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AboutTaylor Laabs – PorchDrinking.com

Taylor Laabs

Taylor Laabs

Posts By Taylor Laabs

Chicago Quick Sips | December 11

December 11, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

Quick Sips is our way of highlighting beer events, tap takeovers and other notable beer news around the city of Chicago. If you’d like to submit something to be included in the next Quick Sips, please email us at chicago@porchdrinking.com.

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Revolution is Rolling Out New Deep Wood Variants + League of Heroes IPAs

December 8, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

Revolution Brewing has ensured that craft beer lovers won’t go lacking for quality craft beer options this Christmas. After the recent successes of their League of Heroes IPA line and the first cans of their Deep Wood series, Revolution is back with more options from both lines – so get excited.

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First GABF, Now Netflix: On Tour Brewing is Featured in Season 2 of “Easy”

December 6, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 1 min

On Tour Brewing has quickly made a name for itself on the national craft beer scene. First, they won gold in the Very Small Brewing Company and Very Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year categories at GABF; now, their quaint brew spot in West Town is featured in Season 2 of the Netflix show, “Easy,” which is a Chicago comedy featuring the likes of Aubrey Plaza and Dave Franco.

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Founders Brewing Announces Year-Round Distribution for Breakfast Stout & Backwoods Bastard

December 4, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 1 min

It’s been a busy few weeks for Michigan-favorite Founders Brewing. First, they opened up a swanky new Detroit taproom; then, there was the release of their highly-coveted Canadian Breakfast Stout. Now, they’ve decided to one-up themselves with some high-octane distribution news: Breakfast Stout and Backwoods Bastard will be available year-round starting in 2018. Here are the details.

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Fast Facts on Cruz Blanca’s New Barrel-Aged Series: Luchador Club

November 30, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

Chef Rick Bayless’ revered Chicago-based Cruz Blanca Brewery and Tequiera is most-known for its contemporary Mexican cuisine and daring craft beer creations. Now, they’re getting into the barrel-aged game with the debut of their barrel-aged series: Luchador Club, launching December 2nd. Cruz Blanca’s new barrel-aged offerings will add a unique, Mexican-infused element to Chicago’s vast assortment of barrel-aged powerhouses like Goose Island BCBS, Half Acre Big Hugs and Revolution’s Deep Wood series – and I for one can’t wait to try it. Here’s what you need to know.

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Founders Brewing | Canadian Breakfast Stout

November 24, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

Few things evoke childlike joy from fully-grown adults like old video games and rare beer. Recently I got to combine the two when I played Super Smash Bros with my friend while sipping on the 2017 version of Founders Brewing’s famed Canadian Breakfast Stout. As I sat there with my N64 controller in hand, taking in the maple syrup-laced decadence that has garnered this imperial stout high praise and a fervent following over the years, I fully understood why CBS had gained its “whale” status.

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Half Acre Beer Co. is Opening Early for the Premier League

November 21, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

Soccer and suds on a Saturday morning. It’s a weekly tradition for U.S. soccer fans as they head to their favorite bar every weekend to watch their designated Premier League team play. Now, Half Acre Beer Co. is getting involved, which should excite soccer fans in the Chicago area.

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Five Observations from a FoBAB First-Timer

November 14, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 3 min

I’ve been to numerous beer festivals, including the massive production that is Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp, but I’ve never been to a celebration like FoBAB, and now I think I know why. On a cold Saturday, I arrived to the UIC Forum to a line of at least 150 people, anxiously lined up for Saturday’s afternoon session, which didn’t start for another… two hours. Seeing this first-hand raised my eyebrows, but taking the first sip of barrel-aged beer a little past noon almost made my eyes water. This stuff was not for the faint of heart, and that high-octane appeal brought out only the most fanatical beer lovers to the 15th annual Festival of Barrel-Aged Beers. After getting a good buzz from imbibing in a few more sub-5oz sips, I realized FoBAB was a different beer festival than anything I had experienced before.

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How CatsOnTap Cornered the Craft Beer Market

November 13, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 3 min

Chances are, if you’re familiar with the craft beer scene, you’ve also aware of craft beer’s obsession with cats. Whether it be beer labels, mascots or social media profiles, cats have become a huge influence on the craft beer scene, and brewers and patrons seem all the happier for it. One of the primary catalysts leading this feline-focused movement is CatsOnTap.

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Revolution Brewing | Coffee Eugene Porter

November 9, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

In the ever-crowded Chicago beer scene, Revolution Brewing decidedly stands out from the rest due to their dogged pursuit of unique flavors and new versions of old staples. True to form, one of Revolution’s classics, its Coffee Eugene Porter, is back after a two-year hiatus with a new recipe and a new packaging presentation: 12oz cans.

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Short’s Brewing Made a Stranger Things-Inspired IPA

October 31, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 1 min

Netflix’s retro horror series Stranger Things quickly became a cult classic due its to campy aesthetic, mysterious storylines and great acting. Now in its second season, Stranger Things has inspired cool merchandise, popular Halloween costumes, and even a special IPA from Short’s Brewing named after a Stranger Things fan favorite: Chief Hopper. Read More

Craft Beer’s Next Step from Session: The Table Beer

October 23, 2017 | 2 Avg. Reading Time: 3 min

One of my fondest family moments was the first time I got to sit at the adults’ table at Thanksgiving. The seating shift represented a changing of the guard, a signal that I was growing up, and a possible glance at some alcohol. Little did I know, back in Medieval times, the kids table had their own, special, alcoholic drink: The Table Beer. This was an extremely low ABV beer known for its malty and sweet flavors. Now, the Table Beer is having a bit of a renaissance as it makes its way to the adult table and into the favor of craft brewers across the nation.

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Surly Brewing Co. Spreads Darkness Day to the Midwest

October 19, 2017 | 1 Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

In 2007, Surly Brewing Co. created the first variant of Darkness, its bold Russian Imperial Stout. Momentum for the beer was slow at first, but after arriving to work one Saturday morning in October to a line of fervent Surly fans wondering when Darkness was ready, Surly’s Founder Omar Ansari knew they had a hit. Now, Surly celebrates the annual release with the aptly named Darkness Day, happening October 21st. this year. Even better, this year, Surly’s wave of ghastly Darkness stouts and Black Ales are spreading farther into their distribution footprint, particularly in the Midwest. Here are the release details you need to know.

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Fast Facts on Corridor Brewery & Provisions’ First Canned Beer: SqueezIt

October 12, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 1 min

When I first moved to Chicago in 2014, DryHop Brewers was the first brewery I visited, as they had just started as well. Now, more than three years later, the folks at DryHop and its sister brewery, Corridor Brewery & Provisions, have become a staple of Chicago’s Northside. As you grow up, you change; for breweries, that usually means expanding distribution and moving into new packaging, which was why I was excited to hear that Corridor plans to release their uber-popular SqueezIt Double Dry Hopped Double IPA in 16oz cans. Read More

3 Highlights from Revolution Brewing’s First Outdoor Oktoberfest

October 2, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 3 min

With its swanky brewpub and vast brewing facility, Revolution Brewing has one of the largest craft brewing foot prints in Chicago. After this weekend’s Oktoberfest celebration, you can add a quaint stretch of Milwaukee Avenue to the space Revolution Brewing utilizes to celebrate its immensely popular brews.

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10 Years of Surliness: Why Surly Brewing Co. Doesn’t Fest Like the Rest

September 21, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 3 min

Minneapolis-based Surly Brewing Co. prides itself on being different. Whether it’s their devilish branding, intensely hopped beer or awe-inspiring brew hall, Surly stands out in the increasingly dense Minnesota craft beer community. It only makes sense that their Oktoberfest celebration would be decidedly different as well.

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Talking Breakfast Stout with Founders Brewing Co.’s Dave Engbers

September 20, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 3 min

If you make good beer, you tend to generate a large following over time. When Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers founded Founders Brewing Co. back in 1997, their goal was simple: making simple, straight-forward beers that were both approachable yet unforgettable. Now in their 20th year of business and with distribution in 40+ states, Founders is no longer just a Michigan mainstay; they’re a household name with the nationwide craft beer community. Their beers, like All Day IPA and Kentucky Breakfast Stout, consistently rack up accolades both inside the beer community and with the everyday consumer, but it’s the popularity of their simply named Breakfast Stout creation that might generate the most buzz amongst fans.

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Ask the Breweries: What to Expect This Fall

September 12, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 3 min

As the leaves change from light and crisp to dark and brown, so does the beer. Fall is my favorite time of year for many reasons, but it’s the amazing variety of lagers, Oktoberfests and stouts that really makes this season shine. As the temps change, so do the opinions of craft beer nation, which means that craft breweries around the U.S. have to be cognizant of these changes and flexible enough to adapt to the every-fragmenting taste preferences of their patrons. What’s new and hot for 2017? Is this finally the swan song of the oft-maligned pumpkin beer? To get answers to these questions – plus many more – we asked the breweries. Here is what they said:
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Ultimate 6er | Six College-Licensed Beers Perfect For Watching College Football

August 31, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

College football season is here. If you’re like me, that means that you’ll be spending most Saturdays until the New Year watching your Alma Mater (U Rah Rah Wisconsin) elevate your hopes and mercilessly dash your dreams on a weekly basis. This also means you might be attending a tailgate or hitting your favorite college bar, meaning beer will be a high priority on your list. For me, that means a heavy portion of New Glarus and whatever other craft options are available. Some lucky football fans, however, get to drink college-licensed beer brewed by a local craft brewery. Here are six college-licensed beers for which any college football fan base could be proud.

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The Curious Case of Nisei Lounge, the Oldest Bar in Wrigleyville

August 28, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 4 min

Nisei Lounge is one of the most unique dive bars on the Northside, and it’s also one of the best spots to grab a beer near Wrigley Field. Opened back in 1951, Nisei Lounge was around long before craft beer took hold of the bar scene and smack dab in the middle of the Cubs’ 108 years of mediocrity. Enter the present: Nisei Lounge still has the same toilets it had when it opened over 60 years earlier but has also added some new elements like five new flatscreen TVs and a new affinity for local craft brews that makes the local joint more than appealing for a loyal Cubs fan or everyday Chicago craft beer lover. Read More