Posts ByKatie Coakley, Author at PorchDrinking.com
Ah, January–that month when the misdeeds of the previous weeks (or more) of debauchery catch up, and New Year’s resolutions are front and center. For some, this means getting back into an exercise routine or “eating better”. For others, Dry January is the key to starting the year off right.
I completed my first Dry January last year. To be honest, it was easier for me to simply stop drinking altogether than try and find a non-alcoholic (NA) beer that was worth drinking. However, this year’s experiment might look a bit different because of Hairless Dog Brewing Co.
They say when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. In Colorado, when wildfires torch your county… you make beer. Six craft breweries in Grand County have crafted the East Troublesome Pale Ale in response to the East Troublesome Fire that raged for more than a month in their backyard. All proceeds for this beer will be donated to The Grand Foundation to support those that have been affected by the East Troublesome Fire.
There’s nothing that epitomizes summer like a beer festival: Standing under the hot sun with a diminutive glass, waiting in snake-like lines to score the rare — or new-to-you — brew. However, with COVID-19 lurking like a skunky beer in the six-pack, in-person beer festivals have been canceled left and right. Except, it seems, for one.
I blame it on my brain. It was a gorgeous, sunny day in Fort Collins, Colorado, as I headed into Odell Brewing Co.’s Small Batch Fest on the brewery’s spacious campus May 25. The 15+ bike racks that quickly filled up should have been one clue; the list of more than 40 beers that were being poured should have been another. Yet, as I handed over my ticket and received my globe tasting glass (no shot glasses here) and tokens, part of me was still expecting a “small” festival.
Nope. Small Batch is not small festival. The party was in full swing by 1:30 p.m. with live music alternating on two stages and six different locations pouring Odell’s stellar brews. From year-round favorites like 90 Shilling and Easy Street to limited releases like the Hammer Chain (a fresh grind Double IPA to pilot beers and even retired brews like the Green Coyote, a tomatillo sour ale, it was a festival for the senses. The hardest part? Deciding where to start.
On Wednesday, October 10, Hurricane Michael slammed into the coast of Florida into a tiny town called Mexico Beach. On Monday, Oct. 8, the storm had been a Category 1 as it made its way to the Panhandle; by the time it hit, it was a Category 4. Though news reports, complete with eye-witness testimony and photos and videos released after the fact, try to illustrate the devastation that this storm wreaked, it’s hard to fathom. Even when you hear it from friends and family, it’s hard to take in.
My family was lucky. The trailer that my grandparents bought in 1985 is still standing, with only a few windows blown out. The house my parents’ built and have been living in full-time since 2008—my home for half the year—sports shattered windows like empty eye sockets, a hole in the roof and an exterior that looks as if it’s been skinned due to the siding being torn off, but it’s standing as well. We were lucky. But it’s going to take time to rebuild. In the meantime, many areas are still without power and running water.
In these times of disaster, when most of the luxuries that we take for granted are gone (electricity, internet, flushing toilets and potable water), all help is appreciated. But the necessities: a place to sleep, food and water to drink, are even more important. It’s times like these that breweries and beer companies step up.