AboutNick Ostdick – PorchDrinking.com
ABV 5.3 % | IBU: 18
Summer isn’t over yet. There’s still time. There’s still time for cook-outs, boating the lake or river, bonfires, s’mores and a backyard game of bags. With my first child coming hard down the pike and store shelves already bloated with Oktoberfests and pumpkin beers, I keep telling myself there’s still time to tick-off the activities on my summer must-do list. So perhaps that’s in part why I’m completely enamored with an easy drinking, well-rounded, and totally crushable beer from Crystal Lake Brewing.
Take a look at the brewing notes and ingredients for this year’s Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Variety Pack and you’ll see what is perhaps the heart and soul of American craft beer.
For a brewing landscape as diverse as American craft beer, there appears to be only two camps which breweries occupy when it comes to location: remote, rustic, farmhouse-style outfits steeped in terrior, or urban and suburban operations in refurbished warehouses or corrugated steel garages hidden amongst industrial parks.
Take a look around the craft beer world today and you’ll find a pairing almost as common as a big IPA and juicy pub burger; beer and running. The connection seems incongruous given the usual clientele for craft beer–the “neckbearded,” the slightly paunchy, those predisposed to excess–but you can’t deny the sheer number of beer mile events and or beer-related distance running races that have begun to pop-up in cities across the country.
Photo Courtesy of CNN.
There are some television shows, for whatever reason, I only watch while enjoying a beer or two. It’s as if the quality of the program is somehow diminished if I’m not cradling one of my favorite brewery-branded snifters, nursing a beer for the entirety of the episode, really drinking in the experience – pardon the pun. Call it tradition. Call it habit. Call it whatever you want, but there’s just some intrinsic link between the two – an association that immediately transports me to a happy place few other combinations have the power to do.
Sure, ask those closest to me, my wife or good friends, and they’ll tell you Anthony Bourdain is my spirit guide, and his CNN travel show Parts Unknown, now in its seventh season, is just the program I eluded to in the opening passage. When I sit down to stream the newest episode, a beer is almost always in-hand.
If there’s one problem with your average craft beer festival, it’s how the organizers shoot for the moon and often miss even the nearest star. The festival grounds are too expansive – too spread out or there are too many breweries in attendance. The lines are long, the music is too loud, there aren’t enough rinse stations – the list of gripes or miscues goes on.
ABV: 5.6% | IBU: 30
There are some cities that capture your imagination without reason or rationale, and never to let go. These towns have an energy, a pulse, a vibe, an unmistakable heartbeat. They pull you in. They become a part of you.