About- Chris & Sylvia Hollands
In the heart of downtown Portland, Oregon there must be a Nickelback concert happening this very moment. It turns out to just not to be the case, however it may be the folks at Portland’s Ex Novo Brewing Company trying to break up a boring day. “One of our favorite pastimes at the brewery is to blast some super shitty music and see how long it takes before someone changes it,” said head brewer, Ryan Buxton. This seems to be a game they play to keep things from getting stale. The tradition keeps things fresh because it rarely lasts more than three songs at a time. And please do not worry, this is all done before the doors open to the public.
It’s time to kick it old school. The craft beer boom of the last several years has everyone chasing the newest, most hoppy, most sour, fruitiest, haziest, or rarest barrel aged beast out there. We admit, we’ve caught ourselves in the Untappd beer culture looking to add precious notches to our belts. We have saved that special beer for that 500th, 1000th and so on badge. Experiencing new beer is always going to be a blast. But there is something to be said about going back to the beginning and rediscovering great beer from your past.
In the land where lower alcohol brews rule the draft lines, many excellent strong beverages are continuously being produced by our local breweries. According to a few hundred like-minded local beer geeks, 2 Row Brewing’s Tastes Like Citrus IPA is Utah’s current number one high point ABV beer. Not only does 2 Row’s mastermind Brian Coleman craft great IPA, he seemly introduced our first native born hazy IPA. Coleman is no stranger to the IPA game. He has been brewing some of the state’s best hoppy beers since opening his brewery less than two years ago. His foray into the haze craze naturally seemed only a ‘when’ and definitively not an ‘if’.
Feature image courtesy of SoundGardenWorld.com.
The morning of May 18, 2017 started out like most mornings usually do. I generally wake up early, take a quick shower and get ready for the day (never forgetting to brew a fresh pot of coffee). However, this day turned out to be significantly unusual for this music lover. Jumping into the daily morning Facebook feed, I read a startling comment from a fellow music lover. She mentioned in a post that she “never thought [she] would write down these words until [she] was much older.” I didn’t even read the entire post. I knew if this friend was heartbroken, I was going to be affected in some way too. I jumped to my news app and instantly swiped past the Trump news of the day to the shocking news of Chris Cornell’s ‘sudden and unexpected’ death following a show in Detroit just hours before. This was such a punch in the gut!
We took a road trip to Vernal to visit one of Utah’s most modern and beautifully constructed craft beer breweries. Admittedly, visiting Vernal Brewing Company was planned with reckless abandon. And as soon as we plugged the address into the GPS and 3+ hours popped up, a little skepticism quickly arose. But, successfully driving there and back in a single day proved it was worth the trip.
Featured photo courtesy of Mraz Brewing Company.
For this PorchDrinking Playlist we reached out to one of our favorite California natives, Mike Mraz, owner and head brewer for Mraz Brewing Company in El Dorado Hills, CA. We had the pleasure to meet Mike a few years back during the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, CO. It was a wonderful experience to walk the great halls of the Colorado Convention Center with such a knowledgeable master of beer. An expert craftsman showing us the way was both thrilling and a tad bit intimidating. Mike welcomed us into his crew for the weekend, resulting in an adventurous time. The following year we hung out again, inspiring a portion of our Are You GABF Experienced? playlist.
Feature photo credit: Symphonicdistribution.com
When we first met, we had very different tastes in music. One of us comes from the tail end of the 80’s rock scene, rooting firmly in the 90’s grunge and alternative music of his high school years. The other preferred the popular artists of the 90-00’s, pretty much a trendy Billboard Top 100 girl. Looking back on the old days, it’s interesting how much influence we have had on each other. She took him to his first Iron Maiden concert. He broke down and attended a Tim McGraw concert. Together, these two opposites opened up a whole world of possibilities.
Last year flew by, picking off celebrities along the way. Each week we were viciously stripped of a little bliss replaced with dread, fearing who could be next. Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister passed away at the end of 2015, opening the floodgates to a particularly tough 2016. Consequently, if he could go, anyone could. Because of this vulnerability, it drove us to stop and think about the past. We wish there were better reasons to revisit the legends of our youth. When they leave us, we are forced to fire up Netflix or Spotify and immerse ourselves in their undeniable genius.
Utah’s own 2 Row Brewing just released two highly anticipated beverages to the eager public. The first is a follow up to their recently heralded venture into the hazy IPA game. The second is possibly the highest ABV beer made in our state by a production brewery.
Welcome to the time of year when families gather to spend quality time in the same room staring at their phones. With all kidding aside, sometimes it is nice to take a step back to reflect on the good old holiday traditions of the past, with a good old Christmas Ale.
Have you heard the one where ‘two PorchDrinkers walk into a bar’? Probably, since you visit our site frequently enough. Although, this one is a little bit different. It all started Wednesday night during GABF week in Denver. Shortly after dropping our luggage at the hotel, we headed straight for Falling Rock Tap House. It’s always a hot spot during beer’s biggest week, and we needed to be lucky if we were going to find a place to sit to grab a bite.
Hooray for the spooky chill in the air. Besides the overwhelming benefits of better sleep in a cool bedroom, it’s Halloween time! One of our family’s favorite holidays. Bring on the autumn beer and horror movies!
This place really is an adult playground. Looking to the left, we see Bill & Ted and to the right, we’re greeted by Wayne & Garth (all tanks have been given names of pop culture icons.) In the middle of it all, Jack is making beer on a home brew setup and today is in charge of the tunes at Proper Brewing Co. In between watching the boil, he takes a moment to set the next song.
ABV: 7.0% | IBU: 82.4
While exploring craft beer early on, we stumbled upon the higher point brews of Utah’s local breweries. We found Uinta Brewing’s Hop Nosh IPA. In the beginning, it was tough to handle bitter, hoppy beers but did our best trying them in limited amounts. Doesn’t almost every craft beer enthusiast go through the transition of ‘hop hater’ to ‘hop head’? There is no vaccine – once you’ve caught the bug, you have it. The beginning pursuit for the most floral, hoppy, bitter beers in an effort to satisfy your tongue’s need for liquid adventure.
As the gate opened, it revealed a welcome invitation into the belly of the beast. Salt Lake City Weekly’s 7th Annual Utah Beer Festival 2016 was ready to rage. We prepared to soak up some sun, listen to solid tunes, gobble great eats and drink world class beer.
What: 7th Annual Utah Beer Festival
When: Saturday, August 27, 2016 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Utah State Fair Park – 155 N 1000 W, Salt Lake City, UT
Price: General Admission – $20 advance ($25 day of), includes 5 tokens and taster mug Early Beer Drinker Entry – $30, includes 1 hour early entry, 8 tokens and taster mug VIP $50 – Includes all GA benefits, access to the Devour VIP Lounge with exclusive samples, food pairings and Brewer Q&A. VIP Designated Driver – $20, all VIP entitlements excluding beer tokens and beer tastings in the VIP lounge Designated Driver Ticket – $5, includes admission and pats on the back for being a good friend. Purchase tickets here.
Can you believe it? We blink our eyes and the year is running toward 2017! Football season is right around the corner, yet it seems just days ago we had friends over to watch the Denver Broncos hand the Carolina Panthers a loss in Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium. Pre-season starts this week and the regular season gives us a revenge match between last year’s champion contenders on September 8th. Admittedly a diehard Philadelphia Eagles fan – each new year brings a treasure trove of emotions. Unlike Cleveland Browns fans, we tend to believe we are winners all the time and no matter what the odds makers say, we have a chance!
As I drive to meet a local brewer to learn about his most recent release, I think about the time we once asked another brewer what he felt was the ‘next big thing’ in craft beer. His reply: “German Pilsner.” This no doubt came as a bit of a shock. Berliner Weisse, session IPA, or even Imperial fruit beer would have all seemed appropriate. Instead, he picked a classic style originating from the Czech Republic in 1842. Interesting enough, we started noticing a trend: Friends working in breweries often mentioned pilsner as their go-to-beer. A few years ago there might not have been enough local quality pils to make an Ultimate 6er and although it hasn’t become the ‘next big thing’, it has made a resurgence. We give you a guide to Utah’s very own Pilsners.
A few years back, Epic Brewing Company did the unthinkable. They took classic beers from their standard lineup and messed with ’em! They released a handful of ‘wild’ versions of their fruit beers that we all know so well. The already natural funky flavors in the beer must have sparked the imagination of a creative brewer.
It’s always interesting to group a bunch of similar items together and see how they compare — like getting your friends together for a delicious IPA bottle share, or sitting around discussing who the greatest quarterback of all time is. Time to revisit one of our first ever PorchDrinking playlists. We put together a playlist full of artists who were all born in 1986 and it was interesting to hear the common themes in the music. Let’s go back in time again… to 1987!