AboutTaylor Laabs – 8/9 – PorchDrinking.com
Oh Friday nights; they offer so much intrigue, so much anticipation for what’s to come. Regardless of the myriad of plans you might have for the weekend, one of my most cherished Friday night activities is cracking open that first beer of the weekend. It just seems crisper, more refreshing and full of unbridled possibility.
Feature image courtesy of Taylor Laabs
Sierra Nevada Beer Camp put together another impressive showing last Saturday at Navy Pier. Whether it was the pristine location, the bevy of good beer, or the friendliness of the staff and brewmasters, Sierra Nevada knows what it takes to make a solid craft beer festival – and they deliver on that successful formula time and time again.
*Feature image courtesy of Katie Sikora*
Set on the scenic shores of Lake Michigan, the Door County Beer Festival boasts one of the most unique backdrops of any beer fest in the nation. Door County has been a destination vacation for many years due to its beautiful location, but it’s the recent rise of the local craft beer scene that has added to the luster of the premiere Wisconsin peninsula getaway spot. The Door County Beer Festival celebrates all of this by combining locally sourced food, local beer and a good vibe to create a truly unique beer festival experience.
*Feature image courtesy of Sierra Nevada*
Sierra Nevada is known for some fantastic beer, from their Narwhal barrel-aged imperial stout to their Torpedo Extra IPA, but they’re also known for hosting the nation’s largest traveling beer festival: Beer Camp. Sierra Nevada’s annual ode to nationwide craft beer takes place in a rotating list of 8 cities every year. Last year, I got to experience Beer Camp in Milwaukee; this year, Beer Camp is coming to Chicago’s Navy Pier, and I can’t wait to check it out.
Feature image courtesy of Great Divide Brewing Company
Drinking a beer while sitting on a bar stool is an image that many people have in their heads when they envision the craft beer scene. Now, times are changing. The craft beer boom has changed people’s perceptions towards beer in general, and on a more finite level—what you can do when you’re drinking one.
Chicago Craft Beer Week means beer lovers can expect a bevy of fun and unique events from local craft brewers. One of those events, hosted by Revolution Brewing over the weekend, had both good beer and mini golf – which is something that no other brewery could offer.
*Feature image courtesy of Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce
Ravenswood is embracing the vibrant beer culture within its Northside neighborhood by re-branding a two-mile stretch of road into Malt Row, which will feature six local breweries along with one distillery. That two-mile stretch, mapped here, will expand from Balmoral Avenue to Irving Park Road.
*Feature image courtesy of The Park at Wrigley
On a glorious Saturday evening, Chicago beer lovers got to experience the first ever non-baseball event at The Park at the Wrigley – and boy was it a good one. The inaugural Craft and Cuisine event had everything you’d want in a beer festival – great beer, access to brewers and unlimited pours.
Feature image courtesy of Revolution Brewing
Beer and golf are a perfect combo. So, if you’re the masterminds at Revolution Brewing, combining the two for a 9-hole putt putt course at their brewery only makes sense—which is exactly what they’re doing May 19-21 for CCBW. Revolution Putt Putt will give beer patrons the opportunity to play nine beer-inspired holes throughout their Kedzie facility, all with a can of their new Sun Crusher wheat ale in hand.
Feature image courtesy of DryHop Brewers
DryHop Brewers is known for making great beer in the Lakeview community; they are also known for some pretty cool collaborations. One of those collaborations is the charitable partnership they have with the local Lincoln Park Zoo. Now in its fourth year, this creature-inspired collaboration is all about benefiting the animals – and brewing a special beer each year in their honor.
Feature image courtesy of The Park at Wrigley
Over 40 craft beers, 60° temps (fingers-crossed) and a one-of-a-kind setting is what you can expect at the first-ever Craft and Cuisine event this Saturday. Hosted at The Park at Wrigley, the Craft and Cuisine event will offer over 40 local pours along with delicious food from renowned local eateries like the Girl and the Goat – all under the gorgeous backdrop of Wrigley Field.
Featured image courtesy of Revolution Brewing
ABV: 7.2% | IBU: 75
Amarillo Hero is the newest addition to Revolution Brewing’s much-acclaimed Hero IPA series. Much like a well balanced superhero squad, each beer in the Hero series stands out with their own unique flavor that complements the group, a sudsy “superpower,” if you will. For Amarillo Hero, that superpower is juicy citrus.
Featured image courtesy of Half Acre Beer Co.
Half Acre Beer Co. is expanding and it’s a good sign for Chicago craft beer drinkers. Their new Balmoral Brewery space, a massive 60,000 square foot expansion, is getting closer and closer to opening to the public. Not only does this mean more real estate, but it also means more opportunities to brew beer, including the newly announced mixed fermentation program at their original brew spot in Lincoln Square.
Known for its expanse of warehouses and industrial vibe, the West Town neighborhood in Chicago has become a hotbed for craft beer, including the recently opened On Tour Brewing. Positioned within walking distance of Forbidden Root, All Rise Brewery and Goose Island, On Tour Brewery is the perfect midway point for any West Town brewery crawl due to its relaxed vibe and its exceptionally well-rounded beer list.
*Photo from 21st Amendment Brewery
If you read over almost any tap list these days, you’re bound to find a fruity IPA or Wheat Ale sandwiched between a bevy of other tasty options. And while many breweries these days make fruit-forward beers due to their general appeal and drinkability, there seems to be one fruit being listed more and more in the ingredients list: blood orange.
Featured image photo credit: David R. Frazier Photo library, Inc. / Alamy
Stationed one block north of historic Wrigley Field is Uncommon Ground, the restaurant pub that also houses Greenstar Brewing, Chicago’s first certified organic brewery. On any glorious Cubs game day, patrons flock to Uncommon Ground for a taste of something different than the macro tall boys and greasy grub found up and down Clark Street.
Cover Photo Credit: Begyle Brewing
Now in its sixth year of operation, Begyle Brewing has become a community-favorite of Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood. Like any optimistic brewerery in its early years, expansion is key, which is why it’s exciting for Begyle fans to see the brewery taking the next big step by announcing that it has begun to can its beers.
Surly Brewing has established itself as a craft beer powerhouse in Minneapolis by making iconic beers like Surly Furious and Todd the Axeman. And while many Minnesotans are used to seeing Surly’s distinctive branding and hop-heavy beers on shelves, they now should get used to seeing the Surly logo on one more thing: sports teams.
Featured image courtesy of Half Acre Beer Co.
Half Acre Beer Co. is known across Chicago as a forward-thinking brewery that produces big flavor throughout all of their beers. Their newest release, Topanga Gulch DIPA, is the next iteration of this trend, delivering Citra hopped tastiness and fruity notes throughout every sip.
Last Saturday, on a seasonably chilly Chicago night, I experienced all that the Northalsted Frost Fest craft beer festival had to offer. There were bright lights, loud music and a good amount of quality craft beer on-hand, which made it one of the more interesting beer events I’ve attended. Frost Fest was as much a tented night club as it was a beer tasting, which made for some entertaining highlights. Here are my top five moments from Frost Fest 2017.