Posts BySeth Garland, Author at PorchDrinking.com
We know it’s Friday the 13th in 2020. But we’re choosing to be optimistic. There’s no need to be a half-glass full kinda person when you can easily keep your beer glass full no matter what level of color-coded panic we’re currently living in. The only color that matters is the color of the beer you’re drinking today. What’s in your glass? Here’s What We’re Drinking this week.
“We live in strange times,” Thom Yorke said to Stephen Colbert in 2019. “It’s not my fault.”
If you’re a Radiohead fan to any degree, please read on. You may be fond of this article, but not in love. Calm. Read at a better pace; slower and more calculated. Become an informed member of society. No longer empty and frantic. Be prepared to nerd out.
“We were just another set of yahoos trying to make it happen,” Jeff Smith, owner and brewer at LUKI Brewery in Arvada, Colorado says. “There are so many delusions of grandeur, so I respect the professional collective apathy at yet another ‘homebrewer going pro’ story.”
In 2018, Smith quit his job to focus on the brewery full-time, unaware (as we all were) of the pandemic that would soon ravage the industry. When his family cut the ribbon on LUKI (a combination of his daughters’ names) in July of 2020, Smith’s “delusions of grandeur” manifested into a wild new reality: A fun, circus-themed brewery on the west side of Arvada.
Hopefully you’ve already voted, or made plans to cast your vote for the 2020 election (if not, it’s ‘Bout Damn Time you do). In one final push to motivate voters, 4 Noses Brewing Company released their newest Hazy IPA, Fly to the Polls, on Friday.
During a drastic weather change like the ones we experience in Colorado from time to time, it’s easy to go right from crispy summer brews to heavy winter Stouts without the intermediary Oktoberfests and pumpkin beers. But LUKI Brewery in Arvada, Colorado, is giving its fairly new fan base reason to seek out squash and gourd-centric beers this fall: Grammy’s Pumpkin Pie.
Instead of being labeled a “pumpkin Ale” or an Imperial Stout with pumpkin like so many others, Grammy’s Pumpkin Pie is a spiced Brown Ale. LUKI’s current craft lineup contains no sub-5% ABV beers nor any 10%+ ABV booze bombs; the beers are born from owner and brewer Jeff Smith’s love of old-school styles and desire to create well-balanced, accessible (and still entertaining) brews.
The names of the days of the week have similar origins in Spanish and English — they’re named after Roman/Greek/Norse gods, for the most part. But Saturday is different. Saturday in English is named after Saturn (Roman god of agriculture), whereas Saturday, in Spanish, (Sábado), gets its origins from “sabbath” (or “shavat”) meaning “to rest.” We usually think of Sunday as the day of rest. But if you’ve ever wondered why we consider Sunday the first day of the calendar week, now you know: Rest happens on the seventh day of the week, which is technically Saturday. Etymology is fascinating. So party it up tonight and rest tomorrow.
We’re also in the month of October — from the latin “octo” for eight. The eighth month. Except really it’s the 10th month, and nobody bothered to change it when we transitioned to the 12-month calendar circa 700 B.C. I feel that; I don’t change my clocks for daylight savings time. They’ll be right again in six months, so why bother. None of this has much to do with beer, but our brains could all use a break from politics. Anyway, it’s Friday, you’re done with the work week, and it’s time to crack open a few beers. Here’s What We’re Drinking this week.
Ska Brewing in Durango, Colorado is generally good for a clever reference or two in their beer names, whether it’s a musical one like Rue B. Soho or a general play on words like summertime favorite Mexican Logger. Not all names have to be clever, however, and not all brews have to be overthought. This year, the brewery adds a second beer to the Hazy IPA category with the plainly named “The” Tropical Hazy IPA.
Perched above the Denver metro area at the absolute foot of the Rockies, Golden’s Over Yonder Brewing waits with propped-open doors and beers to-go at the ready. Inside, a colorful mural and projector screen (playing a live concert stream) welcome its socially distanced pickup patrons. Upon greeting co-founder and head brewer Jason Bilodeaux, we (OK, I) forget briefly not to shake hands and then we go in for the elbow-five.
With more time to watch movies and shows, I’ve been reevaluating the importance of entertainment and imagination. One movie I’ve been thinking about is Big Fish—particularly the end where Albert Finney and Billy Crudup envision how “the story ends.” The ending they come up with is a bright visualization—a jubilant, cheerful scene where the son carries his dying father to a pond through a long stretch of smiling faces. As they walk down the hill towards the pond, the father gets a standing ovation from the dozens of quirky people who made up his remarkable (if exaggerated) life’s story.
Sometimes those kinds of visualizations are fun distractions—a daydream to pass the time. But sometimes visualizations are a coping mechanism, pure survival. It’s not news that we’re missing a lot right now. And when we miss things, it’s easy to let our minds wander and dream about what may come. So that’s exactly what we’re going to do. With the help of some lovely folks in the craft beer industry, we’re going to close our eyes and imagine what it’ll be like on that first day back to life.
Hello, good people. If you’re reading this, you know that things in the world are pretty bad. So yet again, in direct opposition to my natural state of being, I’d like to share a few positive things with you for this week’s What We’re Drinking.
As bad as things are—and make no mistake, they’re bad for a lot of people: Losing businesses, losing jobs, losing loved ones—there’s definitely a silver lining somewhere. We can’t see it now. Nothing feels great at the moment. But it’ll come.
It’s Friday the 13th! You know what, we’re not going to mention that one thing that’s all over the news lately, and instead focus on something a little more positive. Positivity isn’t exactly my forte but here we are. Here are some things we can be happy about:
If you think 2020 has been off to a rough start, you’re not alone. Weather sucks. Politics suck. Coronavirus sucks. Comcast, DISH and Altitude are still dicking with sports fans and depriving Coloradoans of their only good sports teams. The price of hand sanitizer and protective masks have reached black market kidney levels while some poor contractor is demolishing drywall with a t-shirt wrapped around his face. I mean it probably wasn’t a great t-shirt—probably some random swag t-shirt acquired as a third-place consolation prize at a Geeks Who Drink trivia night or something—but now the shirt’s ruined and there’s no way his lungs are protected. But as long as people are stocked up for the almost-as-bad-as-the-flu virus, that’s what really matters.
So maybe it’s the end of the world, maybe it’s not. All I know is the PorchDrinking team’s gonna get their tasty brews in before the whole shithouse goes up in flames, man. Sit back with a cold one and welcome the end of all things in this week’s What We’re Drinking.
It’s the end of Stout Month, and there are surprisingly few Stouts featured in this week’s What We’re Drinking. For many of us, this February has been just so depressingly snowy and cold, and the lack of Stout representation could be wishful thinking—drinking a nice, light beer while soaking in some sun. Me personally, I’ll drink a thick, frothy Stout after mowing the lawn in July, but I get the desire to stray away from the style once in a while. If you’re feeling the effects of this extra-long and extra-cold Leap February, this What We’re Drinking is just for you.
It’s a rare, quiet moment in the house, about 1:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning. I’ve got an understandably stressed-out wife and a brother-in-law actively dying from cancer in my home. Peaceful moments are few and far between. Selfishly, I crave these quiet moments more than anything else in life right now—the moments when we don’t hear the labored wheezing or pained moaning that stems from cancer eating through the bones of a man who’s barely old enough to be considered middle-aged.
As I was using a plastic snow shovel to chip away at the glacier-sized chunks of hardened ice in my driveway the other day, I was reminded of just how much I loooove the holiday season. And what’s not to love? Dry, cracked hands that look like a relief map of the Mojave Desert? Check. General sense of terror every time I walk in public because no one got the memo about covering their coughs and sneezes? Double check. But at least there’s good beer.
You know the scene in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure where he’s saving pets from the burning pet store, and he keeps passing over the snakes because they gross him out? Eventually he bites the bullet, grabs the snakes and runs out screaming. Sometimes that’s how I feel about the Sours in my cellar. I know I’m going to drink them all eventually, but aren’t there any Barrel-Aged Stouts I can rescue first?
That’s probably a little dramatic. Just like with Sours, some snakes are pretty cool. I used to have an empty field by my house where we’d go and collect garter snakes to take to school and put them in teachers’ desks. That’s not really relevant other than now you know I was kind of a dick as a kid. I’m sure I’ve outgrown that through the years. Anyway, to push myself out of my cozy, hoppy, comfort zone, several times a year I like to sit down and get personal with a bottle of funky tartness. This month’s offering to the Sour Gods is Karl Strauss‘ fan-favorite Queen of Tarts.
Fans of Denver staple and craft beer OG Yeti from Great Divide already know the importance of starting with a quality base beer before throwing a bunch of variants out into the saturated market. With Yeti–one of the most recognizably branded beers in the country–there’s no shortage of variants, ranging from horchata and chai to the beloved barrel-aged chocolate and vanilla Stouts that have made their way onto store shelves at different points in time.
With so many solid variants available in stores, and even more available at Great Divide’s taphouse and RiNo Barrel Bar, how do you pick just one to review? And with so many other beers to choose from in the craft beer market at-large, how does a brewery stay relevant?
I am 100% sure summer just started, and now everyone’s talking about fall. But you know what, I’m not falling for it. Football can happen in hot weather. Pumpkin beers can cool you off on a warm summer evening. Oktoberfest can wait its happy little self a few more weeks so I can cram in some more patio time. But I suppose if I have to give in and deal with cooler nights, at least I know the PorchDrinking team’s out there, drinking good beers. The PD team abides. I don’t know about you, but I take comfort in that. It’s good knowin’ they’re out there, takin’ it easy for all us sinners in this week’s What We’re Drinking.
Once in a while, some news story comes out talking about how the Northern Lights are visible from not-too-far away. This excites us sky geeks. For most of us in the U.S., unfortunately, the caveats are extreme (e.g. hiking three miles into un-mapped forest in the hopes that the sky is clear enough during the five-minute window when the Aurora Borealis can actually be seen). Finding a good location that’s dim enough to see this spectacle of nature is a challenge if you live in the lower 48.
On the other hand, if you live in a hot craft beer city like San Diego, it’s real easy to find quality beer. So save the skywatching for your bucket list vacation to Iceland, or if you have to lay low for a while and need to move to Alaska. We’re not here to judge; what you do in the privacy of your own back-alley gambling hall is your own business. Beer though…that’s our business. And business is booming, dammit.
Happy Friday kids! You made it. You know, one of the great things about beer is that you really can associate every season with something pleasant. Winter time? No problem we’ve got stouts. Summer? Break out the lagers, ball games and long nights on the patio. But when fall starts to creep in, even if it’s 100 degrees where you’re at right now, there’s something really special about fall. Football. Oktoberfest. Pumpkin beer, if that’s your sort of thing. And of course, the Great American Beer Festival is just around the corner. It’s a helluva time to be a beer drinker, and this week the PorchDrinking staff is showin’ off again with a ridiculous lineup of beers in this week’s What’ We’re Drinking.