PorchDrinking’s own discuss beer.
Many places around the country are experiencing record-breaking temperatures right now. Hopefully all of our readers are staying cool and hydrated. The crew here at PorchDrinking is doing our very best to make sure we’re staying hydrated with the very best hop water we can find! This is this week’s What We’re Drinking.
It’s only a matter of time before Chicago’s craft-community routinely lists Burnt City Brewing as one of the city’s most innovative and creative breweries. And that day may inch closer after it hosts Kveik Fest. Thirty Breweries from around the country will descend upon Chicago to showcase beer brewed with kveik, a traditional and unique Norwegian farmhouse brewing yeast. The festival will occur on September 7 at the (also innovative) District Brew Yards, a spot shared by Burnt City, Around the Bend and Bold Dog Brewery.
“Kveik is a Norwegian dialect word for ‘yeast’,” explained Lance Shaner, owner at Omega Yeast Labs in Chicago. “In the brewing context, kveik are Norwegian farmhouse brewing yeasts that collectively share a lot of common traits, most notably high temperature tolerance (not unusual for them to produce good beer in the upper 90sF), high alcohol tolerance and fast fermentation. They were brought to the attention of the world by Norwegian blogger Lars Marius Garshol.”
This summer my goal was to read a light and easy book that was set in a brewery. Surely someone had written a cozy murder that starts with a body in a barrel? Instead I was waylaid by the image at the top of this entry. I immediately let our Slack channel know that I was going to be all over this book. I love a good Lifetime movie, and Enemies on Tap (1st of the Sweet Salvation Trilogy), promised that same magic.
A wolf hidden in sheep’s clothing, Aardwolf Brewing out of Jacksonville, FL has a wide portfolio of beers that are constantly hitting the mark. In a state that never receives snow and has summers that can be extremely humid and hot, Lagers are the beers that are perfect for any time of year.
The second anniversary of Purpose Brewing was really, really hot. I don’t mean in popularity, though that would also be true: it was packed from the minute the doors opened at 2pm and stayed bustling throughout the entire weekend. But it was also one of the hottest days of summer so far in the Coloradoan city of Fort Collins, where Peter and Frezi Bouckaert opened their doors two years ago to a thirsty public. Despite the blistering sun outside, crowds stalked the air-conditioned tables inside and huddled up under tents outside to enjoy their beer in some shade. “Yes, it’s a million degrees out. And yes, I’m drinking a stout,” laughed one patron as he wiped the sweat from his brow. “But come on, have you tried this one?”
There is no better way to celebrate the National Park Service’s 103rd birthday on August 25th than with a visit to a brewery near one of the oldest and most iconic American parks, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Smoky Mountains may be vast, covering parts of both North Carolina and Tennessee, but provide phenomenal sightseeing opportunities and plenty of beer just outside the park’s gates to keep you satiated.
You could spend a week or two visiting the Smokies, especially if you have a family or love to hike. There are over 850 miles of hiking trails in the park. Oh, and it will be nearly impossible to avoid seeing bears, which are used to visitors and relatively harmless as long as you don’t get too close (50 yards, please people!). But if you can only spare a weekend, read on.
It’s not often two giants in the beer industry get together to collaborate on a singularly fantastic beer, but that is exactly what Karl Strauss and Russian River Brewing did to make what they call the New California IPA. This beer has a piney and resinous front with hints of dank greens in the back. It has firm but not overwhelming bitterness and a palate cleansing kind of clean on the tongue. The IPA is complete with faint raspberries and rhubarb as it warms for a refreshing summer crispness. After talking with Matt Johnson, Brewmaster of Brewery Operations at Karl Strauss, and Vinnie Cilurzo, Co-Owner and Head Brewer at Russian River, I was able to get some insight into this wondrous amalgamation of talent and hops!
Summer is coming to a close; however, the heat is sticking around for a little while longer. Nothing pairs better with a hot summer day than a cool body of water and a refreshing craft beer. Summer also means swimsuit season is in full effect, so we’ve compiled a list of the six best low-calorie craft beers to keep you refreshed without affecting your summer waistline.
The Denver Beer Beat is a weekly roundup of brewery openings, special tappings, firkins and one-off batches, bottle releases, dinners, pairings, and more happening in the Front Range and beyond. Be sure to check in each Wednesday to discover anything and everything happening around Colorado’s beer scene. Now let’s get to this week’s can’t miss beer events.
After weeks of speculation and multiple labels filed to the TTB that didn’t quite make the cut, Goose Island has announced its 2019 Bourbon County Stout lineup. Like last year, there will be the original Bourbon County with seven variants, eight beers in total.
Did you hear? The 2019 Great American Beer Festival tickets recently went on sale. The nation’s premiere festival celebrating the country’s growing love of finely-crafted independent beer is absolutely worth the price. To enjoy the festival, be prepared to rummage through thick crowds of people searching for the “new hot brew” and the “next big thing.” If you get lucky during your adventure through the Colorado Convention Center, you will stumble upon a real gem. Our last visit proved it with, The Brewing Projekt.
It has been a busy summer for Revolution Brewing. Between their Midlife Crisis barrel-aged release and the hyped-up IPA collaboration with Hop Butcher coming later this week, Chicago’s largest independent brewer has made headlines during the hotter months. That being said, year three of Revolution’s acclaimed Deep Wood barrel-aged series is set to generate buzz among the beer-drinking community for the upcoming colder months thanks to its consistent release of new and old canned barrel-aged creations from October to January. The 2019-2020 roster includes five returning favorites and five new creations, all available in 4-packs of 12oz cans. Here is what you need to know.
Burns Family Artisan Ales’ Ship of Theseus serves up plenty of depth and complexity, echoing the multi-faceted career of brewer Wayne Burns. Burns’ two-decade journey has taken him from Michigan to Colorado. During his beer career, he has worked for notable breweries including Bells Brewery and Wynkoop Brewing Company; co-founded Jagged Mountain Brewery and started his current endeavor.
Along the way, Burns picked up favorite recipes and a fondness for crafting high-gravity beers. Ship of Theseus docks at 11.6% ABV along with a quirky name that pays tribute to the origin of the recipe.
On the night of May 27, a powerful line of storms ripped across Indiana and Ohio. Numerous tornadoes caused considerable damage. The Miami Valley region of southwest Ohio, centered around the city of Dayton, was hit especially hard. Multiple tornadoes left parts of the city and surrounding communities in shambles. Lives were disrupted and families were displaced.
In the wake of the storms, countless area businesses and individuals came together to help those affected by the disaster. Dayton’s breweries were no exception.
With so much good beer coming out of Colorado, it’s easy to take for granted one of the early upstarts in the state’s brewing history. Ska Brewing has been around since 1995. The brewery has stood the test of time thanks to their commitment to rigorous brewing standards and bold flavors. A perfect example of this is their stalwart IPA, Modus Hoperandi, which is celebrating its 10 year anniversary this summer.
Modus Hoperandi was a trendsetter when it was released a decade ago and it still stands up against today’s wide swath of IPAs. The IPA was one of the first to come in cans and has won numerous awards thanks to a delicately-hopped combination of citrus and pine. Still, every brewery needs to innovate to stay competitive, which led to the release of its citrusy-variant, Modus Mandarina, in 2015. Both IPAs stand strong alone but work even better together. I got a chance to review both on a warm summer evening recently.
A few years back, Funkwerks Tropic King was somewhat of an undercover gem in the brewery-rich city of Fort Collins, Colorado. The Imperial Saison was locally made, had amazing depth, and had a reputation for being affordable while still dangerously high in ABV. Recently, though, as Funkwerks expanded their distribution far beyond Fort Collins, and Tropic King can now be found in ten states, the locals lost some of their bragging rights—until now. Funkwerks is no stranger to experimentation, and their latest unique offering is Barrel-Aged Tropic King, which is a local-only release.
Have you ever seen Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory? The original one with Gene Wilder? That’s kind of what visiting Coda Brewing is like. The brewery is tucked in a warehouse in a residential neighborhood and feels like a middle school science room combined with an old-timey apothecary. Luke Smith, owner, head brewer and yeast wizard, almost looks like Gene Wilder with his curly head of hair and ginger chops.
No stranger to the Chicago culinary food scene, Spiaggia’s Executive Chef Joe Flamm, made a name for himself nationally after winning Top Chef in 2018.
Flamm was part of the original crew at Stephanie Izard’s Girl and the Goat in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, he also worked with Bill Kim, known for his Asian-fusion restaurants in the city before landing at Tony Mantuano’s Spiaggia, a Michelin star restaurant.
Like many in the culinary industry, Flamm is a huge fan of Miller High Life. From his days as a line cook to now, it’s his beer of choice and has been apart of many of the biggest moments in his life.
This summer has been a filled with near constant travel to celebrate the weddings of those nearest and dearest to me. As such, they know exactly what info I need when I get to each place. Just as fate joins two strangers to cross paths and join each other in marriage, fate placed my friend’s wedding in Mt. Angel, Oregon; which is home to one of three true monk-run breweries in the nation, Benedictine Brewery. Obviously I had to check it out – as well as sample the namesake, St. Benedict Farmhouse Ale.
Pizza comes in many shapes, sizes, and forms, and all of it is generally good. Chicago is a city saturated in pizza joints, but pizza in the Windy City is the real deal. While many tourists visit Chicago for its deep-dish style pizza, most Chicago locals will tell you their preferred Chicago style pizza is “tavern-style.” What is tavern-style pizza? While there is no strict criteria, any proper Chicago establishment that claims they serve this type of pizza share a similar method. The crust is very thin, better known as “cracker crust.” The pizza is cut into squares, not slices. Pineapple is not a choice on the ingredients list. Using this as a canvas, there are many Chicago pizza joints outside of the tourist traps in the Loop that deliver solid pizza offerings that go great with a nice cold beer on a warm summer day, and here are my favorite Chicago pizza and beer pairings for you to try, whether you’re a tourist or a local.