Posts ByRobert French, Author at PorchDrinking.com
Green Flash Brewing Co., since its founding in 2002, has endured crazy growth and national expansion, as well as financial troubles and company restructuring. So when they asked me to try Saturhaze, it intrigued me to see what they were up to.
What prompts a beer drinker into becoming a homebrewer is each owns journey. Maybe they think it will be cheaper, but who are they kidding. Maybe it’s to test their abilities. Regardless of why they started, it’s almost guaranteed that the specific beer propelled them deeper into the world of homebrewing.
As we all attempt to bring back a level of normalcy to our lives, hanging out at a brewery might seem low on that list… until you remember all the great conversations, fantastic beers and a sense of community breweries provide.
COVID-19 has caused the cancellation of beer festivals, forced breweries to close and meant that jobs are lost. While the world is not back to 100%, case rates are coming down and, with proper safety measures in place, things are opening up. A “beer week” might be the perfect antidote to a long and frustrating lock-down that is being slowly lifted.
If asked about the most influential people in California’s craft beer history, names like Fritz Maytag, Ken Grossman and Vinnie Cilurzo might top the list for many of the beer enthusiasts. However, away from the public eye, Tom McCormick has had an immense impact on the success of craft beer.
How many breweries have taken this route? Start as a San Francisco brewpub in 2000; add contract brewing in Minnesota to the mix in 2008; in 2015, when the time is right, build the first production facility in San Leandro.
Wildfires have devastated much of California this year and Humble Sea Brewing Company has responded by calling on brewery friends to help Santa Cruz wildfire victims. The impressive group of breweries has donated bottles to a wildfire relief auction benefiting the Community Foundation Santa Cruz County Fire Relief Fund. The Rare Beer Auction for Santa Cruz went live on Friday and ends at noon on Monday, October 5.
It wasn’t that long ago that the letters IPA basically meant one thing. For better or worse, IPA was known as a hop-forward and bitter beer. With International IPA Day coming up on the first Thursday in August (this year it’s August 6th), we’ve rounded up a few to create this Ultimate 6er.
A fruited cream ale might not be the first thing you think of when you hear the words “huckleberry” and “beer.”
Bootlegger’s Brewery, based in Fullerton, California, is working to change that. The brewery’s Huckleberry Cream Ale, What the Huck!, made its debut in late January, 2020, and has gained many a fan since. Brewed with Cascade hops, 2-Row barley, flaked corn and, of course, loads of huckleberries, What the Huck! was the brainchild of Bootlegger’s Regional Manager, Kristyn Biggerstaff.
Alvarado Street Brewery has been brewing incredible beers since 2014. Led by a father-son team who opened their first brewpub in downtown Monterey, California, the brewery expanded two years later, building out both its beer garden and another production brewery in Salinas, aka “The Salad Bowl of the World”. In 2015, Alvarado struck gold when their Mai Tai P.A. won a GABF gold medal, a win the brewery repeated in 2018.
Slice Beer Company opened their doors in the fall of 2019. The brewery is led by two guys that are well known in the Northern California beer scene, Zack Frasher and Russ Yeager. Frasher was previously the head brewer for Moonraker Brewery and Russ was the marketing director and beer program manager for Old Town Pizza.
As barrel-aged beers go, Firestone Walker is one of the most consistent producers out there. When it comes to their anniversary beer, it’s hard to pass this one up.
Firestone Walker just released XXIII, the fourteenth beer they’ve released as part of their anniversary series, which dates back to 2006. As with all of the previous anniversary beers, it’s a blend of many of their well crafted barrel-aged offerings.
Chapman Crafted Beer is located in Old Towne in Orange, California. It’s a family-owned brewery that’s, in their own words, “community focused.” This includes brewing beers honoring the local university’s homecoming and the city’s festival.
For many people, the expectation is that breweries must always be innovating to be relevant. While smaller breweries have the luxury of chasing a trend and nimbly playing the field, many larger and established breweries find this a challenging task. Firestone Walker, though one of the larger craft breweries, has continued to find a way to create their own space. Whether it’s through unique beer releases or highly curated events, they always seem to be up for the challenge.
There are not many breweries in the Sacramento, CA area that have a better track record of brewing IPAs than New Glory Craft Brewery. When you check the “about us” section of their website, the first sentence reads: “We reject the mainstream concept of ‘flagship’ or core beers.” A quick look at their current tap list includes 24 beers; 15 of them are either a Pale Ale, IPA, Double IPA or Milkshake IPA. I’m not sure how many different IPAs and hop-forward beers they’ve turned out since 2014, but it’s safe to say they’ve worked every angle of the style.
When you are talking about perfect pairings, there is none better than tequila and beer. Whether you’re doing shots or sipping on a cocktail if you’re drinking tequila, you obviously need a beer chaser. While you might be content grabbing the closest Mexican lager, you could also branch out a bit, and consider a few other options. Maybe you want to complement your tequila, or maybe you want to soothe the burn. Either way, having the right beer by your side is the only way to go.
As you plan for your celebration of National Tequila Day, yes this is a thing, you also need to plan the beer to best fit your celebration. There is a plenitude of options when you’re considering building the ultimate tequila chaser list. The three style options that come to mind are: the cocktail, the sipper and the crusher.
Whether you’re critiquing someone’s beer selection at the local store or researching overall beer sales, you will quickly notice lighter beers lead the pack in sales. The top 10 beers in overall sales are littered with light beers. Beers that are lower in alcohol and calories are not new, but now craft beer is starting to taking notice and looking to capture some of that market share.
So, why can’t hoppy beers be light? Low-calorie beers have been traditionally Lagers and Pilsners. It’s great to see hop forward beers now starting to enter this space. After all, it’s not the hops that are adding calories to your beer. You don’t even want to know how many calories are in that pastry Stout.
How much do you love collaboration beers? This collaboration was brewed and packaged at Urban Roots Brewing, with the Alvarado Street crew coming to Sacramento for the brew day. The name pokes fun at some of the beer names and labels that appear to “borrow” trademarked artwork. While the name of the beer is A Momentary Lapse of Judgement, the label includes a large eagle carrying the C & D letters.