PD’s own dissect beer. Leave the pretentiousness on the curb.
The 2020 version of West Des Moines, IA-based Barn Town Brewing’s Yer Killin’ Me S’mores! offers a nostalgic and supportive approach to Stout Season.
This Milk Stout debuted last year as a nod to “The Sandlot.” Founder Pete Faber and his team knew they wanted to create a s’mores stout and they eventually decided to reference an iconic scene from their childhood. Like all beers at Barn Town, the concept, branding and execution balance eccentricity and thoughtfulness in a purposeful way.
Warped Wing Brewing Company’s taproom on an uneven brick side street in downtown Dayton, Ohio, is pretty quiet for early December. The hulking, 80-year-old concrete building that once housed the Buckeye Iron & Brassworks foundry is normally humming with beer drinkers, and on the early December Saturday when the brewery’s beloved Whiskey Rebellion bourbon barrel-aged Imperial Stout is released, the cavernous facility is always packed with celebratory fans. A line begins early that morning waiting for bottle allotments and extends through the cracked cement of the parking lot, past the building, and around the corner of the block.
This year’s release, of course, is different, though the enthusiasm for it is as vibrant as ever.
For many, the holidays are about giving back. It’s a time to support those less fortunate or to further a charitable cause. The holidays are also about connecting with your family and sharing your favorite beer. So, what if you could do both? What if you could drink an amazing craft beer and give back? Rescue + Recharge American Lager, a limited release for the holiday season, is this perfect kind of synergy — a partnership between FINNEGANS Brew Co. and Firefighters for Healing to create a great beer and support a wonderful cause.
With an in-state distribution footprint that stretches to every corner of Colorado, Denver’s River North Brewery is a longtime local favorite. Despite its reach, its longevity and its reputation among hardcore craft enthusiasts, River North has still managed to remain somewhat of an underrated contender in the world of barrel-aged beers.
Winter, particularly in the middle of a global pandemic, is not the time for light beer. The days are shorter, the nights are colder, and the only beer that will cut it as the winter solstice approaches is something strong, dark, and smooth. Matchless Brewing’s Off the Cuff II Old Ale is worthy of consideration this time of year–it’s a big beer that demands attention.
To create Off the Cuff II, Matchless brewers blended different Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stouts with wine cask-aged Old Ales. Blending beer is both an art and a science; Matchless Brewing excels at both in this beautiful blend of bourbon and fruit that’s perfect for a winter night in.
On these cold winter days, few beers are more ideally suited for the weather than Fremont Brewing Company’s B-Bomb Bourbon Barrel Imperial Winter Ale. A Winter Ale that sees extended time in bourbon barrels, it serves up more than enough alcohol to warm up your insides, while delivering tons of fall spices and vanilla barrel notes. At 13% and coming only in large 750ml bottles, it’s a perfect beer to break out and split with any friends and family you may have in town for the holidays.
It’s that time of year again: a time of great anticipation… Stout Season. In accordance, we’ve found a beer for the bold stout lover, Empress Rising: Red Wine Barrel Aged Imperial Stout by Birds Fly South Ale Project.
Residents of Charlotte, North Carolina look forward to Queen City Brewers Festival every February. But given all that 2020 has brought us, the 2021 Queen City Brewers Festival will be in the format of a collective beer initiative: Court Shoes Only.
2021 would have been a milestone 10th year of Queen City Brewers Festival (QCBF). Each February the city gathers to sample beers from breweries across the city and region while benefiting a good cause. The proceeds of the festival and raffle historically have always gone to ACEing Autism. This is a nonprofit whose mission it is to serve children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) through unique tennis programs.
Barrel, chocolate, marshmallow all packaged up in Off Color Brewing’s notable 250ml bottles — it’s Barrel-Aged Dino S’mores season, and this year’s version is not to miss.
The popular Russian Imperial Stout comes in a non-barrel-aged version and typically a couple of variants as well as the barrel-aged version. This year’s BA beer spent 13 months sitting in Wild Turkey 101 bourbon barrels and the beer took to the barrel like a fish to water.
Fall seasonal standards such as pumpkin beers, Oktoberfest Märzens and Fresh Hop IPAs permeate store shelves as the nights begin to cool and autumn turns to winter. It is a welcome sight for many beer drinkers, whether you like to stick to classics or seek out something new. Whichever camp you are in, Zwei Brewing’s Dunkelweiss manages to tick both those boxes. It is both a traditional German Wheat Ale and an often-overlooked style that could become your next fall go-to.
The owners at Zwei Brewing, Kirk and Eric Lombardi, brew this Dark German Wheat Ale twice a year on a rotating schedule that includes their Bernsteinfarbenes Weissbier and Weizenbock. This year we are all fortunate to have it hit the taps during fall, which happens to be Kirk’s favorite time of year to enjoy it.
Bewilder Brewing Co., one of Utah’s newer breweries, recently released its first higher-alcohol packaged beer. Mole Porter is a 6% ABV brew that delicately blends sweet and spicy in a mouth-coating, enjoyable sipper.
As an organism’s genetic sequence twists and changes, sometimes happy accidents occur, forever altering the course of a species. Fish switched fins for feet, lizards grew wings and took to the sky and here we are with livers, fine-tuned for processing the world’s delicious beer.
Put on that tracksuit, strap on the fresh kicks and queue up “Don’t Stop the Rock”–it’s about to get hype in here. When one of the top breweries in Texas announces a new year-round addition to their lineup, you gotta make some noise. Already providing multiple hopped-up offerings across the spectrum, Real Ale Brewing Co. still managed to drop something fresh that hits all the right notes with their Boombox Double IPA.
With innovation and experimentation at the forefront, Energy City Brewing in Batavia, Ill. has something new brewing every week. Without an operating taproom and in the middle of a still-surging pandemic, they have still found a way to keep the sophisticated beer drinkers’ attention and stay relevant in times of uncertainty. While their mainstay offerings continue to be popular around the Chicagoland area, their one-off offerings, available only for curbside pick-up at the brewery, are the main attraction, drawing people all the way from Chicago to make the long drive two counties over for a chance to get their hands on this week’s concoction.
It’s arguable there’s no better way to indulge yourself than by taking a getaway. To unplug, decompress and reset is truly a gift. However, our getaways look very different this year, if they’re happening at all. Luckily, Humble Forager Brewery, whose mission is to offer thoughtful, specialty beers wherever adventure takes you, is providing ways to indulge during this difficult time, including a new Pastry Porter
Forget golden rings. On the fifth year of holiday collaboration, The Open Bottle and Hailstorm Brewing gave to us, Santa’s Cookies & Milk Stout. And, it’s adorned in gold labeling, with a special glass to match. The stout is decadent, creamy, full-bodied and somehow still crushable; a real holiday treat. Yet, the real gift goes to Tinley Wish because a portion of sales aids the south-suburban Chicago organization that gives aid to needy families.
The 2019 GABF Gold Medal for Chicago’s Begyle Brewing Barrel-Aged Imperial Pajamas gave credence to those who boasted of its excellence, and the award did wonders for its popularity. However, medals only go so far; Chicago’s beer crowd can be downright snobby about BBAs. The annual Imperial Pajamas release enjoys increasing fanfare because of its consistency, quality and a taproom party consisting of hour-by-hour variant tappings. Sadly, the global pandemic prevented Begyle from throwing its annual gathering. Nevertheless, the three packaged Pajamas stand as exemplary BBAs and evidence of why the program now hangs with the big boys and girls of the strong barrel-aging beer world.
This year’s three Imperial Pajamas release consists of the classic in Heaven Hill barrels, a vanilla variant and a special version aged in Booker Bourbon barrels. “We’ve had a lot of fun with release day variants, the way we handled those hourly releases allowed us to explore many different flavor combinations over the years. With our first foray into canning a barrel aged variant we chose vanilla as it is one of the most versatile ingredients we use in several of the variant combos we have done in the past. From the feedback we’ve gotten vanilla was always the most popular flavor, whether it was just vanilla, or vanilla combined with other ingredients,” said Kevin Cary, Begyle co-founder.
Everyone has their own definition of indulgent. It could be a decadent chocolate cake that pushes the boundaries of your sweet tooth and your waistband. It might be a 5-star spa day or a vending machine that distributes gold bars. There may be no clearer measure of an indulgent purchase, however, than seeing the facial expression of a beer non-connoisseur when you tell them you have spent $50+ on a single bottle of beer. Hill Farmstead Samuel becomes the latest release to stress-test the wallet, especially in the midst of a pandemic that is making us reevaluate our financial priorities.
Whether it’s that fourth cookie, bonus day of vacation or third barrel-aged beer of the night, life is too short to not indulge every once in a while. This time of year always seems to bring more chaos. Luckily, Decatur, GA’s Three Taverns Brewery has the perfect beer to slow you down during this indulgent holiday season.
No, it is not a pastry-loaded adjunct Stout. It’s not a hopped-to-the-brim Triple IPA, either. What is it? It’s Heavy Bell (2020)–a Belgian Quadrupel Ale aged in bourbon barrels.
Heavy Bell (2020) takes indulgence to a new level as it expands on the base recipe of Quasimodo, a 10% Belgian-style Quadrupel, and ages it on eight-year-old bourbon barrels.
On the cusp of Thanksgiving 2020 after an incredibly stressful year; we all deserve a moment to indulge. Though as you can only fill your stomach so much or tolerate a certain amount of beer; what do you choose? Well, there’s no better option to treat your senses than to enjoy a beer that comes with its own recipe card!