AboutMathew Powers – PorchDrinking.com
Deep Woods. Boathouse Reserve. Bourbon County. Barrel Aged Imperial Pajamas. Quiet Giant. The maturation and evolution of Chicago-Area craft breweries has not included a drift away from the style created in the Windy City — Bourbon Barrel Aging. And, breweries that have gained named recognition in the past few years commonly release of a lauded, coveted and oft-cellared BBA. For Imperial Oak Brewing, a continually expanding suburban-Chicago brewery that’s recently added an entire space dedicated to Foeders and other barrels (The Savage Oak Room), its best-selling beer is Quiet Giant. Each year, the beer once deemed a PorchDrinking.com favorite at Beer Under Glass (BUG) in 2017 arrives just in time for both BUG and its summertime anniversary party. This year Imperial Oak has five variants; one for each year its been open.
We at PorchDrinking were privvy to a special preview before Beer Under Glass, and are pleased to share our findings with you.
Creativity breeds creativity, so it’s no wonder that Katie and Krys Wolf, with their pension for design and art, have turned an 1850s home into a profoundly unique craft brewery — Wolfden Brewing. The exterior is that of a spacious, suburban home while the inside reminds one of a lodge one enters in Wisconsin or the mountains of Wyoming — with plenty of beer, to boot.
“We wanted it to feel like home, or like a vacation getaway spot,” explained Katie Wolf.
The Women of Suburban Chicago, who took part in the Pink Boots Live Brew Day at Skeleton Key Brewing for International Women’s Day in March, had one thing in mind: make good beer. The brewers and brewery professionals, who happened to be women, came together to do what all beer fans love: transform yeast, malt, hops and water into a wonderful, fermented beverage. As a byproduct of brewing in the Pink Boots’ event, the women did accomplish one extra item: they demonstrated (again) that brewing prowess has zero to do with gender. Any doubt that women can brew was immediately stripped away when patrons enjoyed the nine varieties (of the 10 made) of Hold My Crown Rustic Lithuanian Pale Ale, released April 5 at Iron & Glass bottle shop. From base beer to Kombucha, the variants proved to not only be delicious, but a geeky exploration of flavor combinations.
The innovative and imaginative District Brew Yards, new home to Burnt City Brewing, Around the Bend Beer and Bold Dog Beer, stands as the nation’s first brewery collective, pour-your-own beer hall, eatery and swag shop all operating under one roof. With an ability to provide customers an expansive — and routinely experimental — beer menu, Brew Yards (opening Friday, April 12) adds tremendous allure to the already impressive Chicago Brewing District on the west side comprised of nearby All Rise Brewing, as well as On Tour, Great Central, Finch and Goose Island.
As the Brewers Association (BA) gears up for this week’s Craft Brewers Conference (CBC) we decided to catch up with the governing body of craft beer to dive deeper into their decision to move this year’s conference from Indianapolis to Denver, just months before GABF will once again be held in the same city. Ann Obenchain, Marketing Director for the Brewers Association, spoke with PorchDrinking.com about this year, and the years to follow.
While the Craft Brewers Conference is an amazing opportunity to gain valuable education from the multitude of sessions and seminars, as brewers we know the real fun comes with the after-parties surrounding the conference. To help you navigate the week-long schedule of tap takeovers, beer dinners, special releases and more surrounding CBC we put together a day-by-day external events guide. Use the menu below to quickly navigate to the corresponding day.
Additionally we will be updating this guide throughout the week, so if we missed an event be sure to shoot us a message.
Special thanks to our friends at OnTap Credit Union, who have been crafting banking solutions for breweries, brewery employees and beer lovers for the past 64 years in Golden and Arvada. Their support in underwriting PorchDrinking allows us to continue to research and present in-depth pieces like the the 2019 CBC External Events Writeup
Quick Sips is our way of highlighting beer events, tap takeovers and other notable beer news around the city of Chicago. If you’d like to submit something to be included in the next Quick Sips, please email us at [email protected]
Certainly, Pink Boots Society events present a bonding opportunity for women of the industry, while simultaneously fostering awareness of their contributions. Nevertheless, from the presence of Omega Yeast Labs to the many brewers and industry women present, the event made it abundantly clear that crafting excellent beer served as priority #1. And, in doing so, demonstrated how possession of a Y-chromosome has nothing to do with becoming a skilled, imaginative beer professional.
Did you know February was national snack month? But, let’s be honest and admit that every month is snack month for beer drinkers. So, we will not be boxed in by some arbitrary month. Now that it is March, we will rebel and celebrate it now, and we will celebrate it forever. I think it was Aristotle who said, “All people by nature desire snacks.” (Source: various fancy-looking memes on Google Images, which I’m sure are accurate.)
Who among us hasn’t gotten the munchies when sipping a beer? So, I asked a few PorchDrinking writers about their favorite snack to pair with beer and decided to post the results of that (highly scientific) conversation. How would one go with your friends? What’s your favorite snack? Let us know.
The heart of February means showering those with whom you love affection…and beer, right? Of course, it also means enduring the last few weeks of cold and snow, unless you happen to be in Arizona enjoying Arizona Craft Beer Week. …
Hosted by Kinslahger Brewing, The Brewers Rock Festival at the Wire in Berwyn on Groundhog Day celebrates the essence of “craft.” With proceeds going towards the Alliance for the Great Lakes Alliance, more than one dozen bands, all associated with breweries, will play from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, February 2, and they’ll bring their beer with them.
One can purchase a ticket that allows one to come and go, watch a dozen bands, choose from at least 25 different craft beers (or more) at the breweries’ booths, order beer and drinks from the bar and enjoy Bricks Pizza. And, of course, one gets a fun sampling glass.
For the past five years, we have composed a national roundup of brand and beer release calendars from our nation’s breweries. To gain a sense of the astounding diversity of beer produced by the more than 7,000 breweries operating today, and to help get you excited about what is to come in 2019, we present to you the 2019 Beer Release Calendar roundup.
We will continually update this page as soon as we receive information (many breweries are still in the final stages of finalizing their calendars). If your brewery isn’t listed and you’d like to share your release calendar, please reach out to us via [email protected] and we’d love to add you to the list!
Special thanks to our friends at OnTap Credit Union, who have been crafting banking solutions for breweries, brewery employees and beer lovers for the past 64 years in Golden and Arvada. Their support in underwriting PorchDrinking allows us to continue to research and present in-depth pieces like the the 2019 Beer Release Calendar Roundup.
As we say goodbye to 2018 and hello to 2019, it is time for several members of the PorchDrinking.com staff to make their New Beer Resolutions. In doing so, we hope our resolutions inspire you to create your own beer-drinking goals for 2019. But, more importantly, we thank you for all your support and wish you the very best in the coming year.
Without further ado, here is the PorchDrinking New Beer Resolutions.
The addition of suburban-Chicago’s Oswego Brewing Company (May, 2018) further demonstrates that the craft beer industry is far from “too crowded.” Oswego Brewing has fit in nicely, thank you, and is drawing in its own new loyal crowd of craft beer fans. Operating out of spacious building — the town’s former fire station — and under the direction of the multi-award winning head brewer, Marc Wilson, Oswego Brewing deftly balances the art of offering sophisticated special releases alongside solid, versatile year-round and seasonal choices.
Born in 1988, the 30-year-old independent and employee-owned brewery, Great Lakes Brewing Company (GLBC) has announced its 2019 lineup. Alongside favorites such as Edmund Fitzgerald Porter and Burning River Pale Ale, GLBC unveils its new, year-round Great Lakes IPA, an IPA that honors its employee owners. As well, GLBC has a new cocktail-inspired Buckin’ Mule Moscow Mule Ale, and the Moses Mix Variety Pack, which features Holy Moses White Ale alongside two variants. But, that’s not all. New cans, new branding and new beers highlight the schedule for next year.
New Year’s Eve is a time for renewal, a time for hope. And, a time for beer and drinks. Don’t miss out on some of Chicago’s best craft-brewery NYE events. Each one invites drinkers to have some food, beer, fun activities and, of course, a midnight countdown. This summary gives you the scoop, but we encourage you to click on the links to read some of the finer print.
Here’s to 2019!
Surly Brewing has announced its plans for 2019, which include (among other items) the return of its Brooklyn Center Small Batch series and Seasonal Variety Packs.
The popular Minnesota brewery also announced several new items for 2019 such as boxed six-packs (12 oz. cans) and a new, year-round hazy IPA in 16 oz. cans.
The nearly four-year-old Denver brewery, Call to Arms Brewing (CTA), won a 2018 World Cup gold in the Fresh or Wet Hop Ale category for a beer inspired by the crew’s love of Billy Madison with its More Like Bore-O-Phyll. In September, during GABF week, the brewery held its third annual [email protected]#*ing Call to Arms Catalina Wine Mixer! Simply, the brewery deftly intertwines the art of sophisticated beer production with relaxed, easy-going fun. And, the recent release of Really, Really, Ridiculously Good Tasting (RRRGT), a farmhouse ale aged in Chardonnay barrels with Brett Claussennii only further cements that concept; one should not feel compelled to stick out one’s pinky—just kick back and enjoy a beer that’s really, really, ridiculously good.
On Saturday, December 8, at 11 a.m., Schlafly Beer will release The Variant II at its taproom in St. Louis and, in limited fashion, to the broader market. The Variant II is a sophisticated blend of two different variations of the base 9.4% Imperial Stout, receiving flavor from barrels that once held brandy (usually made by fermenting wine), as well as with sour cherries. The elegant beer suits anyone seeking to indulge during the holidays, especially those who possess a mutual love of craft beer and mixology.
“Tart cherries are soaked inside a generous stout and aged in brandy barrels—it’s enough to make you skip right to dessert,” explains founding Brewer Stephen Hale. “Imperial is the right word. This rich, creamy, luxurious experience brings a taste of extravagance, sip after sip. All is right with the world.”
Just as Santa prepares to deliver toys across the globe, Founders Brewing has announced what gifts it has in store for beer drinkers throughout 2019. Founders, which recently expanded its distribution to a total of 47 states by adding Colorado, has unveiled its 2019 Beer Release Calendar. One item that jumps off the page involves the inclusion of its increasingly popular Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS).