AboutRuvani de Silva, Author at PorchDrinking.com
When brothers Van and Sumit Sharma found themselves back in their adopted hometown of Portland, Maine, helping out at their parents’ Indian restaurant during the pandemic, as they had growing up, the two began to ponder the question of what makes a really good beer to pair with Indian and other spicy food.
For lovers of mixed culture, foeder-conditioned, funky and barrel-aged beers, the Real Wild & Woodsy Festival really is the Teddy Bears’ (or should that be Teddy Beers’?) Picnic of festivals. Held just outside the center of Flagstaff at the Arizona Historical Society’s Pioneer Museum for the first time this year, the festival feels like a secret garden party.
For beer drinkers segueing into cider, cider lovers looking for something different, or anyone who loves high quality fruit-forward beverages made with fresh ingredients, Colorado’s Stem Ciders are fermenting up a storm with a range of dry and flavored ciders made with pressed juice from Pacific-Northwest apples and adjuncts ranging from chile-guava to lavender, salted cucumber to carrot-ginger-turmeric. Determined to win over new drinkers from outside the cider community, Stem have created their newest release, Apricot Haze, especially with beer lovers in mind, using an unusual technique to replicate the hop punch of a hazy IPA, paired with a bright, refreshing apricot base.
Cider nerds and beer nerds have a lot in common, especially when it comes to appreciating, celebrating and recreating historic beverages. As the beer world grows in appreciation for heritage styles like Roggenbier, Lichtenhainer and Grodziskie, over in ciderland, heritage apple varietals are big news, and the Harrison, with its fortuitous origin-story and serendipitous rescue from extinction, is the rock star of heritage heirloom apples.
While Urban South HTX just turned three (in “beer years”) they feel significantly older. They have successfully established themselves in the Houston beer scene, at the forefront of Houston’s ever-escalating fruited sour boom. Created as the R&D branch of NOLA’s largest brewery by volume, Urban South HTX arrived on the scene with more than a pinch of cheek and a strongly anti-establishment identity as part of craft beer’s new guard. Pushing the boundaries of the possible, Urban South HTX is known for their avant-garde flavors, from Strawberry Nesquik and Starburst Gummie to Cheeseburger and Detroit Style Mexican Pizza–yes, these are all real beer flavors.
Nevertheless, We Persist: Eden and Anxo Cideries Launch 5th Collaboration WHM Ciders Benefiting Women’s Rights CharitiesMarch 30, 2023 | Ruvani de Silva
“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”
In February 2017, Mitch McConnell’s attempt to justify his silencing of Elizabeth Warren on the senate floor went viral, backfiring against the Republican party and transforming into a feminist rallying cry. His phrase sparked the hashtags #ShePersisted and #LetLizSpeak and became the theme for 2018’s Women’s History Month.
Austin Beerworks, Meanwhile Brewing and Kaiju Cut & Sew Release Social Harmony: A Kaiju Brew, benefiting Austin’s AAPI CommunityJanuary 24, 2023 | Ruvani de Silva
Austin Beerworks co-founder and director of brewing operations Will Golden and Kaiju Cut & Sew owner Chris Gomez are back celebrating the Lunar New Year and fundraising for their local Asian American and Pacific Islander communities with Social Harmony: A Kaiju Brew Roasted Barley Tea- Infused Gold Lager, brewed to herald the Year of the Rabbit.
As we officially enter Big Beer season, craft beer giants Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. has brought out the biggest of big beer guns to welcome winter in. The Colonel E.H. Taylor Bourbon Barrel Aged Bigfoot Barleywine is a masterful creation, prepared with delicacy and dedication, and bringing together two of the most respected alcohol brands in the U.S.
A sold-out Texas Craft Brewer’s Festival took place on Saturday October 8th at Fiesta Gardens alongside Austin’s Lady Bird Lake. The event brought together over 85 Texas breweries, 250 beers …
Beer Is Art | Obakeng Malope’s Campaign to Lift South Africa’s Youth Out of Poverty Through Craft BeerOctober 14, 2022 | Ruvani de Silva
Obakeng Malope has a mission. The South African brewer and filmmaker has started a project blending beer culture and social change with enormous scope on both a national and international level, and her hard work and tenacity has already led to significant press and multi-national collaboration.
Malope is the creator of Beer Is Art, an initiative to offer access to the craft beer industry to South Africa’s unemployed young people. In the second quarter of 2022, 4.8 million 15-34 year old South Africans were unemployed, 46.5% of the population in that age group. Malope believes that the growing South African craft beer industry has the potential to help lift some of these young people out of poverty. “The youth are sitting at home unemployed here in South Africa. The campaign teaches about beer, that beer is not something that you drink and get drunk off. We teach beer and food pairing, brewing, beer podcasting and licensing. We show them that they can turn beer into a career,” she says.
An hour west of Austin sits the quaint historic town of Johnson City, TX. It’s the home of Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th American President. It’s named for his grandfather, Samuel Ealy Johnson, Sr. And the Blanco County seat is now best known as a cosy, picturesque stop on the Texas Wine Trail.
However, between the dual impacts of the pandemic and sky-rocketing house prices in the greater Austin area, Johnson City is taking on a new identity. It’s the hip Hill Country outpost, with three craft breweries and new concept watering hole Nice N Easy, home of locally produced Lightsome Wines and Yokefellow Beer.
Being a South Asian in beer within the diaspora can be a lonely business. As per Brewer’s Association data from 2021, just 2% of US breweries are owned by Asians, with no available information on South Asians specifically. With so few South Asians involved in the beer industry, taking time to reflect on and celebrate South Asian Heritage Month* (July 18 -August 1**) offers an opportunity to amplify our presence, support one another, and reach out and share our culture through the medium of beer, our chosen career or interest.
On June 24, 2022, the US Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe vs. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling giving women across the US the right to have an abortion. With thirteen states poised to enforce historic trigger laws banning all medically unnecessary abortions, and another thirteen considered likely to make abortion illegal, this decision is a devastatingly regressive setback for reproductive rights and places the lives of those who need reproductive care, particularly those from lower socio-economic and minority backgrounds at significant risk.
Texas Keeper Cider is one of South Austin’s best kept secrets. A stunning 19 acre Hill Country ranch with a lovely rustic wood-paneled taproom just minutes away from the SoCo tourist bustle, the tight, dedicated team have been creating sophisticated small-batch hand-crafted cider since 2013. Blending career expertise in wine-making, brewing, fermentation and, of course, cider making, Texas Keeper offer a refreshing alternative to the sweet fruit-flavored canned fizz that is most commonly associated with both macro and craft ciders.
Being a beer nerd with half an eye out for whatever new tool or trend the industry intends to chuck out at us next, I haven’t been able to help but notice the term thiol appearing in my feed with increasing frequency. According to the Brewers Association, thiols are highly aroma-active compounds derived from hops that can give very intense fruity flavor to predominantly dry-hopped beers. While the presence of thiols in wine grapes has been known for a while, thiols in hops were discovered relatively recently, hence the sudden outpouring of interest, much of which is tied to the fact that the brewing process does not lend itself naturally to releasing the tropical aromas that chemically complex thiols keep hidden away.
“To watch someone slowly fade away in front of your eyes over many years, and to not be able to do anything about it will stop you in your tracks. To know other individuals closely with the disease and ponder a similar outcome for them is challenging to say the least. It leaves you feeling helpless.”
Craft Women Connect was founded by Jen Price (@AtlBeerBoutique), Michelle Turner (@ExcitedtoFeast), Chris Hughes (@TheeCraftbeerconnoisseur), and Britne Dionne, and Caitlin Bradfield (@beersagogo) back in January 2019 as a response to the lack of spaces for and visibility of women of color in the Atlanta beer scene.
As seasonal and event-focused beers grow in popularity, Mardi Gras beers are now becoming a trend around the country, tying in with local celebrations or referencing NOLA traditions. For New Orleans’ largest brewery by volume, Urban South, this is the time of year for curated innovation as they update their annual triple-release of brews to celebrate the city’s biggest party.
Austin Beerworks and Kaiju Cut & Sew Launch Eastern Philosophy: A Kaiju Brew – The First Beer Supporting Stop AAPI HateFebruary 2, 2022 | Ruvani de Silva
Sunday, January 30, was the launch of Eastern Philosophy: A Kaiju Brew – the first beer brewed to fundraise for Stop AAPI Hate. The brainchild of Will Golden, Director of Brewing Operations and Co-founder of Austin Beerworks and Chris Gomez, Owner of Kaiju Cut & Sew, the event brought together several local businesses, with hundreds of Austinites in attendance to show their support and get a taste of this very special beer.
For the past four years, residents of and visitors to the Texas Hill Country have had a privilege rarely bestowed on American beer drinkers — the opportunity to enjoy freshly brewed English-style beers served on cask at the singular Acopon Brewing taproom in Dripping Springs TX. While their beautifully delivered flagship Homunculus Dark Mild Ale and Gaspipes ESB continue to draw in both cask-curious and happily acclimated patrons from season to season, at this time of year there is another very good reason to make a trip to Acopon — the annual release of their Hans Trapp BBA Russian Imperial Stout.