AboutScott Grossman, Author at PorchDrinking.com
There will be no joy in Breckenridge this January as Laura and Bill Lodge, organizers of Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines, have announced the cancellation of the 2021 event. The festival was planned for January 7-9, 2021 in Breckenridge, CO. The cancellation follows similar moves by virtually every onsite beer festival in 2020 and represents one of the first 2021 events to be canceled. It would have marked the 21st annual event.
Organizers attributed the cancellation to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions on gatherings.
“Our Big Beers board has met and discussed the pandemic situation. We are very clear that our first priority as a Big Beers community needs to be supporting our sponsors and brewers throughout this bizarre and difficult time as they work hard to adapt business as necessary – and not by asking you to travel and/or otherwise support us in January of 2021,” said organizer Laura Lodge.
Lodge went on to explain that they’ve decided not to move forward with a virtual version of the event, but that they are still exploring the possibility of some scaled-down homage via newsletter or social media that would take place on the originally proposed January 2021 date.
As beer-drinkers increasingly long for festivals and celebrations to return, Purpose Brewing and Cellars seems to have found a way to throw a great party that’s both fun and safe. Purpose, located in Fort Collins, CO. celebrated their third anniversary on Aug. 1 with many of the usual features including music, special releases and an outdoor beer garden, along with pandemic-inspired additions like masks, hand sanitizer and social distancing.
In the mid-summer heat a cold, crisp lager hits the spot and Strange Craft Beer Company’s Happy Hour lager is no exception. The Czech session beer has just enough complexity to keep things interesting but doesn’t overdo it and make you overexert yourself on a hot summer afternoon.
To mark this year’s pandemic-extended July 15 Tax Day, we talked with Bargersville, IN-based Taxman Brewing Company‘s co-owner and chief production officer, Colin McCloy. Normally the brewery hosts an annual Death & Taxes Day festival around April 15. However, much like the IRS, the brewery had to delay the festival. This year’s festival is planned for August 29, 2020.
Taxman’s Belgian-style Ales and farm-to-table restaurant menu reflect the owners’ love and passion for Belgian culture. Their enthusiasm for beer also extends into American Farmhouse Ales and Midwest Saisons, along with a strong barrel-aging program. The brewery operates a 20-barrel brewhouse plus several satellite restaurant/taprooms in central Indiana.
The Colorado Brewer’s Guild (CBG) has announced the new date and participating brewery list for Colorado Pint Day 2020. Colorado Pint Day will now take place on Wednesday, July 29.
The annual event raises money for the guild and traditionally takes place during Colorado Craft Beer Week each spring. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CBG had to postpone its 2020 fundraiser. Now that breweries are being allowed to re-open with on-premise consumption, the guild was able to confirm a new date.
Bucking the pandemic-induced trend of small businesses reducing operations or shutting down entirely, Great Divide Brewing Co. celebrated the grand opening of a new taproom in Castle Rock, Colorado, June 1. The opening of Great Divide Brewery and Roadhouse came just days after Colorado gave approval for restaurants and breweries to reopen. “We’ve got this beautiful place. Once they give you the all-clear you want to get it open,” said Great Divide marketing manager Matt Sandy.
The bar features 16 taps, along with a full-service restaurant, patio and brewhouse. The restaurant surrounds the brewhouse so customers can watch Great Divide’s brewers creating new beers.
Started by a father/son team with French ancestry, Diebolt Brewing in Denver strives to bring a bit of Gallic beer tradition to the Rocky Mountains. Inspired by Bière de Garde and Bière de Mars styles, Diebolt’s Anton Francois French Amber Ale offers a friendly entry into the brewery’s unique taplist of French and American beer styles.
With many breweries frozen out of Small Business Administration (SBA) assistance when funding ran out on April 16, 2020, last week’s passage of the Coronavirus-relief package provided new hope. However breweries need to act fast, as all programs operate on a first-come, first-served basis. With high demand anticipated, the added funds will likely be exhausted in a matter of days.
When President Trump signed the CARES Act on March 27, 2020, it appeared to offer a much-needed lifeline to small businesses that are suffering under the current pandemic. The act funded several programs designed to allow businesses to pay their basic expenses—particularly their employees—while under various government-mandated shutdowns and reductions in service. However, within just 13 days of the April 3, 2020, start date the $376 billion program ran out of funds, leaving many small businesses, including breweries, wondering if any assistance will be coming.
In honor of what would have been Tax Day, April 15, it seemed appropriate to chat with co-owner and chief production officer Colin McCloy of Taxman Brewing Company in Bargersville, Indiana. This is normally a celebratory time for the brewery as it hosts the annual Death & Taxes Day festival. However, much like the IRS has extended Tax Day to July, the brewery had to reschedule the festival for late August.
Taxman’s Belgian-style Ales and farm-to-table restaurant menu reflect the owners’ love and passion for Belgian culture. Their enthusiasm for beer also extends into American farmhouse Ales and Midwest Saisons, along with a strong barrel-aging program. The brewery operates a 20-barrel brewhouse plus several satellite restaurant/taprooms in central Indiana.
Favorite bars and taprooms closed? Local brewery not offering a drive-through for cans and crowlers? Way, way too much time on your hands these days?
Perhaps it’s time to consider, or rediscover, the joy of homebrewing. Homebrewing combines the creativity of crafting your own brew with the satisfaction that you made it all by yourself. Plus there’s a certain magic in watching yeast turn a murky sludge of water, grain and hops into a clear, tasty beverage that you can get buzzed off of.
When talking about American hop production, the Pacific Northwest quickly springs to mind. However, hop farms exist in almost every corner of the country. Their size may be measured in tens, not thousands, of acres, but these growers have an outsized impact with craft brewers on the lookout for local-grown, quality ingredients.
The Big-3 states of hop growing—Washington, Oregon and Idaho—account for nearly 100% of U.S. hop production, according to statista.com. And yet, hops are grown in virtually every state, even as far south as Florida.
Copper Kettle suggests pairing their Milk Stout with snow-shoveling, snowboarding and bull-riding. At a reasonable 5.6% ABV, it’s probably a safe bet with the first two activities, but maybe not a good idea with the third—at least, if you’re the rider. On the other hand, I’d thoroughly enjoy knocking back a few while watching somebody else ride the bull.
The season ‘tis upon us again—Christmas shopping season, that is. And that means shopping for the craft beer lover in your life—or perhaps just treating yourself. This year, make a resolution to get away from the old standards like customized glassware and tap handles and put something different and more interesting under the tree! We’ve listed our top 10 unique gifts below, along with a few more traditional options just in case. Best part, none of these will bust your Christmas budget.
The first few times I watched the beloved 1966 animated version of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” as an adult I could have sworn it was a full-length feature film. This distortion in the time/space continuum came largely as the result of my friends Kathy and Wendy insisting that I play “The Grinch” drinking game with them. In actuality, the running time is 26 minutes—30 with commercials.
For starters, this game is best played with beer, preferably something cheap, because there will be lots of fast-paced, mindless drinking. For everyone. The game’s simplicity is the main selling point, as after 20 minutes it becomes difficult to distinguish the finer points of the film.
Let the brutal Grinch game begin . . .
Like an adult candy cane, Lloyd Christmas Peppermint Chocolate Porter from 3 Freaks Brewery in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, offers a minty, tasty holiday treat that captures the spirit of the season. Each year the brewery tweaks the recipe to explore new flavor profiles; the 2019 version seems more mint-centric and somewhat lighter on the chocolate than previous incarnations.
In an indication of just how fast the craft beer market moves these days, earlier this week Boulder Beer Company and Sleeping Giant Brewing Company announced a partnership to bring Boulder Beer back into distribution. This comes fast on the heels of Boulder Beer’s October decision to exit distribution. Boulder Beer was to be available only in the Boulder brewpub.
Again this year dark beer lovers filled the top floor of Wynkoop Brewing Co. for some of Colorado’s best dark beer pours. Breweries from up and down Colorado’s Front Range brought heavy, dark and malty brews to Day of Darks. Meanwhile, Wynkoop supplied chocolate treats for pairing, including ice cream made with Wynkoop’s own Cowtown Milk Stout.
Brewers brought their A-game with kegs, cans, bottles and even some growlers with extra-special brews. While most beers were production-level and available at the breweries, enjoying them all in one space was certainly a great convenience. Attendees also had fun trying a handful of one-offs and pre-release beers that some breweries brought, although one had to sniff those out early as they tended to go fast.
Always one for brewing with unusual ingredients like squash or ginger, 3 Freaks Brewery delivers another unique brew just in time for Thanksgiving. Adam’s F%&#in’ Turkey Beer brings intense spice flavors and a hearty body to capture Thanksgiving in a glass.
3 Freaks, located near Denver in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, adds five boxes of Stove Top Turkey Stuffing to each 2.5 barrel batch to achieve the savory holiday flavors. Additions of sage, rosemary and thyme round out the herb profile.
As the days get shorter and the temperatures lower, the beer drinker’s mind turns to thoughts of rich, comforting Porters, Stouts, and other dark beers. Thankfully, Wynkoop Brewing Co. in Denver anticipates those longings by hosting their annual Day of …