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Anyone who ever uttered the phrase “if you’ve had one, you’ve had them all” clearly has not had Pontoon Brewing Company‘s Combustible Pineapple Milkshake IPA. Brewed in Sandy Springs, Georgia, this beer could be your perfect pick or it could scare you away, depending on which side of the fence you sit when it comes to Milkshake IPAs. Either way, Combustible Pineapple will most certainly surprise you.
Collaboration beers are nothing new to the industry and when Revolution Brewing and Hop Butcher for the World teamed up it wasn’t even their first time working together. The most recent collaboration series features three beers with three distinct styles. The series features Maintains and Shapes, a hopped Lager, Base, a West Coast Pale Ale, and Superstructure, a Hazy IPA.
For many years, being a craft beer drinker often meant maintaining happy ignorance about how many calories you’ve consumed after a few pints at the brewery or while at home, relaxing at the end of the day. The only truly low-calorie beers were slapped with the names of macro brands – Michelob Ultra, Miller 64, Bud Select 55 – and tasted just the way one would expect. Over the past year or so, demand for lower-calorie brews has increased and the craft beer industry is listening. Now, there are plenty of low-cal offerings from some of the biggest names in the business including Dogfish Head, Deschutes, Lakefront Brewery, New Belgium and Ballast Point. Even among these myriad options, Bell’s Brewery’s Light Hearted Ale (a Lo-Cal IPA) stands out.
While styles like lambic and gueuze might conjure images of a farmhouse in the rolling countryside, some of the best sour and funky beers in America are made by Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales right on South Broadway in Denver, CO. Their collab with Falling Rock Tap House, called Raven Rock, is no exception. While Raven Rock might not technically be a lambic, it’s about as damn close as you can get.
Calm winds, the rising sun and a glass like ocean…this is the allure of being part of the Dawn Patrol. For surfers, the attraction is undeniable. They forego the extra sleep while others lay tucked in their beds knowing that getting the goods early is an opportunity too good to pass up. For these dedicated few, the day’s first waves are worth it. They’re exhilarating!
Spice Trade Brewing has undergone an incredible transformation since its unexpected beginnings as Yak and Yeti Brewpub, which grew as an extension of a Nepalese restaurant in Arvada, Colorado. The beer program, which opened in 2008, six years after the restaurant side, likely convinced many who came seeking authentic Nepalese fare to try a few delicious beers as well. This past spring the brewery opened its own location in the DTC, bringing much-needed variety to the area—and the tech nerds rejoiced!
They say that everything in Texas is bigger, and while true, here in Austin everything is more specialized. Austin is a city where folks aren’t afraid to deep-dive into their passions and drill down to create precisely what they love, be it music, food, art or beer. Professor Black is brewed by Blue Owl Brewing, one of the only breweries in the US to both Kettle Sour and sour-mash all of their beers. That’s right, all of them. The brainchild of Jeff Young, formerly of Austin’s Black Star Co-op Brewing, Blue Owl’s unique philosophy of sour-mashing any and every style of beer has made them local legends, especially because they are just so good at it.
The progression of becoming a true craft beer snob is a subtle one but the path is marked by some key moments. You generally begin dabbling in IPAs, starting with a gateway local pale ale into becoming an expert on all things dank and/or hazy. Then you move onto Stouts—a bigger flavor profile, a bigger ABV and a bigger blow to your wallet. Most craft beer nerds will live in this Stout phase for a long time, perhaps expanding into Barley wines, maybe diverting over to Sours, but generally content to chase the whales and tip the scales between what is beer and what is actually just brownie batter. The mark of a true snob, though, is when you loop back around into the lightest and most overlooked styles that the industry has to offer: Pilsners.
Nestled amongst the sprawling vineyards of the Walla Walla Valley, down a single-lane dirt country road is Dragon’s Gate Brewery. Recently featured as a top brewery in Eastern Oregon, this 10-acre farm offers gorgeous views of the surrounding Blue Mountains and provides the perfect backdrop to enjoy these Farmhouse Ales. Owned and operated by Adam and Jennifer Gregory, this brewery is truly a family affair with beers brewed with passion and rooted in traditional Belgian brewing practices. Their tasting room is in a converted barn, and their brewhouse, barrel room and fermentation area are all on-site. Inspired by old-world stylings, this brewery takes you back in time, or to another world entirely.
The state of Utah is fortunate to get the unforeseen variety of beer distribution that they do. Despite this crazy year, Lone Pine Brewing Company from Portland, Maine singled out the hive. Founded in 2016, Lone Pine was originally a small brew house, but grew their business with the opening of a production facility in 2019. So, with their distribution focused on the East Coast, the delivery of goods to the inland state and nowhere in between was a surprise.
The Rocky Mountains have been in existence long before humans traveled the range’s treacherous trails for the newest camping spot or adventurous hike. They invite a sense of tranquility and appreciation, and provide a home to countless species such as bighorn sheep, mountain lions, and the yellow-bellied marmot. The Colorado cutthroat trout thrives in the cold rivers of the Rockies, while birds such as the White-tailed Ptarmigan, Mountain Chickadee, and Pygmy Nuthatch perch among the trees. Yes, this a a beer showcase, but it’s important to set the scene when discussing FTK Pale Ale from Chico, California-based Sufferfest Beer Company.
Hazy IPAs need little introduction in today’s craft beer scene. Many of them have a juicy body, with a golden foggy color and a citrus-forward aroma and flavor. New Realm Brewing Company’s Hazy Like a Fox IPA has these traits, but it also has some uniqueness that creates a journey of flavors all its own.
We’re deep into the North Carolina summer. That means it’s sticky, wet and insufferable. It means it always looks like it’s going to storm, but only actually storms for ten minutes at a time. It means heat so hot there’s no good reason to be outside unless you’re sitting in the shade drinking a cold beer. And what better beer than something refreshing and delicious? For your consideration, I present Hopfly Brewing’s Triple Berry Sour.
Other Half Space Broccoli seems like the perfect beer to commemorate this summer’s first splashdown of American astronauts from space in 45 years. Space is cool again, with astronauts heading to the space station from U.S. soil and NASA planning a new mission to the moon for 2024. You see people wearing NASA shirts, not ironically, and breweries are pumping out space-themed beers at quite a clip. Other Half is no exception.
Goodwood Brewing Co., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky — with an additional taproom and brewpub in Frankfort — has a solid reputation for releasing flavorful brews that are unique enough to stand out, yet approachable enough to not turn off less-adventurous beer drinkers. Their Shoot Your Eye Out Milk Stout is no exception.
Even in uncertain times, craft breweries and American ingenuity continue to create unique new ways to drink and enjoy craft beer. In Chicago, finding an establishment to sit outside and enjoy a cold one can still be hard to come by. Outdoor dining is limited, and people are lining up at the door to get a small dose of what feels like normalcy. However, with ample green space in and around the city, there is no shortage of places that provide some shade and plenty of space to spread out if relaxation and quiet are what you crave.
Just in time for the dog days of summer, Hop Butcher For The World released their highly sought after Blazed Orange Milkshake IPA, giving Chicagoland craft beer drinkers an IPA reminiscent of childhood summers and simpler times. Inspired by the classic frozen treat, Hop Butcher used their American ingenuity to bring you a Creamsicle in a glass.
One of the hardest decisions for the dedicated craft enthusiast has to be how long to cellar a prized bottle. How do you ensure that you see your beautiful bottles reach their final form? The balance of power between #drinkfresh and amassing a cellar so massive it would make the Sun King blush is a wobbly tight rope, indeed. Too often you find yourself paralyzed to open those most revered bottles, worrying that with a particular Cantillon or Side Project or Hill Farmstead we’ll never cross paths again. Or worse, you fear the chiding from fellow Ahabs for not inviting them along to take down the white whale.
Lagers are gaining popularity during the current “Lager Revolution” that continues to thrive across the country. The appeal of Lagers is due to their low ABV, light body and clean and simple flavor. Fall Line Brewing Co.’s Lager fits this description perfectly.
Fall Line Brewing Co. is a new brewery and taproom located in Macon, GA that opened in March 2020; Fall Line Lager is one of their four year-round offerings that recently entered distribution.
Nobody wants to get labeled as a bandwagoner, pandering to whatever’s in vogue for the sake of staying trendy. When the New England IPA movement started gaining steam, brewers were quick to call out posers in a street cred battle that bordered on ridiculous. Well, the style is obviously here to stay, and with years of popularity under its belt, it’s fun to look back at some classics.
Green Mountain Beer Company approaches traditional beer styles with a little creativity and flair. As their motto says, they focus on “Old World Brews with Colorado Soul.” While Green Mountain offers newer styles of beer, including their very popular Kama Citra IPA, the focus on traditional German and Belgian styles like Hefeweizen, Pilsner, Tripel and Saison is where Brian Milhaupt and Cassidy Hill, co-founders of Green Mountain Beer Company, find their passion and vision.