Posts ByJereme Zimmerman, Author at PorchDrinking.com
The fourth annual Craft Malt Conference was held February 10-12, 2021 as Craft Malt Con Online. Originally scheduled to be held in Portland, ME, it went fully virtual this year due to COVID-19. Although members of the tightly knit craft malt community missed the opportunity to gather in-person, this format opened up the opportunity for a wider audience to participate.
With all the delicious clutter out there in the beer world, sometimes you just want a good, solid example of a classic style. For all of the Sours, Pastry Stouts, Hazies and Seltzers, there are still plenty of classics available. Falls City Brewing Co. brews a prime example of a classic Pale Ale with their English-Style Pale Ale.
January 2021 is here. Finally.
A time-honored tradition among many craft-beer drinkers every January is Dryanuary or, a month without alcohol. But this January, craft breweries need our help more than ever. And, let’s face it, we all need a beer more than ever. So what’s a good compromise between cutting out drinking altogether for a month and giving craft breweries our support? Let’s go with drinking more low-ABV beers. If you indulged in a lot of high-ABV beers over the holidays like we did, it’s time to cleanse the palate anyway.
While it has been used for thousands of years in brewing, honey is an up and coming star of the craft beer world. Brewers are becoming more aware of the myriad possibilities it presents. Honey provides multiple potential contributions to beer depending on how and when it’s used in the brewing process and has a dizzying range of flavors. Factors such as terroir, the botanicals visited by the bees, and even the time of year the pollen was gathered all affect flavor. So what exactly does honey do for beer, and why do breweries use it?
Paul Arney, co-owner and head brewer of The Ale Apothecary in Bend, OR has a bit of a reputation. Words like “legendary” are often thrown around to describe his brewery and the unique, place-based wild beer he brews. Arney has a bit of a nutty–yet deeply intellectual–personality. It’s not uncommon to hear him lovingly referred to as bats#&@ crazy. We sat down with Arney for five questions about Ale Apothecary and to see how he’s holding up during the pandemic. We were relieved to hear that he hasn’t let up one bit on his unrelenting “art over industry” philosophy.
Sometimes you need a beer, and sometimes you need to treat yourself to something special. This Wild Brew Spelt Saison, the result of a 2013 collab between Oklahoma’s Choc Beer Company, the Fellowship of Oklahoma Ale Makers (FOAM) and Prairie …
Kentucky’s Goodwood Brewing has a habit of brewing beers that are touched with wood at some point during the process. Sting Like a Beer spends quite a bit of time lingering in a brandy barrel before we get a chance to taste it. And boy is it worth the wait.
Cincinnati’s Rhinegeist Brewery was founded in 2013 as a step toward reclaiming the area’s German brewing heritage. Rhinegeist’s expansive 250,000 square foot brewery and taproom is housed in the former Christian Moerlein turn of the century packaging hall and over the years has grown into multiple floors throughout the building.
It’s Oktoberfest time! For beer lovers in and around Cincinnati, Ohio, this season is pretty much made for them — the Queen City throws the second largest Oktoberfest celebration outside of Munich, and the world’s largest chicken dance.
Sadly, COVID-19 will put a major damper on how Oktoberfest social events are handled this year. However, one of the great things about the season is the glut of Oktoberfest, Märzenbier and Festbier releases. (Check out this primer on what exactly it is we’re drinking when we have an Oktoberfest beer.) While it’s great enjoying these styles at a Cincinnati Oktoberfest celebration with an oompah band playing in the background, they’re also plenty enjoyable to relax with on a patio or porch as the summer heat wanes into crisp autumn evenings.
Inspired by an annual pilgrimage from Pennsylvania to the Pacific Northwest to pick fresh hops in the Yakima Valley, Tröegs Independent Brewing’s Lucky Holler Hazy IPA fall release is packed with so much citrusy, hoppy aroma it’ll have you hollerin’ for more. By heading straight to the source to walk through rows of bines and crush plump, fresh hops cones in their hands to release the oils and heady aroma, Tröegs’ brewers were able to hand-select the perfect hops for Lucky Holler Hazy IPA.
Goodwood Brewing Co., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky — with an additional taproom and brewpub in Frankfort — has a solid reputation for releasing flavorful brews that are unique enough to stand out, yet approachable enough to not turn off less-adventurous beer drinkers. Their Shoot Your Eye Out Milk Stout is no exception.
Bad Dad Brewing Co. isn’t the sort of brewery you’re likely to stumble across accidentally. Barry Howard has no qualms saying that the brewery he and his sons founded in Fairmount, Indiana, isn’t in a location people generally think of as a destination. Instead, he’s proud of the fact that he made the brewery and its associated restaurant and brewpub into the destination.
For old-school craft beer drinkers, Pyramid Brewing, with its iconic label featuring a double pyramid and evoking the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, is one of the tried and true originals. For many, their Hefeweizen, Wheaten, Apricot Ale or Outburst Imperial IPA was the gateway to quality craft beer. The times have changed, but the quality of Pyramid’s beer hasn’t.
Newport, Kentucky’s Wooden Cask Brewing Company doesn’t mess around when it comes to brewing traditional English, Irish and Scottish ales. As soon as you pick up one of their bottled beers, visit their website or step into their brewery (located on historic York street, just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati), you are greeted with their motto: Time, Taste and Tradition. As their website notes, they are committed firmly to “quality not efficiency” and adds that “there is no point to brewing our beers unless we make taste superior products.” Their Reformation Scottish Stout clearly meets these standards as soon as it begins to ooze its thick, dark and malty richness into a glass.
Summer is here. Yes, it’s a pretty weird summer, but it’s here all the same. Even with all of the craziness going on in the world these days, the grass needs to be mowed, there’s yard work to do, and the garden needs to be … gardened. It’s time to drink some lawnmower beer!
As winter turns to spring, the weather can be pretty deceptive—particularly in the Midwest. Depending on what the weather has decided to do each day, it can go anywhere from warm and sunny to a bit chilly to downright cold. If you’re the type of beer drinker who enjoys matching the beer you’re drinking to the weather outside, what are you supposed to do? This is where a beer like Robert the Bruce from Munster, Indiana’s Three Floyds Brewing comes in. A full-bodied Scottish-style ale with an IBU of 24 and an ABV of 6.5%, it’s warming and malty, yet just light enough to sip while lounging on the porch as the evening turns from warm to chilly.
Belton, TX is a small, quiet town about an hour north of Austin with some excellent food and beer offerings for visitors and residents. Until recently, though, it had no breweries. In 2018, that all changed. Bold Republic Brewing Company has been running strong and offering tasty craft beer ever since, even during these times of quarantines, lockdowns and social distancing.
On a recent trip to Austin, Texas, my wife Jenna and I paid a visit to Roughhouse Brewing in nearby San Marcos. Alex Pasternak, co-founder and creative lead, was gracious enough to show us around the brewery during off hours and let us sample some Roughhouse beers, including their Sordid Nature Dark Saison.
Lexington, Kentucky’s West Sixth Brewing (named brilliantly for the street corner on which it resides) started as a humble little brewery back in 2012 when Kentucky was barely a blip on the craft brewing radar. At the time, Kentucky had only 14 breweries and ranked near the bottom of the Brewer’s Association 2012 list of US breweries per capita at 43.
Craft brewing in Kentucky has exploded since then, with West Sixth being particularly successful, albeit through an unconventional definition of success. Their focus on community, sustainability, ethics and keeping things local has served them well. To learn more about why this model has worked for them and to get their thoughts on the future of the industry as a whole, we posed five (okay, six) questions to West Sixth’s Creative Director, Kelly Hieronymus, and co-founder Ben Self.
I tend to be the type of beer drinker who plays favorites. For several years, I fell into a rut of good-beer-drinking. I knew what I liked and that’s mostly what I drank. But my eyes have been opened to the massive range of variety in today’s craft beer scene. In my home state of Kentucky, craft brewing was a little slow to take off but has really hit its stride over the past few years. Lately, I’ve been on a mission to seek out new Kentucky-brewed beers. On a recent visit to Liquor Barn in Lexington, I was perusing the aisles, trying not to get taken in by the label gimmickry that has become prevalent in craft brewing.
I failed. My eyes were immediately drawn to one particular beer, mostly because the label was, well…rather disgusting. I’m all for humor in beer labeling, but, really? Then I noticed the brewery: Louisville-based Against the Grain.