AboutKarl Kalinkewicz, Author at PorchDrinking.com
Who gets overly excited when the bulk candy starts showing up in stores pre-Halloween? Having a Scrooge McDuck-sized supply of two-piece Starburst snack packs to brighten up your day every 10 minutes for a few months is just swell. It seems these days that the number of trick-or-treat candy options at your supermarket mirrors the plentiful supply of candy-inspired sours at your local bottle shop. There’s been a rise in kettle Sours, fruited Pilsner malts, and juice box beers that would make Ecto Cooler’s Slimer aghast with their color and ingredient list. One recent entry into the fruity fray is Interboro Spirits and Ales Parks and Wreck.
“There must be some kind of way out of here, said the joker to The Thief.” Obviously Bob Dylan was forecasting a future conversation between the Steve Miller song and the Barrel-Aged Blonde Ale concocted by Societe Brewing Company. While you might be forgiven for thinking ol’ Robert Zimmerman was out of his gourd when putting pen to paper on this exchange, there’s nothing crazy about enjoying Societe’s The Thief.
One of the hardest decisions for the dedicated craft enthusiast has to be how long to cellar a prized bottle. How do you ensure that you see your beautiful bottles reach their final form? The balance of power between #drinkfresh and amassing a cellar so massive it would make the Sun King blush is a wobbly tight rope, indeed. Too often you find yourself paralyzed to open those most revered bottles, worrying that with a particular Cantillon or Side Project or Hill Farmstead we’ll never cross paths again. Or worse, you fear the chiding from fellow Ahabs for not inviting them along to take down the white whale.
Fresh off a win from the Food Network’s “Tournament of Champions” this spring, Los Angeles chef and restaurateur Brooke Williamson is teaming up yet again with the creative minds at The Bruery for a second round of collaborations. Their previous collaboration included two beers; Girl Grey, which featured the cool character of a Belgian-style Ale with sweet ribbons of almond flavors balanced by the piquant qualities of Earl Grey tea, and Kyuri Dragon, a refreshing, bright, tropical collaboration featuring The Bruery’s oak-aged Sour Blonde Ale with cucumbers, dragon fruit, rambutan, kaffir lime leaf and lychee. Those beers were such a hit that the pair just had to team up again to create another palate-pleasing collaboration designed to pair seamlessly with food.
“But, what do you drink?” This is the question I asked the bartender at one of the many estimable pubs I wandered into the first time I visited Bruges. Taking a pilgrimage to the holy land of beer to guzzle some Westvleteren long before it was shipped to American shores, I spent my days soaking in highly-touted Trappist ales and Belgian standards, but was looking for something a little more “Bad Sandy.” The Belgians, masters of brewing, had to have their version of “craft” local beers that didn’t travel outside of the land of waffles and moules frites.
Year 2020 A.D: Society has found itself desperately in search of new forms of “entertainment.” Stuck in our living spaces with little variety in scenery or human contact, we’ve completed push-up challenges, donned our finest pillow-dresses and allowed ourselves to be entertained by a mulleted tiger murderer, all in desperate attempts to relieve our boredom. While I’ve plundered the depths of Netflix as a good quarantiner should, I’ve also managed to find both mental stimulation and escape through the world of board games.
When one thinks of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), craft beer is likely not the first (or thousandth) thing that generally comes to mind. This is the land of the $14 stale Heineken, a literal and figurative desert for decent beer. All of that changes February 29 – March 1, 2020 as HustleFest lands in Abu Dhabi. The first craft beer festival held in the capital city, the land of sand and skyscrapers will soon be host to some of the U.S.’s finest breweries; more than 30 beers will be making their debut in the UAE.
Want to travel? “Traveling more” is a resolution for 25% of Americans for 2020. It’s not surprising, as travel is generally very fun and occasionally life-changing. Now is the time to look past some of your other, less-worthy resolutions (see you in 2021 eating healthy and saving money!) and commit to being Dora the Beer Explorer in 2020.
Sweden – a country whose northern tip breaches the Arctic Circle, making the summer days long and joyful and outdoor activities bountiful. Unfortunately, I decided to visit the capital of Stockholm in early November, and was greeted with 3pm sunsets and a Seattle-but-colder weather vibe. I didn’t mind, as it gave me ample excuse to visit the city’s numerous beer bars, leading to some enjoyable long, brisk, waterside stumbles. Swedes love their craft beer, and you will not find it hard to indulge yourself while taking in this extremely walk-able city.
Collaboration beer often presents a mixed bag: Excitement races through your beard when you hear that two of your favorite breweries have Voltron-ed, but then the results follow a predictable pattern. Either you get a middling compromise between the two parties, resulting in a solid and forgettable “eh,” or one brewery’s profile dominates the other and the beer is like a Paul Simon album after Garfunkel left town in which the expected quality makes you forget that there’s supposed another element in this equation.
A friend recently Santa Claused me a suitcase full of Jester King and I’ve been doing my best to explore these recent offerings at a responsible pace. Jester King beers always have that incredible lightness and drinkability. A 750ml is never quite enough and a 375ml is just plain disrespectful. Moderne Dansk, included in this bounty, was one of the best beers I’ve had in quite some time. Schopenhauer himself would have impressed at the dour mood that enveloped me, realizing life would be a long struggle with little possibility of another drop. But one that caught my eye in this 20 bottle porch bomb was the collaboration beer with Other Half: Urban Mutation.
It’s a hard-knock life when you have beer-related engagements scheduled in two countries on two consecutive weekends. I recently found myself in Poland for the incredible One More Beer Festival before planning to meet up with friends in Munich for Oktoberfest six days later. Doing the wise thing and taking a full week of vacation, I started to scout out how I could spend the days between periods of copious beer consumption. Lo and behold, the world’s number one beer-drinking country per capita, the Czech Republic, happened to be smack dab in the middle of my two destinations. The gods smile upon me.
Going to the Great American Beer Festival, or GABF, is like going to another giant establishment with four letters: IKEA. If you don’t have a plan, things are going to turn out ugly. You end up with a shopping cart/stomach full of things you didn’t need, and because of your inability to resist the siren’s call you’re going to cover your home with all sorts of terrible colors.
Here at PorchDrinking.com we’re playing the Jedi to your beer Padawan, guiding you through the overwhelming forest of malts to beer nirvana. Our experts have selected a few noteworthy beers from their region that you need to seek out. So make a list, stick to the plan and do not be distracted by the beautiful celebrities. Here are seven great beers to try, all hailing from the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
This post was sponsored and supported by Paulaner USA.
Steins. Pretzels. Dirndls. Lederhosen. Sausages. More Steins. Tents. Singing. Chances are, I just summed up your Oktoberfest experiences. But other than hearing about that time your friend studied abroad in Germany, what do you really know about Oktoberfest and the beers served there?
Märzen, Helles and Festbier aren’t usually what you brandish at your bottle share, but the craft that goes into producing these styles is immense. Munich breweries are very proud of their beer traditions—none more than Paulaner, Oktoberfest’s #1 provider of stein-filled happiness. We asked the masters for a little more background behind the magic that goes into each glass, which in turn fuels all the good times and pretzel consumption.
One More Beer Festival. The rallying cry I often tell my aching liver is actually the name of one of the coolest international beer festivals out there. Starting September 20, beautiful Krakow, Poland, will host two days and three sessions of incredible brews, with more than 180 beers from over 30 to taste.
When I moved to Los Angeles to attend college, one of the first and most common questions I was asked was “Where are your from?” My response would be “New York.” That would typically be followed up by something like, “Oh, I love the city! Which borough are you from?” Which would prompt me to clarify that I was from Upstate NY. This would bring about the question, “Oh, so like Buffalo?” Nope. That’s about six hours away. I would then tell them I was from the Albany area, hoping they learned their state capitals in primary school. Sometimes, I’d even have to use my hand as a makeshift map of the state, pointing out the various cities they’ve heard of to identify the Albany area.
“A kid once said to me “Do you get hangovers?” I said, “To get hangovers you have to stop drinking.” – Lemmy Kilmister, Motorhead (RIP).
Rock and roll and booze have one of those symbiotic relationships where no matter what happens, they can’t seem to quit each other. The deaths of Bonham, Hendrix, Scott, et al. should have scared rock away from boozing. Or maybe Keith Moon driving a car into a hotel pool. But no, rock and roll continues to drink on. The booze is a necessary component, the liquid courage needed to conjure up the whitest of dance moves at a Killers concert, or the quick substitute for years of vocal coaching as you stand up to sing “Don’t Stop Believin'” at your local karaoke joint.
Emilia-Romagna, Italy, named by Lonely Planet in 2018 as the best place to visit in Europe, is known for many of the finer things in life. The birthplace and home of Ferrari and Lamborghini, a foodie paradise with city names you will recognize from your favorite cheeses and cured meats, and home of the world’s oldest university, there are a lot of reasons to book a holiday here. But there is a specific reason you may want to earmark the first weekend of June as your time to visit, and this is because of the fantastic Arrogant Sour Festival held in Reggio Emilia each year.
When life gives you a handful of Boeing Max 8-shaped lemons, you make lemonade. Or when your flight for a quick weekend getaway is canceled, you jump on Skyscanner, put “everywhere” into the destination, and see what comes up for cheap. For me, this destination ended up being the Romanian capital of Bucharest, a city with a population of roughly three million that had its heyday in the ’20s and ’30s when it was hailed as the “Little Paris of the East.”
We’ve all woken up a little groggy on the first of the new year with grand plans for how we’re going to make our lives better during this next lap around the sun. You commit to exercising, finishing your mediocre …
It’s a marshmallow world in the winter and what better way to commemorate this season than a stout brewed with… marshmallows? As an avid maker/consumer of Rice Krispie treats, if you tell me something has marshmallow in it, I’m immediately excited, like “when it was your birthday in school and you got to bring in treats for the class”-excited. Luckily the Swedish, who know a thing or two about endless freezing nights, have crafted a liquidized Stay Puft in the form of Hypnopompa to warm our innards on a chilly winter’s eve.