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AboutMathew Powers, Author at PorchDrinking.com

Mathew Powers

Mathew Powers

After spending most of my life chasing tornadoes, I decided to chase beer as a beer historian, beer writer, and beer drinker. I have a Master's in Written Communication and History. I'm thrilled to be a part of PorchDrinking. I've been published regularly on Chilled Magazine, Sommbeer.com, Chicagonow.com (Tribune Group), as well as Thrillist-Chicago, and a host of non-beer publications. Find me on any of my various social media platforms. Mostly, I'm just a regular guy that loves to live life to the fullest.

Posts By Mathew Powers

The Complete PorchDrinking 2022 GABF Week Events Guide

September 22, 2022 |

Part of the magic associated with the return of GABF involves all of the incredible beer events that take place outside of the actual festival. Although technically the Great American Beer Fest (GABF) begins on Thursday, October 6 and runs through Saturday, October 8, the festivities begin well before the main event and continue throughout the week.

From special tap takeovers to paired beer dinners, out-of-state bottle releases, and collaborations to full-fledged beer festivals, the beer world descends upon Denver in all of its glory. With over a week jam-packed full of events, it can be a bit hard to navigate. Luckily we’re here to help sort through it all with the return of our 2022 GABF Week Events Guide.

Be sure to bookmark this page or check back often as we will continue to update the page as events are released. Read More

Rabid Brewing & Bean to Barstool | Crown of Horns

July 22, 2022 |

Homewood, Illinois’ Rabid Brewing has combined quality beer production with a love of mythology since 2017, and a celebration of that time will arrive Saturday, July 22 with its Feast of the Goat Queen festival. Among the beers that will be released is a chocolate beer as part of a collaborative effort between Rabid and Bean to Barstool, run by the award-winning writer and podcaster, David Nilsen. The beer, a Chocolate Vanilla Cream Ale named Crown of Horns, uses ethically-sourced cacao from Ethereal Confections. Meanwhile, the festival, a “Fest for Fae Folk,” is perfect for those that to like to dawn some horns, honor their Roman gods, pet some goats, listen to live music, check out some artists, and otherwise have some fun.

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Imperial Oak Brewing | 2020 & 2022 BBA Quiet Giant Preview

May 5, 2022 |

The Imperial Oak Brewing BBA Quiet Giant series doesn’t quite get the attention that other Chicago-area BBA releases receive, but its quality is on par with some of the best in the metro area. And the brewery’s annual, crowded anniversary party and Quiet Giant release speak to the love affair many have with the series. Though we have covered the release as a preview each year, we wanted to appeal to those beer-cellar lovers by opening a 2020 Quiet Giant Aged Two Years in Bourbon (and then aged in this writer’s basement “BBA fridge” for two additional years) to see how well Quiet Giant ages.

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2022 Craft Brewers Conference External Events Guide

April 29, 2022 |

While the Craft Brewers Conference is an amazing opportunity to gain valuable education from the multitude of sessions and seminars, 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.

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The PorchDrinking Comprehensive 2022 Beer Release Calendar Roundup

April 7, 2022 |

For the past eight years, PorchDrinking.com has compiled a collection of breweries’ beer release calendars. The PorchDrinking Comprehensive 2022 Beer Release Calendar Roundup offers readers insight into what some of their favorite breweries have planned for the year and provides a glimpse of this year’s brewing trends

We will continually update this page as soon as we receive information. So, be sure to bookmark this page and check back often. 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!

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Illinois Craft Beer Week 2022 | New Events & New Location for Beer Under Glass

April 1, 2022 |

The Illinois Craft Brewers Guild announced today the return of Illinois Craft Beer Week (ICBW), which will take place May 13-20. For those who forgot what ICBW was like before the global pandemic wreaked havoc on the world, the week-long celebration features a lineup of signature festivals and events that support Illinois breweries and ostensibly kick-off the state’s craft beer season. One can expect breweries to host other events and offer specials during the week, too. Unlike the last two years, with festivals operated virtually or during untraditional times, Beer Under Glass (“BUG”) will again serve as the ceremonial start to Illinois Craft Beer Week 2022 on May 13. However, one difference will be its new (temporary) location: Chicago’s Union Station. The Guild has also provided info on its Passport Program and a host of other events, which are detailed below.

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2022 PorchDrinking Staff’s New Beer Resolutions

January 13, 2022 |

In 1919, Prohibition came, but then things were roaring. In 2019, SARS-CoV-2 arrived, but at least breweries were still pouring. So yeah, things are tough, but we can still enjoy a good drink. In fact, we have more than 8,000 breweries producing beer in 2022, and that gives us something to look forward to. So, it is time for us to reveal our 2022 New Beer Resolutions. What are your goals for the upcoming year? Let us know!

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FoBAB | 2021 Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer Awards

November 13, 2021 |

New venue. New normal. Same celebration of barrel-aged beers. After a pandemic-induced hiatus in 2020, the Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer (FoBAB) returned in 2021, although the masks and vaccination requirements offer a stark reminder that things aren’t quite back to normal. And that’s what made every sip of every strong barrel-aged beer, fruited sour or wild ale even more enjoyable. The awards ceremony returned, too (not streamed). We are happy to provide you a recap of the 2021 FoBAB Awards. Congrats to Charlotte’s Resident Culture Brewing for winning Best in Show, and to Chicago’s Revolution Brewing for winning the Runner Up award.

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Metropolitan Brewing | Krankshaft German-Style Kölsch

July 29, 2021 |

In 2008, long before breweries populated every Chicago neighborhood and suburban town, Metropolitan Brewing opened its doors. Today’s Chicago beer market now supports several Lager-focused breweries, but Metro served as the city’s trailblazer. There’s nothing pretentious or Bourgeoisie about Metro; it’s a come-as-you-are brewery. (And a Malört-friendly place, too.) And one can revel in the brilliance of its brewing at its gorgeous taproom and patio spot located on the Chicago River, a location they opened in 2017. Among the many beers they produce, there’s one that isn’t technically a lager: Krankshaft German-style Kölsch. Drinking Krankshaft provides insight into why Metro has evolved into one of Chicago’s most respected and recognizable breweries.

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Botanical Beer Series | Anvil & Forge Brewing Wolf’s Bane Grey Tart

May 14, 2021 |

It’s natural to seek silver linings in bad situations, but when storm clouds hung above our collective heads during the COVID19, crisis, Anvil & Forge Brewing and Distilling provided Illinois beer drinkers with some helpful grey — Earl Grey Tea, to me more specific. Earlier this year, Illinois Beer drinkers partook in a March Madness bracket-style beer event — #BEERacket — that, yet again, served as a virtual replacement for the in-person festivals we once took for granted. But, amid that reminder of the trouble caused by the evil microbe came a host of good beers, including Springfield Illinois’ Anvil & Forge Wolf Bane Grey Tart, a sour ale with with lemon peel, dried wild bergamot flower and Earl Grey Tea. An exemplary botanical beer, Wolf’s Bane reminds beer drinkers that there are still brewers willing to producing flavorful beers outside the realm of “trendy styles.”

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Cinco de Mayo | A Collection of Mexican Lagers

May 5, 2021 |

Cinco de Mayo has come to mean less about its history and more about parties filled with fishbowl margaritas, music and taco platters, and maybe that’s not such a bad thing. The Mexican-American relationship has undoubtedly been a strained one over the centuries. Indeed, such events as endless immigration issues, the Bracero Program and the U.S.-Mexican War (and subsequent Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo where Mexico ceded 55 percent of its territory to the U.S. — present-day Arizona, California, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Nevada, and Utah) mark the struggles between two countries. So, sure, there are plenty of real-life, geopolitical issues that can be discussed. And, yes, some confuse Cinco de Mayo with Mexican Independence day, instead of its true meaning: the date of the Mexican army’s May 5, 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (also known as Battle of Puebla Day). But, why not let it be a celebration of Mexican food and culture, even if it’s a bit cheesy (pun intended)? Maybe it’s good to forget the meaning and just have fun. At PorchDrinking.com, that means enjoying Mexican Lagers, demonstrated by the nine writers who recently showcased the style — enjoy!

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What We’re Drinking | April 23, 2021

April 23, 2021 |

Can you believe it’s almost May? It might be tough to believe considering a large chunk of the nation dealt with snow this past week! April’s fickle weather aside, there is much to celebrate:in this week’s edition of What We’re Drinking. Hundreds of millions have been vaccinated; we flew a helicopter on Mars and today is German Beer Day. Those all sound like good reasons to raise a glass and say Cheers — or Prost!

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German Beer Day | PorchDrinking Staff’s German Beer & Brewery Picks

April 23, 2021 |

Prost! For some parts of Europe, grape is king. But, in Germany, it is all about barley and hops. German Beer Day (Friday, April 23) celebrates that country’s rich brewing culture and history. So we wanted to briefly discuss German brewing and ask some of our team what German Breweries they’d like to visit and what German beer styles they genuinely love.

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Firestone Walker Luponic Distortion No. 18 | A New Zealand Hops Blend

April 13, 2021 |

A beer exuding New Zealand terroir, the latest release of Firestone Walker Luponic Distortion No. 18 consists of four hops from the island country: Nectaron, Nelson, Motueka and Riwaka.

“It’s a celebration of our new grower and merchant relationships that we’ve forged over the past couple of years in the Southern Hemisphere,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “It’s the first time we’ve had enough supply to go all-in on a blend of 100% New Zealand-grown hops.”

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Cullen-Harrison Act of 1933 | National Beer Day

April 7, 2021 |

“I think this would be a good time for a beer,” exclaimed Franklin Roosevelt after signing the Cullen-Harrison Act on March 22, 1933. Though the passage of the 21st Amendment in December 1933 fully ended the nation’s temperance experiment, the Cullen-Harrison Act allowed for the legal sale of low-alcohol beer (and wine). It went into effect on April 7, 1933, a day we commemorate as National Beer Day.

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Firestone Walker Crafted Thru Hops IPA Mixed Pack

April 5, 2021 |

The flavor. That enticing aroma. Ah yes, there’s just something special about that first hoppy-beer experience. When Adam Firestone and David Walker founded Firestone Walker 25 years ago, West Coast IPAs helped convert multitudes of beer fans into craft beer fans. These days, of course, the IPA is more than just a West Coast treasure as hops are now grown and distributed throughout the world, and that’s demonstrated fully by the Firestone Walker Crafted Thru Hops IPA Mixed Pack.

Indeed, the Firestone Walker IPA Mixed Pack expresses one of IPA’s most favorable attributes: versatility. Each case comes with three cans each of the classic Union Jack West Coast IPA, the Hazy Mind Haze IPA and two New Zealand hopped beers: the 18th batch of Luponic Distortion and the hazy, single-hopped Propagator Series.

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The Final Four of Beer Styles | PorchDrinking Staff Picks

April 2, 2021 |

The calendar says April, but for millions of sports fans it’s still March Madness. The 68 teams that qualified for the tournament have been reduced to the Final Four, who will battle in Indianapolis on Saturday. Will you be drinking a beer while watching the game? If so, what beer? Let’s be honest, picking which beer to enjoy can sometimes be tough. That got us thinking: If a there was a beer style competition, what styles would make the Final Four of Beer Styles? Our staff provided their picks — what are yours?

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What We’re Drinking | March 26, 2021

March 26, 2021 |

The first week spent in Daylight Saving Time may have made a few of us tired at first, but it didn’t stop the PorchDrinking staff from enjoying some delicious beers. We hope you are able to enjoy the extra daylight and warming weather with a few beers of your own — maybe even at a brewery (be safe).

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Women in Beer | Katherine Valleau of Exit Strategy Brewing

March 17, 2021 |

When Katherine and Chris Valleau say they built Exit Strategy Brewing Co. from scratch, they’re not kidding. “When we first walked into the building, the skylight was hanging down from the ceiling and there were birds flying around. Everything had been stripped. No plugs. No running water. Only four walls,” said Katherine. Nearly six years later, the couple has turned that once empty space into a popular, name-brand brewpub (food and beer), frequented by locals and often visited by traveling craft-beer aficionados.

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5 Questions with Kevin McGee, Anderson Valley Brewing Co.

March 9, 2021 |

Now in its fourth decade, Anderson Valley Brewing Company (AVBC) is now owned by the McGee family, namely Kevin McGee, an attorney who previously opened the one-barrel, nano brewery called Healdsburg Beer Company (out of his garage). Although buying an “OG” craft brewery just in time for a global pandemic was not ideal, AVBC has managed to not only survive, but do well. It helps that AVBC beer remains in the hands of the well-respected, longtime brewmaster (and author) Fal Allen. Under his direction, the brewery continues to produce its famed Gose series, run a laudable barrel program and offer a slew of “regular” beers such as its Boont Amber Ale. The beer is produced in part with power from the sun, as roughly 40% of the brewery’s power is solar (and soon to be 100%). And why not? When you can look outside your brewery and view gorgeous scenery, you might feel inspired to protect the planet that provides it.

We wanted to know a bit more about Anderson Valley so we asked Kevin McGee, owner and CEO of AVBC, five questions about the brewery and its beer.

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