AboutScott Grossman – PorchDrinking.com
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 …
The race is on within the craft beer industry to meet consumer demand for lighter, lower ABV beverages like hard seltzers and session beers. However, there’s already a longstanding beer style that meets both these tests: Japanese rice lager. Could the time be right for this beer to follow the likes of Sours and Hazy IPAs and become an official craft brew trend?
Last week, Boulder Beer Company dropped a seismic announcement, that beginning in 2020, they will end outside distribution of their beer, and that the iconic brewery would subsequently layoff several members of their team. The surprising news immediately led to industry-wide discussions regarding the future of the brewery, as well as how this move reflects on other heritage brands that helped pioneer craft beer’s growth.
It also left beer lovers wondering how and where they’ll find their favorite brews. However a deeper analysis shows that the sky isn’t falling; this move simply reflects the evolving industry and is realistically just one of Boulder Beer’s many adaptations during their 40 years as an independent craft brewer.
Denver’s Comrade Brewing Company showed its true superpower at this year’s Great American Beer Festival: winning medals. Comrade took home golds for SuperPower IPA and More Dodge Less RAM and was also named Small Brewing Company of the Year.
Superpower IPA beat out 130 other entries to win the American-Style Strong Pale Ale category to prove why it has been a taproom staple since Comrade opened five years ago.
Located at the base of the Teton mountains in Jackson Hole, WY, Melvin Brewing has gained a reputation – and numerous awards – for serving up high-quality, hops-forward brews. After a day of strenuous adventures in the outdoor paradise of Grand Teton National Park, Melvin’s Jenny Lake Pilsner provides a satisfying shot of liquid refreshment.
Burns Family Artisan Ales’ Ship of Theseus serves up plenty of depth and complexity, echoing the multi-faceted career of brewer Wayne Burns. Burns’ two-decade journey has taken him from Michigan to Colorado. During his beer career, he has worked for notable breweries including Bells Brewery and Wynkoop Brewing Company; co-founded Jagged Mountain Brewery and started his current endeavor.
Along the way, Burns picked up favorite recipes and a fondness for crafting high-gravity beers. Ship of Theseus docks at 11.6% ABV along with a quirky name that pays tribute to the origin of the recipe.
Nibbling cheese while sipping wine is a time-honored tradition, but an increasing number of breweries are challenging the old-fashioned wisdom and introducing pairing beer with cheese. Embracing beer and cheese may seem like a stretch but many experts contend that beer is actually a better partner for cheese.
I recently had the pleasure of attending Halfpenny Brewing Companyâ€™s monthly beer and cheese pairing in Centennial, Colo. and found that beer does indeed play nicely with cheese. According to Halfpenny co-owner/brewer Chris Reigrut, â€œBeer and cheese just make an excellent pairing.â€
This time of year nothing’s more American than watching a baseball game with a beer in hand. Everyone knows the power of singles, doubles and triples in baseball’s major leagues, but few are familiar with Belgium’s similarly-named heavy-hitters. Belgian-style of Dubbels and Tripels often cause confusion since they aren’t as intuitively familiar as counting the bases in the ballpark.
Starting with the basics, the majority of craft beers fit the category of a single, or table beer as the Belgians would say. These beers typically fall into the 4 – 6 percent ABV range and encompass a wide range of styles and flavors.
With summer weather starting to emerge, it felt like the perfect time to visit Dos Luces Brewery located on South Broadway in Denver. In the bright and colorful taproom, co-owner and brewer Judd Belstock explained the brewery’s passion for celebrating the cultural heritage of the Americas and using alternative grains to create Peruvian-style Chicha beer and Mexican Pulque.