PD’s own dissect beer. Leave the pretentiousness on the curb.
I don’t care what season it is—it’s always time for a saison. The word “saison,” after all, means season in French. If you’re like me, you’re always looking for another one to try. And lately, a ton of wine barrel-aged saisons have been popping up. So when I saw Grapeyard Shift from Strange Roots, I knew it belonged in my fridge.
Despite its neighbor to the south being named Beer Capital of America, Wisconsin’s breweries are plentiful and still sling some pretty damn good beer. While New Glarus might be the destination of choice for those on a Wisconsin beercation, braving the shivering Midwest January weather and making the drive a little farther north brings you to the small town of Amherst, home of Central Waters Brewing. Expect the journey to be arduous as you attempt to avoid snowdrifts, slippery country roads, rogue cows and Green Bay Packer Fans. However, you’ll be rewarded by visiting a brewery that brews one of my favorite winter beers from America’s Dairyland.
When the chill of winer sets in, in the Midwest, we all pile on the layers. Wool socks, scarves, non-ironic stocking caps. But with the sun still setting before you can make it home from work, there’s one more trick to help warm you up – bourbon. One sip warms you from the inside out and takes away that chill that never seems to subside.
Whether you’re from the Chicagoland area or beyond, you’ve likely heard of Pollyanna Brewing Company. My introduction to the brand was through their Fun Size series, which never fails to impress with all of the unique variants. While I’m familiar with the brand, I hadn’t visited either of the brewery’s two Chicagoland locations until recently when I visited and toured Pollyanna’s second location in Roselle, IL.
Just north of the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, the Hudson Valley in New York has long inspired artists and writers, like Norman Rockwell, with its Victorian homes, charming villages and amazing cuisine. The valley is full of outdoor activities like boating, kayaking and the opportunity to summit some pretty intense mountains; a section of the Appalachian Trail even runs through the area. So, it should come as no surprise that the Hudson Valley is becoming a hot spot for breweries. In fact, there are more than 50 breweries and counting within the region.
Hudson Valley Brewery is located in Beacon, NY. Situated just off the main street in a 1960s factory building, Hudson Valley Brewery opened their doors in 2017 and have already made quite a name for themselves—Hop Culture Magazine named them Best New Brewery of 2017.
It’s Friday afternoon and you can feel the weekend has finally arrived. It’s a short walk from your desk to the door. All you have to do is make it there without being seen. If you can do that, you’re free. The coast looks clear, and you make a break for it. Out of nowhere, there’s Bill. “We’re going to need you to come in on Saturday, mmmk?”
Exclusive…Brues? I love lists. With craft beer, it has never been any different. When I first started drinking craft, The Bruery’s Black Tuesday quickly came onto my radar. With its exclusive nature, only being available once a year on the final Tuesday in October, I made it a mission to get a hold of one. I quickly discovered that not only was there Black Tuesday, but The Bruery brewed arguably even more exclusive Stout releases for other days of the week, using Black Tuesday as the base beer and then adding different adjuncts to each other day. These other variants were available to Reserve Society Members only.
I think everyone can agree that January is the worst month of the year. For the entire first week, you’re nursing your holiday hangover. The second and third weeks you spend frantically trying to catch up on all the work you avoided during December. The last week, you fully realize how long it is until you get another holiday. I guess what I’m trying to say is that good beer is what will help you get through January.
Bootlegger’s Brewery sold their first keg of beer in 2008. It was originally located in Fullerton, California in a small industrial building in an area that was a little rough around the edges. The brewery felt closer to a neighbor’s garage than it did a commercial brewery. Since then, they upsized the brewhouse from a 7 to a 30 barrel system. They moved the main brewing operations to a larger industrial area while staying in Fullerton. They also open their third tasting room location in Costa Mesa to go along with the Fullerton and Redlands locations.
It’s a marshmallow world in the winter and what better way to commemorate this season than a stout brewed with… marshmallows? As an avid maker/consumer of Rice Krispie treats, if you tell me something has marshmallow in it, I’m immediately excited, like “when it was your birthday in school and you got to bring in treats for the class”-excited. Luckily the Swedish, who know a thing or two about endless freezing nights, have crafted a liquidized Stay Puft in the form of Hypnopompa to warm our innards on a chilly winter’s eve.
How many of you grew up eating Fruity Pebbles cereal for breakfast? I know I indulged as a child. When I heard Something Brewery was releasing a cereal-beer crowler pack that included a Fruity Pebbles beer, I knew I had to get my hands on some. I mean, who doesn’t want to enjoy beer for breakfast?
The holidays have come and gone, and we now enter the season of the Dry January truthers. If you are not one of those people, you’ve come to the right place. Denver breweries are not going to shut their doors this month, and instead will carry the holiday spirit into 2019.
Both Seedstock Brewery and Call to Arms Brewing created offerings for the winter season that are reminiscent of holiday beer pairings. While the ham and cookies might be long gone, these beers are still on tap and available to be consumed as long as these breweries will provide kegs.
The latest brew from St. Louis’ 4 Hands Brewing Company comes just in time for a palate switch up. After getting my fill of bourbon barrel stouts the past few weeks, I’m ready for the switch to big coffee stouts. In the case of St. Louis beer lovers, we have two biggies coming out, both with a common link: St. Louis’ own Sump Coffee Company. One of which being 4 Hands’ Single Origin.
Katy was the beer that introduced me to 2nd Shift Brewing Company, back in late 2013, when they were based in New Haven, Missouri. Their reputation proceeded them, as I had been looking to try their beers in St. Louis, but had no luck until I found Katy at a house beer tasting event for Pedal The Cause.
It’s the holiday season and everyone is buzzing around trying to find the best beer to share with friends and family. Most of us are also traveling to visit family—which means planes, trains and automobiles (like the movie, but hopefully less crazy). I personally took Amtrak to Grand Junction, Colorado, to visit family and it was great! What I did miss was the gas station coffee during pit stops. Thankfully, I was able to get the flavor without the hectic drive from California to Colorado!
Schlafly is releasing a Barrel Aged Barleywine, the last “From The Ibex Cellar” series of 2018. The Schlafly Ibex Cellar series is one for which I’ve grown antiquated since my first visit to the Ibex Cellar in 2017, located beneath the historic Schlafly taproom in downtown St. Louis with friend and local brewing legend, Stephen Hale.
Ah, the holiday season. A time for cheesy movies, eating too many tree-shaped cookies, and imbibing in specialty beers that just fit perfectly with the time of year. Seasonal brews are a staple in nearly any taproom; since the colder months give brewers the inspiration to create warming and holiday dinner inspired drinks.
Maxline Brewing is now one of Fort Collins’ must-drink breweries. They have several awesome seasonal beers on tap, including their fiery Mean Heat Wheat and the childhood-cereal reminiscent Arrez Con Leche. This year, however, Maxline and head brewer Shaun Woodbury added Maxline’s Spiced Plum Ale to the rotation.
Santa Fe, New Mexico, was the first capital city in North America. In this historical place with centuries of traditions, there’s a small-scale independent brewery that offers playful twists to classic beer styles. Chantal, their robust French saison, shows this brewery’s passion for brewing.
With Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout now fully released and Revolution’s Deep Wood series with one more small release in January, we can take a step back and see how these beers stacked up against one another this year.
In no way am I saying that these are the best and only barrel-aged Stouts coming out of Chicago that we should talk about this season. However, when you have two behemoths like Revolution and Goose Island in one city, it’s hard not to compare them side-by-side with their biggest releases.
Coffee is a huge part of my life along with beer, and I am all about having a combination of those two in a beer any day. Medusa Brewing Company has a coffee porter that I am thrilled to tell you about. If I lived closer, this would be a staple in my beer collection. I do not live anywhere near Medusa, but luckily a fellow PorchDrinker got this to me to enjoy in Florida.