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AboutMathew Powers – 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

AleSmith and Around the Bend Collaboration, Chicago Craft Beer Week

May 18, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

The annual Beer Under Glass (B.U.G.) at Garfield Park Conservatory serves as the formal opening to Chicago Craft Beer Week (#CCBW), and brewers are more than happy to provide special offerings for the unique event. One such brew exemplifies the true meaning of craft beer — industry first, beer first, a collaboration between two “competing” breweries, Alesmith Brewing Company and Chicago’s Around the Bend Beer Co. This special brew will enjoy its first pouring at B.U.G, and then during select events (and sold in stores) thereafter.

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Event Recap | Chicago Beer Classic at Soldier Field

May 17, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

Although the last vestiges of winter traversed Lake Michigan and infiltrated the Chicago Beer Classic on May 6, glorious blue skies and both golden sunshine and beer screamed, “spring.” Besides, a little cool breeze couldn’t ruin an experience provided by 100+ brewers pouring beer at a venue that provided plenty of proverbial “wow factor.” Produced by Red Frog Events, few venues exceed the uniqueness offered by a chance to sip a beer while standing on the Chicago Bears logo at the 50-yard line. Go Bears, or go beers — both applied. The additional component of the stadium’s role in paying homage to America’s soldiers only added to the fest’s positives.

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Brewery Showcase | Only Child Brewing

May 8, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 4 min

The Only Child Brewing story involves several unique chapters. Some sections are straightforward, yet compelling, such as mentioning the brewery’s ultra-hip, slick taproom or the brewery’s personable, enthusiastic staff. Of course, one can also talk about its beer that exemplifies the term, “artisanship.” However, other portions of the Only Child Brewing story are far more complex, including the nearly simultaneous, and tumultuous, birth of both the brewery and its owners’ newborn twins. The story may not be a fairy tale, but all signs point towards a happy ending.

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Chicago White Sox Partner with Revolution Brewing and a Tour of the Craft Kave

May 5, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 4 min

It was merely spring training when we first reported on the White Sox Craft Kave, and now a month into the season the south siders are looking up with a tie for first in the AL Central. Recently, the White Sox organization invited PorchDrinking to visit the Craft Kave for an inside look into MLB’s finest collection of craft offerings in a single stadium.

Although The Kave is not all about craft — macro’s and macro-owned quasi crafts certainly exist, the infusion of Craft Beer into the White Sox home is not only substantial, it’s celebrated. In fact, The Chicago White Sox recently announced a new marketing agreement with Revolution Brewing: Rev will be featured as the “Beer of the Homestand” during the Detroit and Boston series on May 26 through May 31.

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Chicago’s Great Central Brewing Co. is Changing Contract Brewing Perceptions

May 2, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 3 min

Feature Image: James Nichols, Great Central Brewing Co.

If craft brewers had escaped from their 20th century oppression (on the way to the fermented promised land) with a set of rules on stone tablets, there’s a good chance it would have included the commandment “thou shall not contract brew.” But, are all contract brewers the same? One visit, one conversation with Chicago’s brand new Great Central Brewing Company (GCBC), and it’s likely you’ll realize that perception and reality rarely match. I know, because I did just that a few weeks ago.

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Event Preview | Chicago Beer Classic at Soldier Field

May 1, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

Fresh off the Chicago Bears blockbuster decision to go all-in on the barely-tested QB, Mitchell Trubisky; Soldier Field will provide Chicagoans with the ultimate solution for any possible worries — plenty of beer. The annual Chicago Beer Classic arrives May 6th with two sessions that include hundreds of beers, food, games, tours of Soldier Field, chances to talk to brewers and voting for an MVP beer.
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Event Preview | Crystal Lake Brewing, Chicago’s Signature Room at the 95th Floor

April 26, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

Crystal Lake Brewing may feel awfully far from downtown Chicago, located more than an hour’s drive away, but from the 95th floor of the John Hancock Building, Crystal Lake is easy to see. It’s pretty small, but you can find it. But, on May 2, you won’t have to look very far — Crystal Lake Brewing is bringing its seasonal beer selections to Chicago’s 3rd largest building. Patrons will enjoy Crystal Lake beer and a four-course dinner provided by Chef Cardel Reid. Read More

PorchDrinking Playlist | Spring Storms

April 25, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

Photo Credit: Mathew Powers: Campo, Colorado tornado (2010). 

No place on Earth enjoys conditions more conducive for tornadoes than the U.S. It’s not even close. And, late April into June marks the peak of tornado season. Music, like severe weather, masterfully pieces otherwise chaotic components into an orderly, harmonious sensory delight. Both can evoke feelings of tranquility or make one’s heart beat rapidly.

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Ultimate 6er | Schlafly Six Pack

April 19, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 3 min

Photo Credit: St. Louis Brewery/Schlafly Beer

Craft with a conscious. It’s the phrase commonly found on the underside of Schlafly Beer bottle caps, and it captures the essence of a brewery that recently celebrated 25 years in the business. Schlafly is Missouri’s largest locally-owned and independent craft brewery, and it’s dedicated to upholding the craft brewing industry values consisting of community, sustainability and innovation.

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Brewery Showcase | Noon Whistle Brewing

April 11, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 3 min

Photo Credit: Noon Whistle Brewing via Facebook

The Noon Whistle Brewing story resembles one enjoyed by innumerable craft breweries, especially in Chicago. The brewery first sought to create a niche within the booming craft beer market by becoming Chicago’s premier session-beer location. But, now in its third year, abundant success has forced the Noon Whistle Brewing crew to adapt its vision, both to accommodate its growing business, and also satisfy a desire to brew a variety of great beer. Noon Whistle has transitioned from audience-seeker to a trusted name brand. 

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Ultimate 6er | The Masters Golf Tournament Edition

April 5, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 3 min

Masters Photo Credit: more-sky.com

The first golf major of the year is one that’s filled with mystique, nostalgia and fierce competition. The Masters, held at Augusta National in Augusta, Georgia, is defined by its majestic blooming azaleas and fast greens that test the nerves of even the most accomplished veteran golfer. It is, as Jim Nantz proclaims, “A tradition unlike any other.” For die hard golf fans, few things surpass Sunday at the Masters, capped off by the presentation of the famed green jacket to the tournament winner. As golfers worry about picking the right club, fans must be sure to pick the right beer. So, let us be your beer caddy.

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Chicago White Sox Stadium’s Craft Kave Boasts 75 Craft Beers

April 3, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

The Craft Kave at Guaranteed Rate Field has taken the traditional baseball and beer concept and improved it mightily. Fans can enter the bar, order any of the 75 craft/quasi-craft beers, eat chef-inspired food or order from the full bar menu. Early indications are that the new relationship between the Chicago White Sox and its new stadium owner, Guaranteed Rates, are taking craft beer seriously. This is no gimmick, this is a celebration of good beer.

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Founders Brewing | KBS 2017 Release

March 31, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

The continued meteoric rise of craft breweries affords beer drinkers an opportunity to enjoy special releases with unfathomable regularity. But, once in a while, a classic “gotta have it,” beer rolls around; be it Pliny the Younger, Utopias, or in this case — KBS.

Since 2002, Founders Brewing has been putting its coffee-chocolate-malty stout in whiskey barrels and then storing them below its Grand Rapids home for a year. Each spring, just as tulips emerge from the soil, KBS escapes the caves so it can be enjoyed by throngs of fans. Welcome to spring; welcome to KBS season.

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Event Preview | 4th Annual Firkin Fest: Headquarters Beercade, Chicago (Apr 2)

March 29, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 3 min

Firkin Fest: April 2, 12pm to 4pm | Tickets: $42 GA / $57 All-Access  

The litany of festivals these days is almost overwhelming, which is why it behooves beer drinkers to pick and choose festivals that provide something unique. That’s just what Chicago’s Headquarters (HQ) Beercade is doing with its 4th Annual Firkin Fest — 40 Breweries bringing unique selections, only available for festival goers. For those willing to pay a little extra, food will be served, too. And the best part? Ticket proceeds will support the Chicago Food Depository.

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Event Recap | Tullamore D.E.W. & BuckleDown Brew: The Beauty of a Boilermaker

March 24, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 4 min

A true celebration of fermentation — centuries of craft knowledge enjoyed one boilermaker at a time. I mean, who needs leprechauns and pots of gold when Tullamore D.E.W. rolls into town on March 15 with its decked-out tour bus and visits BuckleDown Brewing in the suburbs of Chicago? A host of people with thick Irish accents provided music to thirsty patrons’ ears with a chorus of Irish toasts and whiskey. Even better, the whiskey paired harmoniously with BuckleDown Brewing beer, orchestrated by its brewmaster and founder, Irish-American Sean Mahoney.

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Event Preview: SideDoor/Lawry’s & Lagunitas: A Five-Course Beer Dinner

March 21, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

SideDoor, the popular gastropub adjacent to Lawry’s The Prime Rib, is joining forces with Lagunitas Brewing Company on Thursday, March 23 at 7 p.m. Located in a building steeped in history, Executive Chef Leonard Delgado will provide guests with a five-course menu that will pair with Lagunitas beer or beer-based cocktail ($75/person). It’s a night for foodies and beer geeks.

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21st Amendment Brewery | Brew Free! Or Die Blood Orange IPA

March 16, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

Photo courtesy of 21st Amendment Brewery

The new, ultra-refreshing spin on the original Brew Free! or Die IPA has arrived this March like a full-flavored lion pouncing on its beer-drinking prey. The brewery that made watermelon beer famous has gone the citrusy IPA route with its new year-round offering — real blood oranges and plenty of hops.

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Ultimate 6er | Easy-To-Find (Good) St. Paddy’s Day Beers

March 15, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 4 min

St. Paddy’s Day is right around the corner, but the festivities often begin days in advance. Hosting a party, heading to a parade or fun at the pub are some of the many ways one can embrace their inner Leprechaun. But, for the love all things Michael Flatley, please refrain from drinking bad, green beer. Finding a quality beer that pays homage to Ireland isn’t that difficult; there exists many easy-to-access, readily-available beers one can enjoy at nearly any bar or purchase in any store.

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Tullamore D.E.W. & A Brew Tour: Chicago-Area BuckleDown Brewing on March 15

March 14, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 4 min

Tickets: Click here to register for free

Few places embody the Irish spirit more than the local pub, which historically served as more than a place for grabbing a pint or sipping Irish whiskey; Irish pubs once stood as the community center, town hall, and anything else one can imagine. Americans, notably those without lineage tied to Ireland, are often accused of stomping on Irish traditions each St. Paddy’s day. But, that is changing, and few things demonstrate that evolution towards authenticity more than Ireland’s own Tullamore D.E.W Whiskey Distillery touring the United States. On March 15, that tour will take them to the bastion of blue-collar, neighborhood-style watering holes — BuckleDown Brewing in Lyons, IL (Chicago).

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March Beer Madness: Brewery Bracketology at Brass Tap Orland Park (Chicago)

March 13, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 3 min

Few places embrace local breweries like Brass Tap in Orland Park, Illinois (Chicago). But, this is no time to celebrate community — community, smoonity! This is March Beer Madness and it’s all about competition! One dozen breweries enter the tournament, but only one leaves a winner (and the lucky fans who picked it correctly). It starts with Chicago’s Maplewood Brewery vs. suburban Darien’s Miskatonic on day one, March 16th.

It’s free to fill out a bracket… so, who ya got?

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