PD’s own dissect beer. Leave the pretentiousness on the curb.
When you think of the holidays, what memories come to mind? I think of the smell of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies with burnt edges because my mom left them in the oven too long. I remember the Christmas presents constantly needing protection from our 100-pound Golden Retriever, who had a particular proclivity for shaking and tearing the wrapping paper off the gifts like he was hunting live game. Most of all, I love bringing fresh, delicious flavors of the season to all of the holiday festivities, for everyone to try. This year, I have found my beverage of choice for our new annual Christmas party beer sampling – New Belgium Brewing’s delicious Honey Orange Tripel.
Raleigh’s own Big Boss Brewing is at it again with a limited release of Saints on Raspberries. A tart, fruity twist on their Flanders red-inspired Saints & Sinners, Saints on Raspberries is another feather in the cap that is their foedre-aged “Strange Cargo” series. The twist? Six extra months in wine barrels soaking up raspberry essence. Now, without further ado, the beer.
I’m going to start this off by saying I am not a fan of the holiday season. Suddenly, I’m expected to be merry and in good spirits, which is just not the way I work. Bribe me with a winter warmer and we might be able to talk, slip me an Imperial Stout and we will be best of friends. Like a lot of you, alcohol makes this season bearable. To quote National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, “I had a lot of help from Jack Daniels.”
“Stickman Brews focuses on American twists of Belgian-inspired beers among other things.”
Smack dab on the middle of the homepage on their website, you will come across this self-description written in all caps. Obesity Epidemic, a Belgian-style stout, truly backs up that claim. This beer fuses those two cultures in perfect harmony.
Just in time for the holidays, New Holland Brewing has given us another in their Dragon’s Milk Reserve line, Dragon’s Milk Reserve Mocha Mint. This bourbon barrel-aged Stout sits at 11% ABV and is just as delicious as it sounds.
Just when you think you know what to expect from a Christmas Ale, Around the Bend Beer Company comes along and provides a unique holiday surprise — the Pretty Lights Belgian Tripel with Cranberry and Almond. Although this beer is exceedingly capable of standing on its own, it would be tough to find a beer more suited for pairing with a holiday feast.
Baerlic Brewing Company has swiftly and effortlessly made a name for themselves in Portland, Oregon’s stacked beer scene. Sitting in the heart of the beer hub within the city, Southeast Portland, Baerlic’s enthusiastic staff, delightful atmosphere and – of course – impressive beer line-up always makes for a lovely stop.
The holiday season is upon us and in mid-December, Bruz Beers will be releasing the ideal holiday brew. Brut La Grande, is a Champagne style beer using Champagne yeast and other ingredients throughout the very long fermentation process. The holidays often serve as the perfect opportunity to gather with friends and family to celebrate community, what we have to be thankful for, and the passing of another year. Rather than turning to champagne or wine, Brut La Grande brings the refinement of a special occasion beverage in beer form.
MadTree Brewing is a major player in the Ohio beer scene, and among the largest breweries in Cincinnati’s thriving craft market. The company built a new production brewery in early 2017, and have grown rapidly, but sustainably in the half decade since their founding. Their quirky but smart beer portfolio and attractive packaging are now available all around Ohio, as well as some areas of Indiana and Kentucky.
The Bay area here in California is blowing up Craft Beer wise! Drake’s Brewing Co. has been around for awhile, and they just celebrated their 28th Craft Birthday!!
Start spreading the news. I’m leaving today. I want to be a part of it, a New York beer line! Yes, that’s right. On my most recent trip to New York City, I woke up ridiculously early to make the drive for a the release of All Infinity Everything at Other Half Brewing Company in Brooklyn. Trust me, when you see this brewery is doing a can release while you are planning on being in the area, you go.
You know when you find a beer or brewery that just tugs at all your little beer heartstrings? That was HenHouse Brewing for me when I first visited the Bay Area in July. Being a beer girl from Seattle, I have a natural tendency to scope out all the breweries in any area I visit.
Once known for bombers of big IPAs and the Abduction series, Pipeworks Brewing Co. has changed quite a bit over the past few years. The variety of beers coming out of the brewery in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood have increased not just in volume, but styles. Its session IPAs have become quite popular and Passion Fruit Guppy is the latest to be available in cans.
Wyndridge Farm does many things, but it truly does cider well.
The cidery, brewery, farm, restaurant, hard-soda maker and event space is in York County Pennsylvania, which borders Maryland and is straight north of Baltimore, south of Harrisburg and west of Lancaster. Wyndridge distributes throughout the East coast, and their Crafty Cider was a surprising addition to a supermarket in Northern Virginia.
While there are an incredible abundance of existing and soon-to-come craft releases in the U.S., Brewmeister‘s Snake Venom is a rare sight in these parts. I recently had the honor of getting to try this beer that tops many beer drinkers lists. These aren’t charts for flavor and overall ingenuity, but simply because of the fact that it will knock you off your feet. At a staggering 67.5% ABV this fortified monster has made its rounds on the web as a viral hit, enticing the alcoholics of America with a great name and the promise that you won’t remember tomorrow. However, the real challenge isn’t staying alive after consumption, but rather just getting a hold of this beer in the U.S. in the first place.
Few things evoke childlike joy from fully-grown adults like old video games and rare beer. Recently I got to combine the two when I played Super Smash Bros with my friend while sipping on the 2017 version of Founders Brewing’s famed Canadian Breakfast Stout. As I sat there with my N64 controller in hand, taking in the maple syrup-laced decadence that has garnered this imperial stout high praise and a fervent following over the years, I fully understood why CBS had gained its “whale” status.
If you have yet to try a craft beer from Boise, you may be in good company. However, Boise, population 205,000, is a small city only 5.5 hours from the lush hop fields of Yakima Valley and less than an hour from the Oregon border. Also, let’s not forget that Idaho is also officially part of what we consider the “Pacific Northwest” region of the United States. Hence, when you’re a brewery that’s in direct competition with the tasty beers of Washington and Oregon, you have no choice but to bring your A-game and that’s what Woodland Empire Ale Craft does with its “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheeple?”
I’m that guy. I’ve been him for a long time now. I’ve known it for a long time, but didn’t care. I went with it. I’m the guy who no matter what always just wants to try the NEW beer. It’ll be sitting right next to a beer that I know I love and have even ranted and raved about to my friends. And yet, I can’t help myself; I grab the shiny new beer next to it on the shelf. I’ve never really had a go-to beer.
That has finally changed.