PD’s own dissect beer. Leave the pretentiousness on the curb.
Athens, Georgia-based Creature Comforts Brewing Co. has made a name for itself through by creating artfully balanced beers. The beer they brew is not intended to be overpowering, but is instead focused on highlighting each element of the beer—in perfect unison. A testament to their mission is their popular winter seasonal, Koko Buni Milk Porter, which promises balanced notes of coffee, cocoa nibs and toasted coconut.
After a bit of time in hibernation, Lone Tree Brewing’s Horchata Stout comes back for a third year—this time with refreshed artwork. Horchata Stout is part of the brewery’s Branching Out series which consists of experimental, super limited beers in large format bottles that are great for sharing. On a side note, I was able to capture a photo of Horchata Stout not only resting on a lone tree but also nestled among branches. How’s that for art in the most literal sense? Okay, now back to the beer…
Some people might dread a visit to the in-laws over the holidays, but I did not. This could have been attributed to having fun relatives, playing tons of games and reminiscing about the year. Or it could be that one of the great beers from a fantastic brewery is just a few blocks away from the in-laws house. Let’s say it is a mixture of all that because Pliny the Elder is great beer to share with the family and celebrate the holidays. Now, I am sure you have a drink that makes you think of being with friends and family for the holidays. While Pliny the Elder is available year-round, it definitely makes me think about holidays in Northern California since that is the only time I get a chance to taste it.
Living in the Bay Area has some huge perks if you are into craft beer, which let’s be honest – if you are reading this you probably are. I live in San Leandro, and a ton of amazing breweries are anywhere from 10 minutes (I am crazy close to Drake’s Brewing & Cleophus Quealy Beer Co) to a few hours away, like Alvarado Street Brewery out of Monterey, California. Grab your board and prepare to shred, brah.
What do rappers, polar bears and New England all have in common? Did you guess big furry coats? Although accurate, the correct answer is that these three things are being brought together by Listermann Brewing’s deliciously new line up of New England IPAs (NEIPA).
As a wee lad of 21, I waltzed into the Great Lakes Brewing Company brewpub before a baseball game with my family, and I was able to buy a beer there legally for the first time in my life. This was a wildly new experience for me, as all I had encountered in the past had been Budweiser, MGD and similar beverages. Craft beer was uncharted territory. Therefore, as I stood there with a much larger selection, I opted for something I never bothered to try before, a beer whose label stood out from the others, a beer named after the founder of the city of Cleveland: Holy Moses White Ale.
If you are a consistent player in the world of beer trading, or are simply a beer connoisseur who lives in Southern California, then chances are you’ve had or heard of Monkish Brewing. Located in Torrance, California, Monkish brews essentially out of a glorified office building, and if you’re driving by and blink, you may miss it. Yet if you ask anyone looking for the best Hazy IPAs out there, they’ll tell you to go to Monkish.
2018 is finally upon us! For my New Year’s resolution, I am determined to check out more up and coming breweries and continue to sample new beers that I have not yet had. With it being only a few days into 2018, I’m already hard at work on my resolution. On a recent trip to New Jersey, I noticed there was a brewery only a few minutes away from my hotel. Since there’s nothing better than spending a chilly Saturday afternoon warming up with some tasty beers, I started on my way to Cypress Brewing Company.
Over the past three to four months Chicago has seen a plethora of great coffee stouts released from local breweries. Off Color Brewing’s Coffee Dino S’mores made with Dark Matter coffee continues the boom we’ve seen of java-forward beer.
I’m not ashamed to admit it people: I’m a total Fremont Brewing fangirl. Always have been, and expect that I will be. But, in my defense, I fangirl hard for good reason – the Coconut Edition B-Bomb being just one of them.
Lately, there has been quite a few articles about the rise of pastry stouts and why this is a problem, such as this recent article from the Chicago Tribune that argues we’re forgetting what beer tastes like. In case you did not know, a pastry stout is beerspeak for liquid dessert. Most often, pastry stouts include cacao nibs, vanilla, coconut and other adjuncts that help enhance the stout to emulate sweet treats.
The pastry stout debate, IMO, is moot. As craft beer continues to diversify, so do our taste buds. What is beer supposed to taste like nowadays? The answer is no longer “hoppy,” but subjective. It could be barrel-aged and malty, super hazy or fruity. The craft beer landscape is vast and ever-changing, with new hop varieties, ingredients, and techniques that pop up every day. Whether you’re a Reinheitsgebot beer purist, or you prefer your beer to taste like a chocolate bomb, the beauty of craft beer is that there is something for everyone. And pastry stouts, much like other styles of beer, if done well, are fantastic. WeldWerks Brewing‘s Peanut Butter Cup Achromatic Imperial Stout is one such example.
My passion for beer has been full of trial and error, forced experiments and a lot of stubbornness. That picky five-year old appetite can still be found 22 years later. Try and give me a sliver of tomato? Don’t even think about it. And if those Sour Patch Kids aren’t the watermelon ones—no thank you. I mean honestly, the watermelon Sour Patch Kids are life. The fact I’m sitting here with a sour beer in hand deserves at least one high-five (or maybe an award)?
While my fridge is stocked up with all the winter goodies I could possibly want, I’m still on this huge sour beer kick that doesn’t seem to be going away! While visiting San Francisco over the summer before the big move, Almanac Beer Co. wasn’t actually even on my mind. And let me tell you… that was a mistake! While hunting for donuts in the Mission District, I got a glimpse of the Almanac taproom and had to stop in. Not only do they have an amazing and beautiful bar, but also their tap list of 15 beers is seriously on point and so is their food menu!
My Secret Santa may still be a secret, but his great taste in Virginia beer is definitely not. I was gifted Hardywood’s Gingerbread Stout and shared it with my family during Christmas. Despite enjoying it in Florida’s 80-degree December heat, we found the Imperial Milk Stout delicious, sip-able and surprisingly light.
Like any story worth sharing, it started with a night of drinking wine with his grandparents. The moment of clarity slapped Dick Mergens out of sleep at 3AM, and he saw it immediately through a boozy haze: “I should open a brewery.” The 23-year-old Lowe’s employee crawled out of his grandparents’ basement the following morning and shared his vision with his coworker Dylan. Soon enough, two other longtime friends were on board. It was only a matter of time before I walked into their brewery to taste Molten Peaches.
The holidays are behind us and it’s time to put away the tree and restore the yard to it’s former non-whimsical state. While most folks are scouring stores for deeply discounted wares or decorations for next year, I’ll be driving around town looking for the last of the Saint Arnold’s Christmas Ale. Even though Christmas has officially past, this rich, malty old ale pairs perfectly with cold weather and hearty meals and is only available from October through December each year.
Winter time used to be a bit problematic for this outside-day-drinking, IPA-loving, oak-aged-avoiding lady. I could never “find” something I liked. For a long time, I thought it was the beer’s fault. The truth is, I wasn’t so much searching for beers as I was avoiding styles that had failed me in the past. I hadn’t realized that times had changed and that brewers were getting savvy to the ins and outs of wood aging and making some stellar concoctions. Once I made that realization, I decided to give wood-aged brews another chance. Happily, I found plenty of good ones out there, including Saugatuck Brewing Company’s Oak Wizard, an oak aged imperial brown ale.
As the days get shorter and the temperatures continue to drop, I continue to look to barrel-aged beers to make the winters bearable. When 2016 and 2017 Boathouse Reserve from Crystal Lake Brewing Company showed up on my front door I was excited to open them up.
Is anyone reading this a fan of Stranger Things? Have you heard of it? Okay, I’m probably crazy for even asking that question. My point, of course, is not about the show on Netflix. However, if you’ve seen the show, then you would most likely recognize the label of a particular beer, Broz Night Out, made by The Veil Brewing Company.
Like many of you, I get a lot of beers and beer accessories for Christmas. This year my boyfriend went with a monthly beer club – with the extra promise he won’t have more than 2 of the 12 every month. As a bonus, they were nice enough to deliver before my PorchDrinking deadline, so I get to share my haul with you guys! While I was familiar with one of the breweries from the east coast, the club introduced me to Sprecher Brewing Company and their Winter Lager.
2017 left as swiftly as it came. Year after year, the clock seems to tick more rapidly. Repeating the daily grind of the morning wake up, leaning on a java and finishing the night with a great beer. Did that a few times and BAM! There we were–drawing gape as the Patriots won the Super Bowl, experiencing a total solar eclipse and then suddenly watching the ball drop on the broadcast of New Years’ Rockin’ Eve. Okay, the time lapse may be a bit of an exaggeration, but for real—the past 365 days flew by like no other.