AboutTaylor Laabs – 8/10 – PorchDrinking.com
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Feature image courtesy of Taylor Laabs
The folks at the Door County Beer Festival went above and beyond to create a fantastic beer drinking event on a sunny June Saturday that embodied everything that is great about the Wisconsin beer experience.
There were 58 breweries in attendance with more than 35 of those coming from a Wisconsin area code, but it wasn’t just the familiar brews of New Glarus, Karben4 and Capital Brewery that made this former Badger’s heart happy. This festival had great cheese, good people and a fun-loving vibe that exuded throughout every person you met. No brewer was off limits, no question too stupid – Door County Beer Fest welcomed all – as long as you had an empty stomach.
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.