Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
Scroll to top

Top

AboutTaylor Laabs, Author at PorchDrinking.com – Page 3 of 13

Taylor Laabs

Taylor Laabs

Posts By Taylor Laabs

Koval Distillery Finds Solution for Unused Beer: Hand Sanitizer

May 4, 2020 |

Current social distancing and shelter-in-place orders across the country have left bar stools empty and taps dry. On-premises sales of draft beer have all but halted, leaving millions of gallons of beer undrank. Even worse, the lack of demand for future kegged beer has left thousands of breweries with untapped kegs, which will slowly go bad. This unfortunate consequence has led breweries across the nation to dump their beer. However, creative thinking has presented an alternative use: turn the unused beer into hand sanitizer. This was the case for Chicago’s Koval Distillery, which partnered with local breweries to create and donate 500 gallons of beer-made hand sanitizer to community organizations in need.

Read More

5 Questions with Maplewood Co-Owner & Head Brewer Adam Cieslak

April 28, 2020 |

Chicago’s Maplewood Brewery & Distillery has produced excellent beers and spirits from their quaint brewpub since 2014. Their 10BBL and 250L Kothe hybrid brewhouse is easily viewed from one of several plush chairs that adorns their always-popular “Lounge” space that looks into the brewhouse through several large windows. With beers like Son of Juice IPA, Fat Pug Oatmeal Milk Stout and Charlatan Pale Ale, lines to get into the Maplewood Lounge are frequent and long—especially on a nice Saturday. Although the in-person bar visits have stopped (for now) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Maplewood’s popularity within its Logan Square and larger Chicago craft beer community remains. To find out more about what makes the small but mighty operation hum, how Maplewood has adjusted its business to current times and what comes next, we asked Co-Owner and Head Brewer Adam Cieslak five questions. 

Read More

Revolution Brewing Unveils City Series Branding to Celebrate Its Chicago Roots

April 16, 2020 |

The beauty of craft beer is in how intensely local it feels. Supporting your local brewery means supporting your city. While many breweries expand and grow in distribution, there’s something unique and familiar about drinking a beer that’s brewed close to you. With unique names and labels, breweries across the country lean into this understanding of what it means to be fiercely local. Illinois’ largest independently-owned brewery, Revolution Brewing, is interwoven into the tapestry of Chicago’s rich beer scene. Now, it’s going one step farther with the release of its City Series packaging refresh, which pairs iconic images of Chicago with some Revolution’s most popular session beers. 

Read More

Deschutes Brewery Unveils Pay it Forward Sixer to Support Local Hospital Workers

April 10, 2020 |

While breweries typically serve as an important third space during normal times, they have had to readjust their visions and priorities over the past few months to better reflect our current reality. As breweries continue to adjust their sales strategies towards to-go and delivery purchases, they also continue to find ways to give back to the communities they serve. Deschutes Brewery’s Pay it Forward Sixer program is just one example of this.

Read More

Ultimate 6er | Six Beers to Stock in Your Easter Basket

April 8, 2020 |

Easter will be different this year. While Easter mass, celebrations and social gatherings will all-but be cancelled due to current social distancing guidelines, this time of the year still gives you an opportunity to stock up on sugary sweets and decadent chocolate during your weekly grocery run. With that in mind, we thought it would be fun to pull together a list of six beers perfect for an Easter basket (or barrel) that works from sweet and tart to stout and savory. Instead of SweeTarts, Reese’s Eggs and Peep’s, you get milk stout, lambic-styles, chocolate porters and more. Here’s our Ultimate 6er of beers to stock in your Easter basket this year. 

Read More

Dixie Beer to Become Hometown Saint’s NFL Draft Headquarters

April 6, 2020 |

For many sports fanatics, myself included, the one event we have to look forward to in the near future is the NFL Draft. The NFL canceled the event in Las Vegas but is still committed to doing the draft virtually. Each NFL team will operate digitally and adhere to the appropriate social distancing guidelines from their selected remote locations, as team facilities are closed as well. As teams work tirelessly on their draft boards, they now have to plan for an added variable: Where do we host our draft headquarters? Thankfully, the decision was easy for the New Orleans Saints, whose owner, Gayle Benson, also happens to own Dixie Beer. Putting the two together made sense. 

Read More

Yuengling’s Spring Scholarship Empowers Next Wave of Female Brewers

March 19, 2020 |

Now more than ever, the craft beer industry needs good news  One bright light in this period of uncertainty comes from America’s oldest brewery, D.G. Yuengling & Son, which recently celebrated International Women’s Day with the announcement of the Yuengling Women in Brewing Scholarship Program for spring 2020. The goal of the scholarship, a collaborative effort between Yuengling and the Pink Boots Society, is to advance the careers of female brewers in the U.S through educational opportunities. The scholarship also reflects Yuengling’s unique place in today’s brewing industry: Led by Jennifer Yuengling, vice president of operations and 6th generation family member, the D.G. Yuengling & Son of today is comprised of the brewery’s first generation of all-female leadership. 

Read More

5 Questions with Rodenbach Brewmaster Rudi Ghequire

March 17, 2020 |

The art of brewing beer varies by region, brewer and brewing style. Many brewers find their niche in one style or art-form, craft their beer to perfection and become famous for it. That’s the case for esteemed Rodenbach Brewery in Roeselare, Belgium, which brews oak foeder-aged sour Ales that have led the way for the category for almost two centuries. Their most popular offering is the simply named Rodenbach Classic, a standard-bearer Flanders red Ale that effuses the precision and expertise of Rodenbach’s master blenders and brewers. 

Perhaps Rodenbach’s most well-known brewer is Rudi Ghequire. A Rodenbach brewmaster since 1982, Ghequire has walked the hallways in their massive foeder-filled brewhouse more times than he can count. Foeders are special to Rodenbach and they are special to Ghequire. Yet, many beer drinkers, myself included, are not fully aware of the magic of foeder-aged beers, the flavors that blending foeder-aged beers creates and the expertise needed to delicately create these offerings. To find out more about foeders and what makes Rodenbach’s foeder program special, I asked Ghequire five questions. 

Read More

Dogfish Head | Vibrant P’Ocean

March 13, 2020 |

Dogfish Head Brewery continues to be one of my favorite breweries in the country due to their unrelenting pursuit of brewing daring beers that challenge and excite the average beer lover. Sometimes, these beers fall flat and the flavor notes don’t mesh like they should, but most times, they create something new and inventive that makes me take notice. Their newest offering, Vibrant P’Ocean, which was done in collaboration with the nearly two centuries old Brouwerij Rodenbach, falls into the latter category. 

The new blended Sour Ale combines the mastery of both breweries in pursuit of a drinking experience that feels familiar and emblematic of two breweries separated by thousands of miles. Vibrant P’Ocean comes in at 4.7% ABV and is composed of a two-year, foeder-aged sour from Rodenbach mixed with a Dogfish Head kettle sour brewed with pilsner malt, malted wheat, elderberry, elderflower, sliced lemons and Belgian fleur-de-sel. I was lucky enough to get a few cans of this new beer from Dogfish Head recently – here are my thoughts. 

Read More

Ultimate 6er | Six New Coffee Beer Collaborations You Should Know About

February 19, 2020 |

Barrel-aged stouts dominate the Fall and Winter release calendars of many breweries as beer drinkers pine for a hearty, boozy beer that they can settle down with when the temperature drops. One of the familiar additions to these barrel-aged beers is coffee. It can add body, big flavors and huge aromatics that round out the barrel qualities and mellow the ABV burn. While I’m a huge fan of coffee in my boozy stouts, I get equally excited by breweries that look to collaborate with their community coffee purveyor or lighter offerings like lagers, cream ales, and simple stouts. Here are six recent coffee beer releases that fit that billing. 

Read More

5 Questions With…Paulaner USA CEO, Steve Hauser

February 14, 2020 |

The rapid contortion and contraction of today’s U.S. craft beer markets present opportunities for both brewers young and old to capitalize on the American passion for high-quality beer. While the OGs of American craft beer like Sierra Nevada and Anchor Brewing continue to churn out quality beer, there’s an even older subset of international breweries looking to make their own inroads beyond their traditional Oktoberfest imports. 

Read More

Sierra Nevada Continues Partnership with Bitburger Brewery

February 10, 2020 |

Collaborations are commonplace across the craft beer industry, but collaborations that bring together breweries from across oceans are special. Back in 2015, Sierra Nevada started its popular annual tradition of collaborating with a German brewery on a traditional Festbier made available across the U.S. The 2019 Festbier came as part of a collaboration with the historic, family-run Bitburger Brewery. Now, the two are back at again with a new collaboration set to release in March: Triple Hop’d Lager. 

Read More

The Marketing Magic Behind New Belgium’s Voodoo Ranger IPA Series

February 4, 2020 |

Chances are, if you’ve perused a liquor store in the past few years you’ve passed a suspiciously sublime skeleton emblazoned on bright cardboard. Much like the aggressive hop bill inside, New Belgium Brewing Company brewed its Voodoo Ranger series to stand out both in flavor and branding. Launched in 2017, the Voodoo Ranger IPA series has quickly become a foundational pillar of the New Belgium portfolio. We asked New Belgium’s Director of Brand Marketing, Kyle Bradshaw, about the growth of the brand, how it has been able to connect so effectively with consumers and what comes next. 

Read More

Allagash Brewing Goes Local with First Organic Ale

January 27, 2020 |

From the scenic beer labels and vibrant Instagram posts to the comfortable taproom and flannel merchandise, it’s clear that Maine’s Allagash Brewing Company is fiercely passionate about its city (Portland) and state (Maine). The brewery has become one of the most revered craft beer brands thanks to their thoughtful brewing work, focus on local ingredients and excellent beers. So, when Allagash announced the unveiling of their first-ever certified-organic beer, CrossPath, the industry took notice. While Allagash has brewed with locally-sourced organic ingredients for years, the 100% organic CrossPath represents a true celebration of the Maine-based businesses they routinely source ingredients from.

Read More

Recapping Five Trends from a Crazy 2019 In the Craft Beer Industry

December 24, 2019 |

What a decade it has been for beer drinkers. In 10 years, craft beer went from a bundle of small upstarts to a booming and cutthroat industry that has solidified itself as an important part of social culture. 2019 was a fitting conclusion to a wild decade of beer as the past 12 tumultuous months offered readers and drinkers alike a bevy of perplexing headlines, new beers, exciting new initiatives and cautious optimism for what is to come in 2020. The year offered too many topics, trends and social media flareups to count, but I thought it would be helpful to recap five of the most notable trends I observed this year. 

Read More

A New Business in Bubbles | Schlafly Beer Unveils New Mead Spritzer

December 12, 2019 |

Craft beer’s shift into alternative beverages has been one of the biggest trends of 2019. The most notable addition to many brewing portfolios has been spiked seltzer, which appeals to a new subset of drinkers, expanding the brewery’s revenue stream in the process. Craft breweries rolling out new spiked seltzer lines doesn’t generate the same type of headlines it did earlier this year, but mead spritzer? That’s a different story entirely. With many brewers zigging into seltzer, St. Louis-based Schlafly Beer has decided to zag, unveiling Boomerang Mead Spritzer, a new-age beverage that amplifies Schafly’s desire to differentiate themselves from the brewing competition. To learn more about what inspired Schlafly to delve into mead spritzer, we asked Schlafly Lead Brewer Jared Williamson.

Read More

How a Legal Loophole Inspired Two Colorado Brewers to Create a Unique Beer

December 11, 2019 |

Good things come to those who wait, right? That’s the case for Colorado beer drinkers, who got a chance recently to buy Where I Live, a mixed culture dark sour beer created in collaboration between two of Colorado’s most esteemed brewers: New Belgium Brewing Co. and TRVE Brewing. Made with 100% Colorado-made malt and lavender, Where I Live is unique both in composition and inspiration. The brewers first discussed making this beer during the 2016 GABF, but it wasn’t possible due to regulations that prohibited brewer-to-brewery tax-free transfers of ‘finished’ beer. As fate would have it, a legal loophole that popped up in passed legislation one year later made the blending collaboration possible and Where I Live became a reality. To learn more about how this beer came to be, we asked Andrew Emerton, New Belgium’s Specialty Brand Manager. 

Read More

What’s the Difference Between Wet and Dry Foam in Beer?

November 20, 2019 |

Everyone has improperly poured a beer in their life to the grimaces and eye-rolls of their drinking buddies and colleagues. The prime illustrator of a poorly-produced draft beer in any American bar or drinking table is the overwhelming presence of foam that inundates the glass and misbalances the minute equation between liquid and bubble. The copious head of white, quickly-dissipating bubbles – you can call it “dry foam” – is a sure sign that you’re not going to have an ideal drinking experience, regardless of if you’re drinking a Natty Lite or an award-winning IPA. But what if the overwhelming presence of foam was a good thing?

If you’ve had a properly-poured Pilsner Urquell straight from a Pilsner Side-Pour faucet, you’ll know that the presence of wet foam in your pour of a Pilsner is a good thing – and by design. So, what’s the difference between the foam in a typical beer and what is present in a proper pint of Pilsner Urquell? To find out, we asked the historic Czech brewer.

Read More

Chicago’s Luna Bay Booch Co. Looks to Make its Mark in Busy Craft Beer Market

November 15, 2019 |

Drink good, feed good? That’s the vision behind Chicago’s first local hard kombucha maker, Luna Bay Booch Co. While Chicago is home to the nation’s most craft breweries per capita, the city’s appetite for lighter alternatives like White Claw and Truly Spiked Seltzer is also clear. So, why not hard kombucha as well? Kombucha continues to increase its popularity in the health and wellness market, especially among younger drinkers, creating a myriad of adjacent business opportunities for courageous thinkers like Luna Bay Booch Co. founders Bridget Connelly and Claire Ridge. The two saw the opportunity to bring hard kombucha, a popular product on the West Coast, to the Midwest by creating a local, Chicago-based brand that targets Chicago drinkers looking for a break from a beer along with those wellness-focused folks looking for a fun, spiked alternative to their favorite antioxidant-laden kombucha beverage. To find out more about the upstart hard kombucha business and what Chicagoans can expect from Luna Bay Booch, PorchDrinking spoke with Bridget. 

Read More

Three Renowned Midwest IPA Makers Got Together and Made a Coffee Stout

November 5, 2019 | 1

Surly Brewing’s Furious IPA is one of the most well-known beers in Minnesota. The hazy IPAs, most notably Dreamyard IPA, coming from their Northeast neighbors, Modist Brewing, are some of the most popular in the state. Not to be out-done, Chicago’s Mikerphone Brewing’s musically-inspired IPA and stout releases frequently generate lines around the block. So, when Surly recently brought brewers from Modist and Mikerphone to their brewhouse to make a new collaboration beer, the result had to have been an IPA, right? Wrong. Instead, the latest, and perhaps most adventurous edition of Surly’s BC Small Batch series is Magic Formula for Peace, a coffee stout made with citrus. 

Read More