AboutMathew Powers – PorchDrinking.com
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).
Does size matter? Do name brands imply value? Last year, I dared to suggest that the best barrel-aged beer I tasted came from Crystal Lake Brewing — the 2015 Heaven Hill Rye Barrel-Aged Stout (aged for three years). That assessment afforded me an opportunity to receive several nasty, troll-like emails, messages and online commentary.
For some reason, boldly claiming that a brewery outside the realm of the “big boys” somehow banished me to the craft beer timeout corner. But why?
Once deemed “Black Out Wednesday,” to differentiate it from Black Friday and because the day before Thanksgiving ranks as one of the busiest drinking nights of the year, Black Wednesday has grown to become one of the craft beer industry’s biggest days. Chicago’s breweries and bars are regaling patrons with plenty of special beer, most of it as black as a winter night. So, to help you navigate Black Wednesday in Chicago, we’ve compiled a list to help you.
We can’t detail every event, but we tried to hit on the big releases and offerings. Did we miss something grand? Let us know via comments here or on social media. Have a great Thanksgiving Week!
The first shot of Jeppson’s Malört induces a reaction akin to sucking in one’s entire face, and that’s followed by a look of despair as one hopes and prays the aftertaste resembling something close to insect repellent will give way to something better. It doesn’t. Malört is awful. It’s vile. It’s nasty. And it’s beloved by an abundance of Chicago drinkers. The cult-like drink is part “bad decision,” part “right of passage.” These days, craft breweries and craft-friendly bars in Chicago regularly pair Malört with craft beer—or offering it to you after a night of craft beer. A communal sharing of Malört forges friendships and kinship. Simply, Malört is bonding in a bottle.
Born of the Great Depression, Jeppson’s Malört (now owned by Chicago’s C.H. Distillery ) was developed by a Swedish immigrant in Chicago (although it dates back to medieval times). The Swedish-style Bäsk liquor (Swedish for bitter liquor) flavored with “malört” (Swedish for wormwood), has been known to offer medicinal benefits such as settling one’s stomach. Indeed, our Midwest Editor, Mike Zoller, can confirm this — he swears it recently worked for him.
“Cider is too sweet. Cider isn’t beer.” If that’s your thought on the matter of ciders, I would implore you first to refrain from comparing cider to beer. Beer is beer. Whiskey is whiskey. Wine is wine. And cider is cider. Yes, the packaging and crafted nature of the business has often allowed the two imbibe industries to converge, but they are not the same. I would then suggest next that you explore ciders as its own entity; you’ll find that the ciders of today are nothing like the jugged-cider sold at family pumpkin fests, and they differ greatly from the hard cider that first emerged fifteen to twenty years ago. Cider today is innovative, nuanced and balanced, demonstrated exquisitely by Stem Ciders‘ Chile Guava Apple Cider.
Brickstone Brewery has won medals at FoBAB, the World Cup, and GABF. One can find Brickstone at every Jewel, several Buffalo Wild Wings, throughout Guaranteed Rate Field (White Sox games), at beer fests — and even gas stations these days. It’s tough to find a Chicago-area bar without some tap handles adorned by Brickstone artwork. Yet, most Chicago-area beer fans have never been to Brickstone. Born of a family-restaurant in the 1990s, the Bourbonnais business added a brewery in 2006 and has since evolved into a dually-located, full-fledged, 9k to 10k barrel-per-year brewery (with a capacity for 18k) and, as it always has been, family restaurant. Located 45 miles south of downtown Chicago, Brickstone has simultaneously discovered a way to cater to its local clientele while also existing among the biggest names in Chicago beer.
The first annual Far & Away festival hosted by Chicago’s Half Acre Brewery and held at the city’s popular Millennium Park offered beer fans a ‘27-Yankees level brewery and beer lineup; heavy hitters that did not disappoint in October. For the two PorchDrinking.com writers who attended each session, the immediate discussion afterwards included the comment, “best ever.” Granted, immediate conclusions can be wrought with over-reactions, but the mere fact that we both said that speaks to the festival’s sheer excellence.