PD’s own dissect beer. Leave the pretentiousness on the curb.
A trip down the beer aisle will often set your heart aflutter and provide a flash of inspiration, but a recent sighting of Stoudts Gearshifter IPA incited more of a sinking feeling. With the impending retirement of the legendary Carol Stoudt, this six-pack was less about joy or reverie and more about quiet reflection.
It’s not often that I find myself traveling back to my old college town of Gainesville, FL but when I do I make it a point of stopping into at least one of the breweries on each trip. First there was Swamp Head, but then First Magnitude Brewing Company came onto the scene in 2012 and the Gainesville brewery scene continues to grow. I was delighted at my first stop in First Magnitude’s tasting room: It was just so versatile and inviting! There is a large warehouse-style brewing area where they have some picnic tables, an intimate (and air-conditioned) indoor tasting room and bar and a spacious outdoor area where kids can play and their parents can sit and catch up under the shade. I sat down with Ursa, their flagship IPA, and took in the surroundings.
It’s not a shock that I’m a fan of BottleHouse Brewery & Meadery. I’ve shared this love before when I wrote about one of their award-winning ales in 2018. Since it’s Stout Month, I felt it appropriate to share another stellar example from the Cleveland area and one of my personal favorites: Rising Star Stout.
I travel all over Chicagoland for my job, and work trips out to the suburbs offers me the chance to stop by a local brewery off the beaten path that I otherwise would overlook. Recently, I found myself lost in Bloomingdale, Illinois and it was here that I discovered the hidden gem of Wolfden Brewing, located in an old, haunted, building built-in 1851.
It’s been well established that Portland is a bustling beer mecca. Good beer is so easily accessible; often one can walk three blocks in any direction and accidentally run into quality, independent craft brews. In the hustle of the …
Maybe it’s the nostalgia of the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich we all enjoyed growing up. Or perhaps it’s because peanut butter and beer is an incredible combination- when executed correctly. Whatever it is, I can’t stop thinking about Saugatuck Brewing Co. Peanut Butter Porter.
There is a myriad of possibilities when it comes to making use of coconut. You can put a lime in one and drink ‘em both up, or even bang two empty halves together whilst galloping the length and breadth of the land in search of knights who will join you in your court at Camelot. However, if you’re a brewery, you can do what the clever folks at Brazos Valley Brewing Company in Brenham, TX did and add coconut to an already delicious Russian Imperial Stout. Not since the Samoa Girl Scout cookie has coconut made something as delicious as Slippin’ Into Darkness with coconut.
Fairhope Brewing has been on the map in Alabama since I moved here back in summer 2015. They are constantly pumping out a variety of styles and unique additions to their lineup. They have, however, always had one that particularly stood out to me: (Take The) Causeway Double IPA.
When you walk into a White Elm Brewing Company taproom in Lincoln, Nebraska and ask for the Fluffaluffagus, you’ll notice a few things about this beer. First, Fluffaluffagus is very fun to say. Second, this is a beautifully dark beer that pours with a tall, tan head. Third, as you lift the glass to your nose for a sniff, you’ll note that it smells familiar. Perhaps like a cereal you ate as a kid. No (you go in for another sniff) not the cereal. It smells like after you ate the cereal, and all you had left was the reward of the marshmallows floating around in the last of the milk.
Suarez Family Brewery focuses on three broad styles including, per their website, “ales of mixed fermentation, unfiltered lagers and other crispy little beers.” The brewery specializes in making refined, humble beer, a unifying theme connecting these styles. Crescent, their “Belgian inspired refresher” is no exception. Though just a few years old, Suarez Family Brewery has demonstrated mastery that often takes decades to acquire.
Idaho Springs may not be the central hub of craft beer in Colorado, but Westbound & Down Brewing Company is doing its best to change that. At 2019’s Great American Beer Festival, they took home three awards: silver medals in the Double India Pale Ale and Wood/Barrel-Aged Strong Beer categories, as well as Mid-size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year. Their Double India Pale Ale win was for their aptly named Westbound Double IPA, which was just recently added to their canning lineup. We tried this award-winning beer to see what exactly Westbound & Down Brewing did so well.
Every year that a brewery makes a thriving success of brewing more amazing beers, it is an accomplishment not only for themselves, but also for the industry and their patrons. Karl Strauss Brewing Co in San Diego, California, celebrated its 31st anniversary with their Changing of the Barrels event. This anniversary party not only features their flagship lineup but of course also highlights some superb beers that have been sleeping in barrels, awakened specifically for this moment
Copper Kettle suggests pairing their Milk Stout with snow-shoveling, snowboarding and bull-riding. At a reasonable 5.6% ABV, it’s probably a safe bet with the first two activities, but maybe not a good idea with the third—at least, if you’re the rider. On the other hand, I’d thoroughly enjoy knocking back a few while watching somebody else ride the bull.
I realize I always go on about how hard it is for breweries to stand out in Michigan because there are so many of them. But Michigan is fifth in the nation with more than 300 breweries, so it’s not hard to imagine how easy it is for a brewery to fall through the cracks. In 2015, this was likely on the minds of Travis Fritts and Nate Rykse when they founded Old Nation Brewing Company in Williamston, Michigan. As it turns out, they had absolutely nothing to worry about, even after a bit of a slow start.
A beer is only as good as its water: It is the starting point and foundation from which all else grows and changes. Libertine Brewing Company wanted one of their staple beers to evoke the essence of the place they call home—the central coast of California—so they decided to use local, Pacific Coast salty sea waters to add the traditional brininess in a Gose.
When it comes to beer collaborations, Karl Strauss Brewing has been killing it in the past year. With collaborations like Russian River and Alesmith, not to mention the many others, Pure Project was a welcome addition to their Collaboration Line up with Murky Poetry, a Hazy IPA.
Move over Cupid. Oswego Brewing, Riverlands Brewing, Skeleton Key Brewing and Wolfden Brewing have concocted the perfect method for which to achieve romantic bliss: the Box of Chocolates Beer Collaboration. The multi-brewery Valentine’s Day beer package is more than just a treat, though, because the beers also serve as beautiful demonstrations of the versatility of stouts (or stout-like ales), which is fitting for February (a.k.a. Stout Month).
It’s a chilly Friday afternoon in Denver, in the Bluebird District 2.5 miles directly east of the State Capitol, and the Cerebral Brewing taproom is buzzing. Not that this is unusual, of course. The four-year-old brewery frequently draws a big crowd to its bright taproom, one side of which uses academic papers as wallpaper. After all, the brewery’s motto is “An Academic Pursuit,” an honorable principle that guides these innovative brewers to offer beers that run the gamut. One of those is Character Reference, a foeder Vienna Lager.
“Brewing is really in our blood,” says Ron Abbott, founder and brewer at Denver’s Seedstock Brewery. His brewery offers classic Czech-style lagers and periodically revives obscure historical styles rarely brewed on these shores, keeping his familial traditions alive.
What does adventure mean to you? Is it the adrenaline rush of accomplishing something huge? Is it physically exploring a new region? Is it the urge to leave your comfort zone? To Joe Connolly, director of Springdale Beer Co., it’s that last one. He also believes in the same notion for IPAs. “We believe that real activity deserves real beer,” Connolly notes. “To us, this is what IPA signifies: an urge to push the envelope, leave our comfort zone and simply put, get out there.”
And that’s what Springdale is all about. As the experimental offshoot of Jack’s Abby, Springdale has been in pursuit of adventure since its inception. By delving into sours, wild ales, barrel-aged beers and more, they have numerous successful experiments under their belt. They released their flagship IPA, Springdale IPA, in January 2020.