PD’s own dissect beer. Leave the pretentiousness on the curb.
There’s a lot to love about Northbound Smokehouse and Brewpub. Their wings are voted one of the best in the Twin Cities, their fried chicken sandwich is Food Network famous and their patio is one of the best places to bring your four-legged friend in Minnesota’s treasured patio months.
Belton, TX is a small, quiet town about an hour north of Austin with some excellent food and beer offerings for visitors and residents. Until recently, though, it had no breweries. In 2018, that all changed. Bold Republic Brewing Company has been running strong and offering tasty craft beer ever since, even during these times of quarantines, lockdowns and social distancing.
Odell Brewing Co. has been a leader in the craft beer industry for many years, and about a year ago they came out with a new version of a beer they had brewed before: Mountain Standard. In its former recipes, it was both a black and double black IPA, but this time around there was a choice to change direction. By setting sights on marrying both west and east coast style IPAs, Odell has put out a delicious, light-bodied and aromatic IPA that they are calling a “Mountain Style IPA.” (See this awesome article for more information on this trend.)
With the obscene number of Hazy IPAs being released each month, often by lesser-known producers, it can be tricky trying to figure out which beers to buy and which ones to avoid. Unless you like selecting your IPAs based solely on the quality of the artwork on the can, or the cleverness of the pun in the beer name, it’s critical to have go to brewers who’s product you know you can trust. Brewers whose beer you know to buy up every time, sight unseen, because they’re certain to be delicious. Veil Brewing Co. in Richmond, Virginia, is that brewery for me.
So when I was out picking up supplies (read: stockpiling beer) for the mandatory COVID-19 hibernation period and came across Veil’s new Hazy IPA release, Broz Day Off3, I bought all the cans they’d sell me…and true to form, they did not disappoint.
It’s always impressive when a brewery breaks away from their most popular beer. For years, O’Connor Brewing Co. was known for its El Guapo, an Agave IPA that you’d find at just about every supermarket and Mexican restaurant. The brewery had some nice beers here and there, but most got overshadowed by El Guapo. O’Connor finally broke through the mold last year when it released Proper Lager, a new flagship Helles-style lager that ranked #4 on Paste’s 102 of the Best Craft Lagers, Blind-Tasted and Ranked.
As Michiganders acclimate to sheltering in place, it’s important we find the right beer to hibernate with. Something dark, something sweet, something boozy. Something to lend a reprieve from the newsfeed. Lo and behold, City Built Brewing Company’s 5 Hour Stout, a pastry stout brewed with obscene amounts of coconut and vanilla. It’s thick enough to put a bear to sleep so it should do the trick for those intent on napping away the next few weeks.
Nestled about 50 miles north of Philadelphia in Emmaus, PA, Funk Brewing has been brewing unique and hop-forward brews in eastern PA since 2014. The vast majority of Funk’s portfolio consists of different varieties of IPAs from West Coast to hazy to Nordic; it’s a true hop-head’s brewery.
A while back we featured their Citrus IPA but once a year they up the ante and brew Double Citrus: a bigger, stronger version of their year-round IPA.
Amid the familiar IPAs, stouts, and lagers on the tap list at Eudora Brewing Company in Dayton, Ohio, sits an outlier, a Belgian charmer full of muscular grace. Le Cheval Magique is a Belgian Golden Strong Ale that balances expressive yeast character and formidable strength with deceptive drinkability. This “magic horse” is light on its hooves, but at 8.5% ABV, you’d best treat it with respect if you don’t want to get thrown from the saddle.
You enter the store and wait through the excruciating line, the fog of early morning clouding your eyes. You get to the counter and place your order, saying, “I’ll take a grande, nonfat, Porter with a side of vanilla.”
It may not be Starbucks, but Phase Three Brewing Company, in Lake Zurich, Illinois, is brewing a series of beers that blur the line between coffee shop and brewery. Maple. Vanilla. Chocolate. Hazelnut. Coffee. Each is incredible on its own, but when brewed into a beer, they can become amazing if approached correctly. Phase Three is remarkable, and is fighting its way into your glass.
Every once in a while, a truly insane beer comes around and delights the masses. Chicago Craft Gin Week Is A Real Thing (CCGWIART) from Off Color Brewing is one of these beers—if the masses love a sour, that is. Off Color brews up some of the best beers in the Windy City, from their experimental Miller High Life collaboration, Eek!, to the delicious dessert that is Dino S’mores Russian Imperial Stout. With CCGWIART, the brewery has yet another unconventional (yet delectable) feather in its cap.
This was supposed to be a post about how the perfect March Beer was found; A bright St. Patrick’s green colored can that would help the run MSU was sure to go on in the NCAA tourney. But then the world decided to melt down. While unfortunately you can’t obnoxiously scream “GO GREEN” “GO WHITE” with your friends, it’s still possible to enjoy Big Lake Brewing‘s Sparti Parti IPA while barricaded in your own home.
HeadFlyer Brewing holds a special place in my heart. When it opened in April 2017 in my then neighborhood of Northeast (Nordeast) Minneapolis, the brewery instantly became one of my go-to watering holes for happy hours, celebrations and just the everyday beer. It’s one of my happy places.
Things are a lot different now than they were in 2017 in a whole host of ways. However, as they approach their third anniversary, the high quality, thoughtful and flavorful craft brew coming out of HeadFlyer remains steadfast.
So, as we face uncertainty and discomfort, I used this opportunity to turn to a beer that provides me solace — HeadFlyer’s Vanilla Bean Porter.
Situated on a main highway leading into Athens, Georgia, Akademia Brewing Company has been the first stop for many visitors seeking the local beer since it opened in October 2017. Akademia is currently Athens’ only brewpub, with food complemented by a variety of beer styles, from a Helles Lager to an Imperial Stout. The tap list changes regularly, but they offer crowlers for anyone who wants to take beer to-go, as well as four-packs of their core IPAs, wheat Ales and new releases.
Dogfish Head Brewery continues to be one of my favorite breweries in the country due to their unrelenting pursuit of brewing daring beers that challenge and excite the average beer lover. Sometimes, these beers fall flat and the flavor notes don’t mesh like they should, but most times, they create something new and inventive that makes me take notice. Their newest offering, Vibrant P’Ocean, which was done in collaboration with the nearly two centuries old Brouwerij Rodenbach, falls into the latter category.
The new blended Sour Ale combines the mastery of both breweries in pursuit of a drinking experience that feels familiar and emblematic of two breweries separated by thousands of miles. Vibrant P’Ocean comes in at 4.7% ABV and is composed of a two-year, foeder-aged sour from Rodenbach mixed with a Dogfish Head kettle sour brewed with pilsner malt, malted wheat, elderberry, elderflower, sliced lemons and Belgian fleur-de-sel. I was lucky enough to get a few cans of this new beer from Dogfish Head recently – here are my thoughts.
What’s better on a Sunday afternoon than kicking back with a craft beer? This rye farmhouse ale by Birds Fly South will make you wish that every day was a “Rustic Sunday.” Read on to discover what makes this beer so approachable, crisp, and tart, and why it calls for soaking in every moment on laid back, lazy afternoons.
The year 1984 brought some of our favorite classics to the big screen. Ghostbusters, The Terminator, Footloose, Sixteen Candles, Gremlins, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Revenge of the Nerds, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom made their appearance, but none resonated with audiences quite as much as The Karate Kid. Featuring a story line of a teenager navigating adolescence and dealing with bullies, The Karate Kid became the fifth highest grossing film that year.
Lone Pine Brewing Company is a not-to-be-missed brewery that quickly grew from a small hole in the wall spot to a major player in the New England craft beer scene. Lone Pine opened in Portland, ME’s East Bayside neighborhood in 2016; by 2019, they grew enough to warrant a major expansion in Gorham, ME. Lone Pine is known for its vibrant hop-forward American ales and, over the course of two years, Lone Pine has worked to create what they call the “quintessential NEIPA with boutique hops.” The offspring of that labor of love is their award-winning Chaos Emeralds Double IPA featuring Galaxy and Mosaic hops.
Over the past three years, HOMES Brewery out of Ann Arbor, Michigan, has quickly become one of the most buzzed-about breweries in the country. Two shining examples of their proficiency with hoppy beers can be found in Cat Person and Peaked.
Located in Sacramento, California, Device Brewing has been a part of the craft beer scene for some time now (seven years to be exact). In that time, the brewery went from a single small production space and taproom to opening its third location in Sacramento. While not always considered the trendiest brewery in town, Device has always been known to produce high-quality beers. The brewery previously focused on consistent, year-round offerings, but has recently revamped their approach to include more one-offs.
On a recent trip to Austin, Texas, my wife Jenna and I paid a visit to Roughhouse Brewing in nearby San Marcos. Alex Pasternak, co-founder and creative lead, was gracious enough to show us around the brewery during off hours and let us sample some Roughhouse beers, including their Sordid Nature Dark Saison.