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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

2022 Chicago Area Black Wednesday and Black Friday Beer Events Guide

November 22, 2022 |

A multitude of bottle shops and breweries are celebrating the entire Thanksgiving weekend with beer releases, special cellar finds and offering a host of indulgences. While the bulk of the activities will occur on Black Wednesday and Black Friday, one can find good beer from Wednesday through Sunday. And, although dark beer (notably strong, barrel-aged) reigns supreme this weekend, there are a few alternative beer choices, too. If we missed an event, by all means let us know — the idea is to make sure everyone knows where to go this weekend to satisfy their beer cravings. Without further ado, here’s the comprehensive 2022 Chicago Area Black Wednesday and Black Friday beer events guide.

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Distillery Showcase | Laws Whiskey House’s No Shortcuts Approach Toward Distilling

November 14, 2022 |

Denver’s Laws Whiskey House has demonstrated how unique terroir, patience and passion can result in multi-award-winning Bourbon and Rye whiskeys, all created in a location removed from the country’s traditional whiskey-making regions.

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Six Under the Radar Breweries Worth Trying at FoBAB

November 4, 2022 |

As we noted in our Tips to Have a Great Time at FoBAB article, The Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer (FoBAB) is a challenging festival to navigate. The sheer magnitude of breweries alone make it tough. And, the vast majority of beers served are either high-ABV or require one to consume some Tums. Do you want to be stumbling or rumbling? One might wonder why anyone would dare attend an event that challenges the liver, the gut, and the mind. Well, because it’s some of the best beer in the world. It’s where brewers meet distillers and where chemistry meets artistry. It’s good to try the beers you know, but it’s also good to try something new — but which ones?

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Temperance Beer Co. Announces 2022 Might Meets Right Barrel-Aged Stout Lineup

November 3, 2022 |

Located in Chicago’s near-north suburbs, Temperance Beer Co. and FEW Spirits enjoy distinction as Evanston, Illinois’ first brewery and distillery. They have come together to create the 2022 Temperance Might Meets Right Barrel-Aged Stout collection. Temperance placed its Imperial Stout … Read More

The Skullltimate 13er | Spooky Halloween Brews & Bootography

October 31, 2022 |

Rumor has it that several of the world’s beer companies have replaced their shiny silver tanks with cauldrons, allowing brewing witches worldwide to put a spell on the beer community. This year’s skulltimate 13er reminds us all that beer can both be a tasty treat and full of fun tricks – enjoy your spooky Halloween brews this year!

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The Illinois Breweries That Produce GABF-Winning Hazy Beers (And That’s Not All They Do)

October 18, 2022 |

The Brewers Association introduced the Hazy/Juicy IPA category for the Great American Beer Fest awards in 2018, reflecting the style’s presence and impact within the brewing world — and the first gold medal went to Chicago’s Alarmist Brewing with its Le Jus. Eris Brewery & Cider won bronze in that same category for its Folken Haze. The next year, Old Irving followed with another gold for its ever-popular Beezer. Indeed, Chicago stood as king of the hazy-beer hill. All told, seven Illinois breweries have received a total of nine medals (four gold) in five years for the hazy/juicy Pale Ale, Strong Pale Ale, IPA and Imperial IPA categories. Here are the The Illinois Breweries that Produce GABF-winning Hazy Beers, and a little more about what they brew, serve, and offer.

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Illinois Breweries Who Won Big at 2022 GABF Competition

October 8, 2022 |

Illinois breweries, including nine within the Chicago metro area, came away with 10 medals at the Great American Beer Fest, with Double Clutch Brewing emulating what On Tour Brewing did in 2017: win two beer medals and the “Brewery of the Year” for a small brewery award (0-250 barrels). The only gold went to Maplewood Brewing for its Oatmeal Stout. The 10 beer medals is down from the robust 16 Illinois breweries won in 2021, but still a more than respectable showing.
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2022 Great American Beer Fest Day 1 Recap | Standouts and Hidden Gems

October 7, 2022 |

The bagpipers did more than kick-off the 40th annual Great American Beer Fest; they signaled the end of a two-year hiatus caused by the global pandemic. And with that re-start, the PorchDrinking team is back roaming the aisles and aisles of booths, sampling beer and taking notes. Without further ado, here is our team’s GABF Day 1 Recap – our favorites and hidden gems.

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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.

2022 GABF Routes:

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