Barleywines, but instead all varieties of oak-aged beer. This, to the joy of many, was set to include the wild, the funky and the sour.
With Wakefest 2022 quickly approaching, it made sense to feature this monstrous pastry stout from the team at J. Wakefield Brewing. A more exclusive and sought-after riff off of a JWake favorite Big Poppa, Bake Kujira exemplifies what this brewery constantly strives to do with their high gravity releases.
As this roller coaster of styles and developing techniques in the beer world continue to saturate the market during this unprecedented boom, there’s another style of alcoholic beverage that has also gained huge popularity during this period. It only makes sense that one of the most progressive and limit-pushing meads I’ve ever tried came from one of the ‘OGs’ of the mead world: Moonlight Meadery in Londonderry, New Hampshire.
It is so difficult to address the true outcome of a beer so heavily shrouded by hype. It’s no secret to the craft beer community that Side Project Brewing boasts one of, if not the best, barrel programs in the world. Even the likes of M.J.K., a beer representing the culmination of their barleywine production, finds itself constantly under scrutiny, for the most part by those who will never actually have a chance to try it themselves. Again provided with an incredibly rare opportunity to open yet another La Coterie exclusive bottle, M.J.K. was one in particular that needed a showcase.
It’s been almost (exactly) two years since this extremely limited release from Side Project came out. While many who are familiar with O.W.K still consider it to be the best beer ever produced, perhaps even a larger percentage of people still don’t even know of its existence.
In the spirit of togetherness and collaboration, what better way to recognize craft beer than to feature the lovechild of a notable Florida brewery with a South American powerhouse. Summbation is a collaborative imperial stout that embodies the true character of both 3 Sons Brewing and Cervejaria Dogma.
The entire world has recently been shaken to its core by COVID-19, more cordially known as Coronavirus. With many countries under full quarantine while others seek to choose the best option for the citizens of their respected states and countries, one fact remains widely consistent wherever you may live. Many of us are becoming stir-crazy while in quarantine.
Fairhope Brewing has been on the map in Alabama since I moved here back in summer 2015. They are constantly pumping out a variety of styles and unique additions to their lineup. They have, however, always had one that particularly stood out to me: (Take The) Causeway Double IPA.
An Inaugural to Remember
It’s been almost two weeks since the Side Project Invitational, and attendees’ heads are still spinning over the experience. Subtitled as “A Festival of Barrel-Aged Stouts & Barleywines,” it was immediately advertised as not for the faint of heart. Strategically placed on Super Bowl Sunday, February 2nd, as the kickoff to Side Project’s annual Stout Week, it brought people from all over the United States to Maplewood, Missouri to see what all the hype was about.
Ferus Artisan Ales is the newest brewery to open up in the ever-changing landscape of craft breweries in Alabama. Ferus is Latin for feral, with the name chosen to represent their passion for brewing sour beers and its connection to wild yeast that is used during fermentation. Down the line, they hope to increase production at their Trussville, Ala., location. Specifically, they want to focus on a variety of crisp Pilsners, hop-forward IPAs, flavored Stouts and barrel-aged beers. As a matter of fact, you may have already seen their names associated with collaboration brews like the beer they did with Edmund’s Oast, Order of Magnitude.
You’re looking to impress if you include the word “pure” in the name of a beer. Pure Tropics from Parish Brewing is one of the newer IPA offerings out of Broussard, LA and further proves this brewery’s superiority of the style.
The beast has awoken, and this time it has emerged in the form of Southern Prohibition‘s newest core IPA offering. Teenagers of the 1980s, you’ll recognize the name and label art as a Grecian-based beat ’em up arcade game produced by Sega in 1988. Game on!
Labor Day is unfortunately overlooked as a day most people are just happy to be off work. The irony of it is that the first Monday of September represents those same hardworking Americans. All of the social and economic achievements of American workers deserve acknowledgment, and Labor Day is a humble way of thanking and serving tribute to a history of hard work and positive contribution towards a stronger, more prosperous nation.
I’m not sure about everybody else, but this summer seems to be going by way too quick. Sometimes, however, certain things come up that remind you of school in all the best ways. Drekker Brewing, out of Fargo, North Dakota (yes, that’s a real place) has given me a true sense of nostalgia with this fruited sour ale that I recently tried.
As spring comes into full swing, summer is next in the order and quickly approaching. The scope of what beer people want is changing with the seasons. So many breweries are switching it up and releasing new and exciting styles and experiments. Edmund’s Oast Brewing (EOBC) is no different.
Omnipollo is a based out of Sweden, and references itself not as a brewery, but as a creative camp. The name originates from the words omnipotence and the Spanish word for chicken, pollo. The definition of omnipotence is the quality of having unlimited, or great power. When combined with the awkward and uncoordinated “pollo,” you get the creative and chaotic (yet powerful) product that is Omnipollo.
Omnipollo was founded by brewer Henok Fentie and artist Karl Grandin in 2011 with the hope of changing the known perception of beer and what it could be. Anybody who is familiar with Omnipollo knows how crazy some of their beers are, both the recipe and the artwork. In addition, the beers that Omnipollo releases are always collaborative efforts with breweries all over the world. This keeps a constantly curious and tuned-in approach to everything they do.
A true Lambic is brewed exclusively in the Pajottenland region of Belgium, southwest of Brussels. Lambic beers include gueuze and kriek styles and differ from most beers in that they’re fermented spontaneously using wild yeasts and bacteria native to the Senne Valley. The distinctly tannic, vinous, often sour quality that is the by-product of this process is one that may entice the taste buds of hesitant wine lovers.
Yet another highly anticipated IPA release from TrimTab Brewing‘s Light Visions Series has just hit limited Southern markets. As a result, hop heads couldn’t be more excited. The name given is Helix Rising, a double dry-hopped hazy double IPA. TrimTab continues to do exciting things in the Southern IPA game, and this DIPA brewed with Chinook, Zythos, Simcoe and Simcoe Lupulin powder is a truly unique and welcomed addition to their increasingly successful repertoire.
Exclusive…Brues? I love lists. With craft beer, it has never been any different. When I first started drinking craft, The Bruery’s Black Tuesday quickly came onto my radar. With its exclusive nature, only being available once a year on the final Tuesday in October, I made it a mission to get a hold of one. I quickly discovered that not only was there Black Tuesday, but The Bruery brewed arguably even more exclusive Stout releases for other days of the week, using Black Tuesday as the base beer and then adding different adjuncts to each other day. These other variants were available to Reserve Society Members only.
After a short-lived, but spoiled, beer experience while living in Los Angeles for the past two years, I find myself back in the deep South for one simple thing: educational singularity. With this move came the heartbreak of broken connections and proximity to some of the best breweries the U.S. has to offer. However, every once in a while you find a diamond in the rough. Even with the slow start that Alabama had with developing reputable beer and breweries, I’ve really seen the state taking off in the right direction in the last couple of years.