Posts ByJereme Zimmerman – PorchDrinking.com
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.
At 8.3% ABV, “Old Jube” (as the folks at Avery Brewing like to refer to their Old Jubilation Ale) is strong and rich, but not overwhelming. Not a typical heavily spiced Winter Ale (it actually has no spices), it is rich, dark and malt-forward. Because of the avoidance of spices, the malts really get to shine. With a combination of five specialty malts (Two Row Barley, Honey, Bonlander Munich, Chocolate and Black), we get a flavor that is rich, velvety and a bit fruity.
Minnesota’s Hammerheart Brewing Company is devoted in every facet of their existence to the holy trinity of Vikings, heavy metal and beer. These are all passions I share, so when I first caught a glimpse of a row of their …