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AboutTaylor Laabs – PorchDrinking.com

Taylor Laabs

Taylor Laabs

Posts By Taylor Laabs

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

Event Recap | Half Acre Beer Co. Big North II

August 24, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 4 min

On a weekend usually dedicated to the high-flying Air and Water Show, Half Acre Beer Co. delivered its own high-octane experience at their second annual The Big North beer festival. The Big North II was a celebration of Half Acre’s 10 years of business; and it also was a moment to open its Balmoral facility to the public for the very first time, and it did not disappoint.

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The Best Craft Brewery Social Posts from #Eclipse2017

August 22, 2017 | 1 Avg. Reading Time: 1 min

Like many Americans, I spent a good portion of my Monday enjoying the hype and pure spectacle that was #Eclipse2017. It’s not every day that you get to witness such a historical astrological event, so it was cool to see the pure visceral excitement folks around the nation emitted when the sun obscured the moon for a brief moment this afternoon.

That said, the actual eclipse was only part of the fun, as both consumer brands and craft breweries showcased their best eclipse-themed posts to be part of the viral social moment. Here are some of my favorites from the craft beer space. Read More

Noon Whistle Brewing is Helping Bring Fully Removable Beer Can Lids to Illinois

August 18, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

Whether it’s in a can, bottle or on-draft, craft beer can be consumed in many ways. Now, thanks to a new state law backed by Chicago suburban brewery Noon Whistle Brewing, there will be a new way to drink: cans with completely removable lids.

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Revolution Brewing’s Deep Wood Series is Coming to Cans

August 14, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

It has been a busy week for Chicago’s largest independently owned brewery. After announcing the exciting news that they will officially begin distribution to Michigan starting August 21st, Revolution Brewing recently announced even better news for craft beer lovers: the expansion of their Deep Wood barrel-aged brew series into cans.

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2 Days, 2 Nights | Green Bay Craft Beer Scene

August 8, 2017 | 2 Avg. Reading Time: 4 min

Green Bay, Wisconsin (aka Titletown, U.S.A.) offers visitors an appealing combination of beer, brats and football. I’m a huge Packers fan, in fact, my recent visit to Green Bay signaled my 20th straight pilgrimage to Packers training camp. If you travel to Green Bay, you’ll find that the residents religiously follow the Packers during the season, through the offseason and into training camp. And while the Packers offer cheeseheads the best show in town, the beer scene in Titletown is also something worth cheering for. Here is what you should see and drink when you’re in Green Bay – preferably for a Packers home game.

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Event Preview | Half Acre Beer Co. The Big North II

August 7, 2017 | 1 Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

As you may know, Half Acre Beer Co. is opening up a big and shiny brewing facility on Balmoral Avenue, which means more delicious beer and food from one of Chicago’s premiere craft beer destinations. To help launch the facility, Half Acre is hosting the 2nd annual Big North festival at the new digs, which will include over 35 Half Acre beer options, including a bunch of rare and experimental brews, drool-worthy food from the Half Acre kitchen, live music, and more. Here are the full details on Big North ’17.

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Ultimate 6er | Best Beers for a Cubs Game

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

Attending a Chicago Cubs game is an experience. From the bars to the fans to the field, Wrigley Field overwhelms the senses. One thing that has not been traditionally overwhelming near the stadium: the craft beer selection – until now. Thanks to the newly built Lucky Dorr, neighbor GreenStar Brewing and a concerted effort from Clark Street bar owners to stock more craft beer options, it is now easy to sip on some local craft beers before cheering on the 2016 World Champions.

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PorchDrinking Playlist | A Day at the Pool

July 25, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 1 min

Summertime is in full swing, which means that there are a multitude of outdoor activities to participate in. Whether you’re going on a boat, hosting a BBQ or heading to the pool, all of summer’s greatest moments have one unifying factor: a great playlist.

One of my favorite summer pastimes is a relaxing day at the pool. As I’ve aged, pool time has become more about lounging (and drinking beer) and less about swimming. My taste in music while chilling in a plastic seat poolside has subsequently changed to include a good mix of country, top 50 hits and eclectic jams that cover all of my musical bases. Read More

Dovetail Brewery Celebrates One Year of Business Plus Other News

July 25, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

Dovetail Brewery, one of Chicago’s most unique micro brewers, recently celebrated their one year anniversary in their Ravenswood brew spot on Malt Row. Dovetail has accomplished a lot in one year and have differentiated themselves from competitors due to their unique open fermentation, European-brew style of lagers, pilsners and hefeweizens.

With a year under their belt, the good folks at Dovetail are doing what any ambitious new microbrewery does: expand, whether that is via increased distribution or new brew styles. Here are a few recent summer announcements you might have missed. Read More

Event Recap | Windy City Smokeout

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

The Windy City Smokeout was sold out this year and, after experiencing the event on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Chicago, it’s easy to see why. Music evokes many powerful emotions within people, but there are few greater sounds on a hot summer day than the melodious tunes of a country band. Couple that with copious amounts of craft beer and delicious barbecue, and you have an event that is worth every penny.

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Fast Facts on Lucky Dorr, Wrigley Field’s New Craft Beer Paradise

July 13, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

Wrigley Field is many things, but it has never been an ideal place to indulge in some local craft beer – until now. Opening this week at the beautiful Park at Wrigley complex, Lucky Dorr offers Chicago craft beer lovers a myriad of delicious, local options along with hand-crafted food from Chef Matthias Merges that are sure to leave many baseball fans with a smile on their face before they even enter into the hallowed grounds of Wrigley Field. Here are the fast facts on Lucky Dorr.

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Why DryHop and Corridor Brewery are Embracing the Hazy IPA Trend

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

Feature image courtesy of DryHop Brewers

For DryHop Brewers & Corridor Brewery & Provisions head brewer Brant Dubovick, the insight to start focusing on hazy IPAs started when he was in DC for the Craft Brewers Conference with DryHop Lead Brewer Adrian Vidaurre and Corridor Lead Brewer Roger Cuzelis. While there, Brant decided to wait in line for up to 2.5 hours for a Trillium and Bissel Brothers New England-style IPA at a tap takeover. Since then, the haze craze has been front and center for both DryHop and its sister brewery Corridor Brewery & Provisions in particular. Corridor has proven to be a particularly good testing ground to test Chicago’s demand for the hazy IPA, and according to Dubovick, the response has been “amazing.”

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Fast Facts on Revolution Brewing’s Packaging Moves for Summer

June 26, 2017 | 2 Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

Revolution Brewing already has several great summer sipping beers like Rosa and Fist City in their canned arsenal; now, they’re adding a couple new seasonal options to help round out their summer portfolio.

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