Posts ByMark Elliot – PorchDrinking.com
Severe weather can be crushing. Tornadoes can toss cars, homes and possessions upside down. Tornadoes can forever change the landscape. We know that occasionally, tornadoes can take lives. So why write a lighthearted beer article about tornadoes? Because anything that can raise your awareness about these storms, and potentially start you on a path of awareness and preparedness, is a good thing. Think about your disaster plan, and how you’d keep yourself, your family and your loved ones safe as you crack into some of these delicious, although ominously named, beers.
Hanging out in the basement has its own special connotation. They don’t usually say things about “your parent’s basement” in any positive manner. It could be the basement that freaked you out as a kid that you still have nightmares about OR it could be a basement man cave, perfect for beer geeks.
In many ways a combination of all three, Scofflaw Brewing got its start on a one-barrel system in the basement of the founder’s mother-in-law of all places. And out of that adventure came Basement IPA, which is quite honestly perfect to drink in any basement or building, field, plot or porch for that matter.
SweetWater Brewing Company and Southeast beer drinking basically go hand in hand. Since 1997, SweetWater has been pumping out their signature 420 Extra Pale Ales and really helped start and shape beer culture in the Atlanta metro area. As craft brew consumption and taste has continued to grow, SweetWater’s beer profile has grown right along with it. Whether lining up for Anniversary Series beers or longing for Dank Tank beers of the past, SweetWater grew a beer following by pushing flavors and higher alcohol content long before this was the “mainstream.”
When thinking about the beer needs of the South, it would be easy to discount the dark brews. Warm (if not blazing hot) weather, beautiful beaches, thick humidity, and rolling farms often naturally lead to IPAs, sours, wheats and other easy sessionable styles. But to ignore the dark beer coming out of the South would be a mistake. There certainly is less of it than in some other regions, but the brew that is produced can go toe to toe with the best of them.
Finally, the season is changing. The days are shorter, the nights are cooler, and the leaves are making a quick exit from the trees. I mean let’s face it… this was an unending summer. It’s all anyone talked about. We needed low alcohol brews that were loaded with fruit, because if we drank anything heavier, we may have literally died. Or melted. Or burst into flames. It was seriously hot out there.
When in Rome, you do as the Roman’s do. This of course means fresh pasta, huge late meals, copious amounts of wine, and if you’re smart, a run through some of Rome’s surging craft beer bars and microbreweries.
It’s been well-documented over the past couple of years that fruit is taking over the beer scene. There is tons of watermelon beer, a handful of pineapple beer, a gaggle of mango beer, a plethora of blueberry beer… you get the idea. But didn’t we learn that healthy eating is about your fruits AND your vegetables?! All too often, a vegetable taste or smell in beer is because of a brewing error. Not to get too technical or sciencey, but it has to do with dimethyl sulfides dissolving back into the cooling wort, or even a rogue bacteria getting into the brew, and it can create a corn, cabbage or sauerkraut taste and smell. But when vegetables are done purposefully, and done well, it opens up a whole new category of beer awesomeness.
From inception, Orpheus Brewing, and head brewer Jason Pellett, have brewed under the philosophy “don’t look back.” This, as Jason has stated, is because the goals are always ahead of you, and as mythology’s Orpheus learned, looking back can lead you astray (or more specifically, lose your wife Eurydice back to Hades when abandoning your faith and looking back to ensure she was still following you out).
And obviously, brewing forward-reaching beers, while staying laser focused on future goals has worked extraordinarily well at Orpheus, as the brewery continues to fill any and all gaps in beer styles available in Atlanta.
It really wasn’t that long ago, that the beer scene in the Southeast was… well… sad. Sure there were a few islands of beer awesome such as Asheville, and some long running southeast breweries like SweetWater Brewing Company which has been going strong since 1997, but the craft beer market and availability was truly few and far between.
Spring. Robins return to your lawn. Daffodils and tulips bloom. The air turns warm, the days get longer, the outdoor day drinking turns to outdoor night drinking, and your car goes from midnight black to pollen yellow. OK – so maybe not all things about spring are fantastic. But think about letting your beer follow in your paint job’s footsteps and go from dark to light as well. Spring is the perfect time to wind down the stouts, porters, and winter warmers, and increase the hops, the sour funk, and the fruit.
I, like so many of you, grew up watching “The Muppets.” The various shows and movies are among my most beloved childhood memories – right up there with juice boxes, Square Pizza Day, those weird wax bottles with the liquid …
I suppose there is a chance you live under a rock, or a chance that you’ve avoided the plethora of weather apps on your smartphone. Maybe you’ve given up completely on TV meteorologists. But, SURPRISE, it’s winter, and there is going to be snow. (I know. It comes as a shock every year).
Some of you may actually see a lot of snow this weekend; maybe even enough to keep you inside for a day or two. Instead of issuing what meteorologists jokingly call a “French Toast Warning” — that’s when everyone rushes to the store in a panic and pillages the bread, milk and egg aisles — let’s stock up on the real essentials. This is your Ultimate 6er of the best craft beer to drink while you watch the snowflakes pile up outside.