PD’s own dissect beer. Leave the pretentiousness on the curb.
Seedstock Brewery Imperial Saison introduces a shot of Belgium into what has traditionally been an eastern-European-focused taplist. Under its original owners, the Denver brewery was a bastion of German and Czech-style beers. However when the McIlvenna family took ownership in late 2021 they began to put their own mark on Seedstock.
When is a Pastry Stout not a Pastry Stout? At what point does a barrel-aged 11.2% beer become refreshing to drink? These were questions I pondered while drinking Wild Blue Yonder Cellar Reserve – Tropical Storm, a rum barrel aged Imperial Stout with bananas, toasted coconut and macadamia nut. Expectations were exceeded and stereotypes were broken with this unique concoction brewed in Castle Rock, Colorado.
Asheville, North Carolina’s Green Man Brewery has been brewing award-winning ales since 1997. Green Man ESB (Extra Special Bitter), developed by former Head Brewer Jon Stuart, is one of the brewery’s flagships and is the oldest recipe brewed at Green Man today.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is becoming a popular destination for craft beer lovers. Few visitors, however, realize that a mere 30 minutes north of the city exists a brewery (and a beer) you don’t want to miss. Stick City Brewing Company in Mars, Pennsylvania, has been creating high-quality liquid since it opened in April 2018. One shining example is its Arctos 12° Pilsner.
Super Rainbow Sure Bet from Pipeworks Brewing Company in Chicago isn’t subtle with its can design or willingness to use lots of ingredients. The beer itself, however, will surprise you. It’s a delicate but nuanced tropical Imperial IPA that is more like being kissed by a unicorn than kicked by one.
Wibby Brewing is a craft lager brewery located in Longmont, Colorado. Their taproom has an impressive amount of outdoor seating and an overall relaxing and welcoming atmosphere. But most importantly, they have some amazing beers.
Homewood, Illinois’ Rabid Brewing has combined quality beer production with a love of mythology since 2017, and a celebration of that time will arrive Saturday, July 22 with its Feast of the Goat Queen festival. Among the beers that will be released is a chocolate beer as part of a collaborative effort between Rabid and Bean to Barstool, run by the award-winning writer and podcaster, David Nilsen. The beer, a Chocolate Vanilla Cream Ale named Crown of Horns, uses ethically-sourced cacao from Ethereal Confections. Meanwhile, the festival, a “Fest for Fae Folk,” is perfect for those that to like to dawn some horns, honor their Roman gods, pet some goats, listen to live music, check out some artists, and otherwise have some fun.
Much like ordering a flight at a new brewery, mixed packs are a great option when you want to have a variety of beers available to you. If you find yourself unsure what to bring to that summer barbecue or boat ride, variety packs can provide the perfect solution! Fortunately, Firestone Walker has a variety of mixed packs to choose from, including the new IPA Mixed Pack featuring Melon Conspiracy.
Nighthawk Brewery & Pizza opened in spring 2022 in Arlington, Virginia, serving unique pizza and craft beer in a 90’s themed space. Twenty taps are centered in the bar, with fast table service from a QR code outside the main bar area. Utilizing many top-tier (including Michelin Star rated!!!) local chefs, brewers and industry staff, the large family-style tables are a great place to relax while watching a game or trying to seek refuge from the humidity.
Hi-Wire Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina, brews a wide range of classic styles ranging from Lagers to IPAs to barrel-aged Sours. Their 10W-40 lineup of Imperial Stouts, however, have allowed them to play with high concept flavor combinations on a familiar Stout foundation, pushing flavor boundaries while staying true to the beer’s classic base style.
The past two decades have seen lagers in American culture take a backseat to IPAs, stouts and sours. For some brewers, it is a pristine accomplishment to make a clean, crisp lager with no flaws. For others, they specialize in seeking out the newest hop, or see themselves as the Gordon Ramsey of pastry stouts and sours, crafting concoctions that explode with flavors of your favorite food and desserts. Then there are brewers like Tanner Vaughn of Pathlight Brewing that embody the ideals of both styles of brewing. Kha Point Rice Lager is his newest food-inspired beer.
Nashville’s Walker Brothers Kombucha, brewers of high-gravity (i.e., alcoholic) kombucha, have an exciting new product: Tell Me I’m Pretty High Gravity Kombucha. As with their other category-bending brews, Tell Me I’m Pretty isn’t technically a beer, but shares a lot of commonalities with Fruited Beers, Sours and Lambics.
Summer is heating up, and the competition for the most crushable hot weather beer is fierce this year. With the hottest days of summer yet to come, the parade of pilsners and lagers will only last so long. For that crisp beer on a hot day craving, Spice Trade Brewing Company’s Palm Springs: Iced Tea & Lemonade Kolsch, is a refreshing and unique spin on a classic non-alcoholic summertime favorite that won’t disappoint.
21st Amendment recently released their Imperial IPA collaboration with family-owned hop farm, CLS Farms. Close Encounters of the Hop Kind is a Double IPA using some of the new and innovative hops coming out of Yakima Valley. Eric Desmarais, co-founder of CLS, was on hand at a recent event to walk people through the process that brewers go through to chose certain hops. Using El Dorado, Cashmere, Zappa, and their new CLS-X14 as examples for what different hops evoke and express.
As mindfulness and wellness continue to become a greater focus for beer drinkers, it often feels like having to choose one or the other when it comes to selecting beer. More often than not, drinkers are left deciding between full-flavor, full-body beers with high calorie and carb counts, or sacrificing flavor for lower-calorie, low ABV, better-for-you beers.
Some beers are easy to categorize. Then there are beers like Currantly Unavailable. Currantly Unavailable from Urban Brew Labs is not a beer that fits neatly into any one box and that’s a great thing. This black currant and lime Gose has a unique taste that is worth experiencing.
Being a beer nerd with half an eye out for whatever new tool or trend the industry intends to chuck out at us next, I haven’t been able to help but notice the term thiol appearing in my feed with increasing frequency. According to the Brewers Association, thiols are highly aroma-active compounds derived from hops that can give very intense fruity flavor to predominantly dry-hopped beers. While the presence of thiols in wine grapes has been known for a while, thiols in hops were discovered relatively recently, hence the sudden outpouring of interest, much of which is tied to the fact that the brewing process does not lend itself naturally to releasing the tropical aromas that chemically complex thiols keep hidden away.
Many craft beers featuring chocolate — or more commonly its main ingredient, cacao — are high alcohol behemoths. Pastry Stouts and related styles are like liquid desserts, and match the luxurious character of chocolate with the indulgence of double digit ABVs. However, one of the most awarded chocolate beers in the world — Big Drop Galactic Extra Dark — has almost no alcohol at all.
Barrel + Beam is a brewery located just outside of Marquette in the rustic landscape of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Co-founders Nick VanCourt and Marina Dupler carved out a niche for farmhouse ales and ciders. Barrel + Beam Precocious Barrel-Aged Sour with Apricot showcases the place and the taste of their northern home.