AboutMathew Powers – PorchDrinking.com
Feature Image: From Sheffield’s Beer and Wine Garden, Chicago
For Roman Catholics, Ash Wednesday and Lent are right around the corner, which means Tuesday is the last day to indulge. For everyone else, Fat Tuesday is an excuse to experience new heights of debauchery, notably if you find yourself in New Orleans with all sorts of beads and cash. Indeed, the carefree nature found in New Orleans is the result of centuries of cultural homogenization. Yes, like a societal jambalaya, there’s a true mixing of cultures from almost every continent. It gave birth to modern hot jazz, and it found a way to mix all sorts of spirituality, including a wide acceptance of Voodoo. So, on this Fat Tuesday, let us celebrate the beer that celebrates the spirits that guide people through one last day of no-rules-fun — welcome to the Voodoo beer sixer!
Feature Image Credit: Allagash Brewing (social media)
Like book lovers with towering bookshelves full of the classics, or hunters with heads o’ plenty adorning their walls, some beer nerds maintain extensive bottle collections. Indeed, aficionados of fermented malt and hops often engage in the art of cellaring beer. But not all of them agree with the idea of saving beer for later.
Nevin’s Brewing Company (NBC), located in Chicago’s suburban Plainfield, is a restaurant, banquet hall, music venue and a brewery — and now that brewery has its own name, Nevin’s Draft Company. The “B” in NBC, occasionally got lost in the mix, so the brewing arm of NBC created a new, separate identity. The beer has always been good, but now more people are going to know about it.
The mighty rodent and his all-powerful shadow cannot defeat the mighty force that is the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild. On February 18, the temperature soared to 70 degrees as beer fans flocked to the Guild’s Winter Wonderland of Beer Festival (#ILWinterFest). Then again, in a winter where Chicagoans haven’t seen more than 1″ of snow since mid-December, maybe this is six more weeks of winter, 2017! Out with Chiberia, in with Chindiago!
Feature Photo Credit: C-SPAN
First Ladies have done remarkable things throughout history, so it’s time on this President’s Day to give them their due. And, until this country finally leads a woman from the East Wing to the West Wing, we at PorchDrinking.com can only do what we do best — honor the First Ladies with beer!
Rogue Ales & Spirits is breathing a little life into a dead guy — Rogue Dead Guy Ale. Not only are the labels updated for a fresher look, Rogue is is introducing 12-ounce cans for the first time.
A Rogue Ales & Spirits press release notes, “The updated design features a bigger and bolder Dead Guy, who has come down off his barrel, with a black, white and silver color scheme.”
ABV: 5.4% | IBU: 18
Do you have a propensity to get a little fresh with blondes? If you do, go to Helles… Samuel Adams Fresh as Helles Lager, that is.
Ahh, the Munich classic provides familiar tastes that comforts one like a blanket on a cold winter’s night, and when the beer is constructed by a modern craft brewer there is the added bonus of exquisite quality and innovation. Sam Adams Fresh as Helles is that combination of classic comfort with a modern craft-beer spin.
Saturday, February 18
1 PM – 4 PM, 5 PM – 8 PM
MB Financial Park, Rosemont, Il
Tickets Still Available
“I think an outside festival in February is CRAZY! But, I guess there are a lot of people that really like the idea so we wanted to provide an opportunity to enjoy the best of both!”
And so, Danielle D’Alessandro, Executive Director of the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild and her crew are throwing their first outdoor beer party on February 18 — the Winter Wonderland of Beer (#ILWinterFest). Get out the long johns, throw on the scarf, and get ready to throw caution to the winter winds!
If a picture is worth 1,000 words, Sketchbook Brewing is worth 1,000 stories.
For this writer, whose job it is to frequent breweries and watering holes several times a week, it is sometimes difficult to be impressed. However, Sketchbook Brewing, located in Chicago-suburban Evanston, Illinois, impressed mightily – great beer, admirable business philosophy, and a wonderful, cozy taproom.
Original skyline photo taken by Daniel Schwen – modified for the purposes of this story.
My first excursion to the Odell Brewing taproom occurred nearly fifteen years ago while on a trip to Colorado. Impressed would be an understatement. However, I, like many Chicagoans, had to rely on bottle hauls for a chance to enjoy Odell creations.
But not anymore.
Odell Brewing is bringing its beer from the Rocky Mountains to the city of Big Shoulders and to kick off the eastward expansion, Odell will take over the taps at three bottle shop & tasting rooms — Bitter Pops, The Cellar, and The Open Bottle.
(Edit: Other events have been added since this was first published. Those items have been added at the end of this piece.)
Cover Photo Courtesy Firestone Walker
Bravo is the first beer release from Firestone Walker as part of its shift from offering Vintage Reserve barrel-aged beers in 22-ounce bomber format to 12-ounce bottles in 2017. This transition includes longtime stalwarts such as Parabola and the annual Anniversary Ale.
ABV 9.1 | IBU 45
The sun dipped below the North Pole’s horizon long ago — not to be seen again until March. The relentless darkness creates indescribable arctic cold that marches southward all winter. But, there’s more than just frosty breezes arriving from the north, there’s Imperial Stout — Two Brothers Brewing Northwind Imperial Stout.
Noon Whistle Brewing | Photo Credit: Mathew Powers
Suburban Chicago’s Noon Whistle Brewing is located in an old strip mall and barely visible from the main road; a location unlikely to garner a passing grade in a Business 101 class. Makes no matter because in the craft beer world, it’s not location, location, location that’s essential; it’s libation, fermentation, innovation.
The beer emerging from Noon Whistle Brewing pulls throngs of thirsty patrons through its doors. And that is why when I arrived a few minutes after the noon hour on a Friday — the first of two days dedicated for its two-year anniversary — I was far from the only person ready to indulge in a parade of special releases. By the time I left that night, the place was packed.
Maplewood Brewery, as it is rountinely referred, officially goes by the name, “Maplewood Brewery & Distillery,” and on January, 18, those in Chicago will finally be able to experience Maplewood’s multi-faceted focus on imbibing. At Chicago’s Fountainhead — a hip craft beer and whiskey bar, one can attend and enjoy what is officially being called, “Maplewood Spirits Launch & Boilermaker Night.”
Cover Photo credit: 961 Beer (via Facebook)
Uncertainty and cultural disharmony runs amuck in the world today, but not among beer aficionados. A typical beer nerd’s Instagram feed includes posts from New Zealand, Brazil, Mexico, the UK, Ireland, the U.S. … and Lebanon! Yes, that Lebanon. Sandwiched between Syria and Israel, the region’s history is noted for its tumultuous nature and not one that would appear to be conducive to brewing. But, the region is also rich with beer history – predating the The Peloponnesian War by a few thousand years — and now it has microbreweries. The first one arrived a few years ago, named 961 Beer, and the porter it brews is as good as the area’s beer history is rich.
Ben Franklin never wrote, “Beer is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Despite numerous sources, such as Pinterest, Twitter and your local t-shirt guy, the quote — now this may shock some of you — started on the Internet and then numerous people shared it without bothering to check for its accuracy. WHOA! What’s next, fake news stories? Say it ain’t so, Internet Joe!
Bugsy. Rat Pack. Elvis. The Sands. Avery Brewing. That’s right – it’s Vegas, baby!
Avery Brewing announced it’s expanding to Nevada, and special events planned for Reno and Vegas will kick-off this desert adventure
Pull up a chair, turn on the Weather Channel and relax, because Sam Adams has two beers ready to match anything Mother Nature can throw at ya! Samuel Adams, no stranger to seasonal releases, is introducing drinkers to two new seasonal beers: Samuel Adams Hopscape and Fresh as Helles. Ashley Leduc, Sr. Communications Specialist at Sam’s, explained the reason for two seasonal releases in a press release, “The brewers felt that these two brews capture the essence of the ever-changing season across the country from January through April.”
The Craft Beer industry is emblematic of the Holiday Season maxim — community, caring and sharing. The examples of this community-focused philosophy that bind craft brewers together can be witness almost any day throughout the year. Here are six recent examples of craft breweries bringing good tidings of joy to thy neighbor by donating time, money, and resources during this Holiday Season.
French hens, ladies dancing, swans swimming and, of course, a porter in a beer tree. These are necessary components for a successful 12 days of Christmas. For this writer, the beer found under the tree is Baderbräu Christmas Bliss Baltic Porter with vanilla and orange peel. Because, in Chicago, Jack Frost does more than nip our noses, it darn near renders them red enough to qualify us to guide Santa’s sleigh. Hence, any porter good enough for those traversing the frigid waters of the Baltic Sea is good enough for us living on the ice-covered shores of Lake Michigan.