Posts ByRachel Morrison, Author at PorchDrinking.com
If you’re in Portland, Maine this weekend, clear your schedule. The Beers With(Out) Beards Festival turns five this year. BW(O)B began as the idea for a grad school thesis by Grace Weitz during her senior year at NYU. Since its conception in 2018, it has grown to become the nation’s largest women-in-craft beer festival. The event aims to create space for women and femme-identifying people to feel welcome in craft beer, while highlighting and celebrating the accomplishments of those already paving the way.
If you haven’t yet heard of Moor’s Brewing, then you haven’t been paying attention. While the brewery is only about eight months old, Moor’s is seeing early success and momentum through their ever-growing list of distribution partners, a current residency at Haymarket Brewing and many more partnerships and events in the pipeline.
Often times, smoked beers can offer similar notes and flavors to beef jerky. Separately, both incredible things; combined, not my cup of tea (or beer). Thankfully, no two iterations of any beer style are the same. Enter Django Pennsylvania, a Grodziskie style beer brewed by Ørkenoy in Chicago, IL in collaboration with Live Oak Brewing out of Austin, TX. A Grodziskie is a traditional Polish style, which is a very light, smoky beer, brewed with 100% wheat malt.
Cultivate by Forbidden Root is now open in Lincoln Square. This is the brewery’s second Chicago location, which takes over the space previously occupied by Band of Bohemia. The Forbidden Root team has brightened and opened up the space, introduced an updated menu and are encouraging people to get out of their comfort zones with their beer list, in the best possible way. Their menu features elevated brewery food, including a Porchetta French Dip Sandwich that melts in your mouth after the perfect au jus dunk. The beer menu is extensive and unique, mirroring Forbidden Root’s West Town location. Foeder-aged and kviek style beers set this location’s beer menu apart. The team plans to continue to experiment with all the funk, especially with the attached taproom opening soon.
Parson’s Beer, a Golden Ale, is brewed by Revolution Brewing and can only be enjoyed at Parson’s Chicken & Fish here in Chicago. The beer is light, crisp and refreshing and pairs perfectly with Parson’s incredible menu. You can’t necessarily enjoy the restaurant’s stunning patio year-round, but you can enjoy this beer anytime you’d like–and that’s arguably more important.
The fact that Märzen-style beers aren’t offered year-round is devastating. Even if we all had to come together and choose just one local offering to hold onto outside of the season, I’m convinced that Endgrain by Hopewell Brewing would have a strong chance.
You’ve heard of Dad Bod. If you haven’t, it’s worth crawling out of the rock you’ve been living under to grab some. For starters, Dad Bod is back. More importantly, the brewery behind Dad Bod Hazy Lager, Urban Brew Labs, recently opened their first taproom. Since 2018, Urban Brew Labs has been distributing beer in the Chicagoland area. They began as draft-only and have since evolved to offer cans and draft beer to the market. Now, you can enjoy their beers (along with guest taps) at their very own taproom in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago.
If you haven’t had Jungle Boogie by Marz, I’m sorry. Jungle Boogie, like Marz Brewing itself, has a cult following. It’s deserved. It’s an American Pale Wheat beer brewed with rooibos tea. The beer is perfectly rounded by the subtle sweetness from the mixed wheat grain bill and the stone fruit flavors of the rooibos tea. Light enough, at 5.5% ABV, that you can keep drinking it. Which is convenient, because you’ll want to go for another pint. Jungle Boogie is a flagship and staple at Marz. It’s the middle of the road in terms of the brewery’s long list of hoppy offerings, fruited sours, and clean lagers. The beer itself has thankfully stayed the same. Beyond infrequent adjunct offerings from mango to the more recent blueberry release, you know what you’re getting with Jungle Boogie, the very best.
Beers from the Pacific North West just hit different. Oftentimes, when ordering a flight there’s one (or a couple) that disappoints. In Portland, you could order a flight at every brewery in town and continue to be even more impressed by the next pour. That, or the perfect summer weather and warm, eclectic residents will brainwash you into thinking so. While there are plenty of Portland breweries to try, don’t miss Baerlic Beer Co., especially if Blippo Pils is on draft.
Sometimes the best beers are the ones you stumble upon. Get lost in a new city, let your phone die (or be smart and bring a charger) and wander into a nearby brewery. Fair Isle Brewing is located in the Ballard neighborhood in Seattle, Washington. It’s in great company among the largest concentration of breweries in the Seattle area, but Fair Isle does things differently. They focus solely on Saisons and Farmhouse Ales. While the beer menu is impressive, Eleanor alone is worth the trip.
Who doesn’t love a good puzzle? Not the boxed variety, with multiple pieces that we are all too familiar with recently. Instead, one involving riddles, obscure references and ever-evolving hints. Typically, new breweries want to be discovered, pairing opening weekends with long lines, endless tags on Instagram and sold out items. For Hidden Hand Brewing, however, the allure is driven by the secrecy, coded messages and small batch offerings. It’s more than a new beer offering. It’s a masterly crafted limited release highlighting the top hop variants in the industry. The beer is as hard to get your hands on as it is to decipher the riddles—unless you’re paying attention.
Ravinia Brewing opened a second brewpub in Logan Square, nearly two years after the brewery brewed their first batch of beer in the same neighborhood. Ravinia’s second brewpub location opened to the public on Friday May 7. The brewery has been around since 2017, where they began distributing from their Highland Park facility, which later become the location to house their first brewpub.
We know them. We are them. Fierce Female by Scorched Earth is a West Coast Style IPA brewed to highlight the contributions of women within the industry and around the world. This year, Fierce Female was reimagined. This beer recognizes strong women past and present, while also empowering the next generation of fierce females.
You already know that Ravinia Brewing is coming soon to Chicago. You may be familiar with their Highland Park location, distribution throughout Chicago, or teasers for their new brewpub. If so, then you should also know the woman behind the scenes, Stephanie Kushnir. Stephanie is Head of Sales and Marketing for Ravinia Brewing. She’s getting Ravinia beer into our fridges and onto our feeds, all leading up to a highly anticipated opening right here in Chicago.
No, Emily in Paris is not included in this list. For starters, it’s not a film. Additionally, it has no place on the list of nominees for the Golden Globes altogether. If you for whatever reason would like a recommendation to pair with the show, reach for whatever brewery is currently releasing exploding cans to the public.
Dry January looked much different this year. Now, more than ever, local breweries need consumers’ support to survive. We continue to live through the pandemic and continuous major historical events. As a result, many have decided this isn’t the year to cut out drinking for a month (or at all).
However, for those who participated in alcohol abstinence, you didn’t have to sacrifice flavor. Recently, there has been a surge of non-alcoholic (NA) options in the market. Additionally, there are breweries solely dedicated to it. Meet Wellbeing Brewing Company, a Missouri-based craft brewery focused on non-alcoholic beers. They offer a range of NA styles, all consisting of 0% alcohol but thankfully–plenty of flavor.
It’s that time of year in Chicago where none of us are quite sure what season it is. Our 8 A.M. outfit is often inappropriate by noon. ‘BYOB’ now means ‘bring your own blanket’. Our Instagram feeds are either flooded with complaints about snow or praise for a random stint of sunshine. Should you still grasp onto the very few remaining Oktoberfest beers floating around the city, the often-polarizing pumpkin offerings, or go full-on stout season? There’s no wrong answer. However, may I offer a recommendation? Apricot Sour IPA.
The Michael James Jackson Foundation for Brewing and Distilling (MJF) launched in July 2020. Its mission is to grant scholarships to fund technical education within the brewing and distilling industry for people of color in the U.S. At the virtual GABF, Garrett Oliver, brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery, discussed the foundation, how it came together, and why it’s so important.
If you’re currently in the mindset that it’s too early for pumpkin beer but too late for summer-only releases, then we’re on the same page. This often means it’s Oktoberfest season, the best season of all! Oktoberfest styles (usually in the form of a Festbier and Märzen) are popping up at the majority of breweries across the city and suburbs, and while it feels slightly earlier than normal (what day is it anyway?), I’m not upset about the early arrival.
A rocker, a chef and a doctor walk into a bar. Normally, this would be the lead-in for a below-average joke. Instead, it’s the unique team behind the new creative enclave, community gathering space, and kitchen and brewery coming soon …