PD’s own dissect beer. Leave the pretentiousness on the curb.
It was the summer of 2009. Black Eyed Peas’ Boom Boom Pow was blasting on pop radio, the Lakers had just beaten Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic in the NBA Finals and for the first time in my college life, I wasn’t going home to Montana for the summer. It was also the summer that I had Widmer Brothers Brewing’s Hefeweizen for the first time and that summer I fell in love with craft beer.
In a world of hoppy beers, where even a beloved kolsch-style must now be dry hopped, it is nice to go back to one of the standard styles that helped set the stage for the craft beer movement – the Amber Ale. Today this style doesn’t receive all the notoriety of a West Coast IPA or the new hazy IPA styles; however, it was one of the original popular craft beer styles appearing in the 1990s that continues to be a staple among fans.
Anchor Steam®. Those two words serve as a metaphorical window into a world filled with a veritable wealth of American beer history.
To view Anchor Brewing is to observe three distinct stages of American brewing: 19th Century to Prohibition; the resurrection of American craft and the establishment of craft as a business worthy of significant investment. To drink the beer is to enjoy a historical brewing process that afforded West Coast brewers an ability to brew successfully without ice; it also helped remind later-twentieth-century beer drinkers that beer need-not be clearish-yellow and full of adjuncts.
Imagine, if you will, a bicycle trip through Belgium. That bike ride served as the catalyst for a butterfly effect that helped to change the face of beer in America and encouraged a new generation of brewers and beer drinkers to prize flavorful, full-bodied and well-balanced liquid. This surge, partially powered by New Belgium Brewing, has swept us into a new world of craft beer. Had this journey not taken place, there would be no Fat Tire. Without Fat Tire, there would not be New Belgium Brewing Company, and, without them, we may not have access to such a bountiful cornucopia of craft beer.
Rogue Ales & Spirits Dead Guy Ale first emerged in 1990 during a special November 1 Dia de los Metros (Day of the Dead) celebration at Casa U-Betcha, a Tex-Mex restaurant in Portland, Oregon. For the rest of us, the beer came into our lives in 1994 during the Clinton Administration, the first season of Friends, and 14 years before Facebook arrived. Nevertheless, even after its nearly 25 years of roaming the craft world there’s nothing dead about Dead Guy Ale.
The beer received an extra boost in early 2017 when Rogue decided to can the beer for the first time and update its label artwork. Indeed, the beer has grown so iconic that one will not find the name “Dead Guy” anywhere on the cans because most every drinker knows the beer simply by the Dead Guy imagery.
Neither Vinnie nor Natalie Cilurzo are likely to read this piece about Russian River Pliny the Elder.
Not that it is anything personal; it is just that when you are in the nonstop process of brewing world-class beer while expanding from a 17,000 BBL system to a 70,000 BBL system, you tend to lack the time to Google yourself.
A longtime beer can remain beloved in a fast-paced market because it has a cult following, because it fits a really niche need or, for better or worse, because it’s so widely distributed it becomes a default choice.
Sometimes, a beer remains hot because it’s still so damn good.
In 2001, I was a bartender at a joint in Wausau, Wisconsin called Loppnow’s Sports Bar. Our main fare was tap and bottled Bud Light and Miller Lite, but occasionally we sold some Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Smirnoff Ice and Blue Moon. I don’t remember how many taps we had, but I recall that only one rotated: usually with Point Lager or a stout that wasn’t Guinness (we had no nitro). These barrels often took a couple of weeks to cash, with one exception – New Glarus Brewing Co.‘s Spotted Cow Farmhouse Ale.
“It just feels right that this is a beer that comes from Cleveland,” says Great Lakes Brewing Company co-founder Pat Conway of his brewery’s Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. The iconic dark brew is named for the ill-fated iron ore freighter that sank on Lake Superior with all hands during a vicious storm on November 10, 1975.
We at PorchDrinking.com thoroughly enjoy covering craft beer trends and showcasing the newest beers. But, before terms like Brut, Milkshake, New England and even BBA entered the brewing-industry lexicon, beer fans were thrilled to taste Ambers, Pale Ales and some mysterious beer that may or may not have arrived from India. So, for one month, we are going to take time to remember some of those OGs of Craft Beer — the brews that made it all possible.
An OG beer showcase will publish each day for the next several weeks. It would be a daunting task to cover them all (we are discussing less than one-half of the beers on our list), but our writers selected beers near and dear to their heart, ones that were often gateway beers that lead to our love of craft. We hope you enjoy our homage to the abridged list of classics.
Cleveland’s Great Lakes Brewing Company (GLBC) has an affinity for beers that also tell a story, be it history, weather or paying homage to its local, Cleveland sports scene. For instance, GLBC released its Rally Drum Red Ale brewed in honor of the well-known Cleveland Indian bleacher-seat drummer, John J. Adams. Come September, Cleveland fans can sip on 73 Kolsch, brewed with Cleveland Browns hero Joe Thomas, an offensive linemen who played in an amazing 10,363 consecutive snaps during his 11-year career. Hence, GLBC describes the Kolsch-style beer as “A Brew Fit For An Iron Man.”
Rockyard Brewing Company embarked on a complete overhaul and rebrand earlier this year, an endeavor that has seen these Castle Rock beerslingers bring about not only a new image, but an entirely new slate of beers to accompany it. As I was searching one of the local liquor stores in Fort Collins, I came across the can for Hopalypto. The can was unique, different and striking, which was all it took to convince me to pick it up.
Amongst the haze craze that has taken over the beer world this past year, I find myself gravitating towards sour ales more often than not; they are tart, refreshing, packed with flavor and tend to run a little lower in ABV—okay, I also don’t feel like I’m weighed down by tons of sugar! Don’t get me wrong, I love me some hazy IPAs but… when the temperatures are creeping up to 100 degrees I can’t pass up a sour beer!
In art, a collaboration between artists is where we, as consumers, are rewarded with a new and unique piece of original work. In the context of beer, a collaboration between brewers is where we, as beer drinkers, are rewarded with new and unique brews to drink.
Colorado’s craft beer scene embraces many different philanthropies, including the conservation community. It’s not surprising as they have many things in common. After all, the environmental sector and beer industry are both dependent on water, a vital—and increasingly scarce—resource in the drought-stricken west.
This past Saturday, conservationists, brewers and beer lovers gathered at Goldspot Brewing Company, located in the Berkeley neighborhood of Denver, and sampled a beer made with all-Colorado ingredients created in honor of Conservation Colorado’s annual Save the Ales Beer Festival.
It’s July in New England. The sun doesn’t set til past 8pm and the humidity comes and goes. Tonight, the humidity is at bay. And Sixteen Counties sits in my fridge, but not for long.
It’s been said before and it’ll continue to be said until the last beer on earth is brewed (scary thought, huh?): Allagash is a pioneer in the beer industry. With Allagash White, Black, Saison — the list goes on — they have helped to create the standard in American Belgian-style beer. And 20 years after their humble beginnings, they’re still going strong.
In a time when much of the industry seems so narrowly focused on chasing the hottest new trend, the most innovative new style, the brightest and shinest new gimmick in beer, Denver’s newest brewery is actually looking backward, way back in time, to focus on historic styles.
Heading down to the Jersey Shore is a rite of passage for all of those who reside in the Philadelphia area. Summer hasn’t officially hit until one makes the short drive to the Atlantic Ocean, strolls on the boardwalk and enjoys some relaxation in the sand. And obviously, a crucial piece to the puzzle of that relaxation is which beer(s) gets packed. Although now, there is no longer a need to logistically figure out that choice before hitting the road. With new breweries opening up shop all along the coastline, your options when arriving are bountiful. And if you find your way to the southern tip of the state, Cape May Brewing Company awaits you.
It is summertime in Seattle – and in consequence, the city has, collectively, fled to the nearest patio from their non-air-conditioned apartments in search of a brew that can quench summer cravings. With the heat climbing steadily and the days continuing to seem never-ending, we Seattleites are all in need of something light, something delicious, something sustainable – nothing too strong. Luckily, Stoup Brewing has answered the call with their Loral Dry-Hopped Sour.
With its breathtaking sunsets and sunflowers as far as the eye can see, Kansas is a picturesque view of the Midwest with loads of history nestled under its easygoing aesthetic. Kansas was the site of some of the most violent confrontations involving the legality of slavery, which finally concluded in Kansas being declared a “Free State” in 1861. It makes sense that the first legal brewery in Kansas in over 100 years was called Free State Brewing.