AboutScott Grossman, Author at PorchDrinking.com
Sometimes the crafting of craft beer goes beyond the creativity and hard work of a brewer. Root Shoot Malting of Loveland, CO., is a family farm and craft maltster that supplies the Rocky Mountain region with craft malt and grains. In addition to providing quality ingredients today, Root Shoot is working to insure that their land remains available to grow grain for the beers of tomorrow.
Founded by Todd and Emily Olander, Root Shoot supplies barley, wheat, rye and corn to craft brewers and distillers. The Olanders grow these grains on their own 112-acre farm and approximately 1500 leased acres. Their malthouse then transforms much of the crop into a portfolio of craft malts using their own proprietary process.
Although it’s one of Colorado’s top five independent craft brewers by volume, Sleeping Giant Brewing Company neither serves nor sells beer onsite. While this may seem counter-intuitive, Sleeping Giant is a dedicated contract brewer, meaning it only produces beer for other breweries–it has no beer brand of its own. Matthew Osterman, founder and owner, recently discussed this important and little-understood part of the craft brewing industry.
With a tradition of making classical beers, it’s no surprise that Seedstock Brewery in Denver won its first GABF medal in the Historical Beer category for a Polish Gratzer. Like many central-European beers, the brew has a light body and mild taste but also incorporates the smokiness traditional to the type.
After months of political wrangling and a stressful weekend for many small businesses, President Trump finally signed a $900 billion aid package passed by both houses of congress last Monday. The bill extends many of the measures initiated in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act last spring. This new legislation funds programs to help individuals and small businesses, including breweries. With many areas facing new government-mandated business restrictions due to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases, the aid comes at a critical time.
Since April, many breweries have invested heavily to maintain safety and economic viability. Changes include website upgrades for takeout orders, expanded indoor and outdoor spaces and delivery options. In addition to these costly changes, breweries have seen uneven customer traffic and revenue. Breweries hope that this new stimulus package will allow them stay afloat long enough for restrictions to ease and economic activity to pick up.
The U.S. boasts a large and diverse number of veteran-owned breweries. With Veteran’s Day coming up on Wednesday, Nov. 11, it seemed like a great time to look at why military service provides practical preparation for brewery ownership by checking in with Wild Blue Yonder Brewing Co. in Castle Rock, CO.
With a rich history going back 600 years, Hacker Pschorr is truly one of the OGs of German beer. These guys were doing Reinheitsgebot almost 100 years before there WAS a Reinheitsgebot. This Munich-based brewery produces several dozen different beers, only a handful of which—including Münchner Gold—are distributed in the US.
New breweries often seem to take a few months to dial in their recipes and make great beers. Not so for 6 and 40 Brewery in Lakewood, Colorado. At their September 11 grand opening, the brewery fired on all cylinders with a wide-ranging tap list designed to satisfy every palate. 6 and 40 is connected to long-standing homebrew store Tom’s Brew Shop.
Owner Tom Schurmann explained that he created 6 and 40’s beer selection for broad appeal. “We want something for everyone,” he explained. “We have 20 selections. We’re gonna have what you like.”
In a world where brewery collaborations are commonplace, Denver-area liquor store Molly’s Spirits has pioneered a new form of collaboration between their store and local craft breweries. The program helps raise the profile of newer, smaller local breweries while offering Molly’s customers a pipeline of unique and interesting beers.
Pairing Molly’s knowledge of consumer trends with local breweries’ expertise in crafting flavorful, enticing beers is a boon for the industry as a whole. Every couple of months, Molly’s connects with a Colorado brewery to develop a beer that is then packaged. Molly’s handles the exclusive distribution of the co-branded beer.
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.