PD’s own dissect beer. Leave the pretentiousness on the curb.
One of the greatest things about craft beer is the actuality that people are being introduced to it every day. Whether by sheer curiosity or encouragement, craft beer finds it way to someone’s palate for the very first time. Although many will argue that the craft beer scene is becoming over saturated, there are still markets that have tons of potential. If you reside outside of the Southeast you may consider Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida as big brewery states for beer chasers and beercations. Emerging as a front runner for brewery hot beds, Charleston, South Carolina is adding on to it’s already impeccable list of reasons to visit and helping put South Carolina on that very radar.
Though the calendar reads that it’s only mid-July, much of the country has steadily reached temperatures of 90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit for the past few weeks. When it’s this hot outside, it’s natural to yearn for something cold, crisp and refreshing to quench your thirst. New Belgium’s Mural Agua Fresca, a collaboration with Mexico City’s Cervecería Primus, is not only a unique entry for summer beer seasonals, but it also checks all the boxes for the perfect beer to beat the heat.
Good old Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love. Home to the Philly cheese steak, the current Super Bowl champions, the Liberty Bell, soft pretzels and a heaping selection of fantastic beers. One could spend a full day traveling to all the breweries in the Philadelphia area and not even come close to trying them all. Trust me, I’ve tried and failed.
In the Cleveland, OH area, there are breweries that most of the locals and others who are not so local mention right away as must-visits. The Bottlehouse Brewery and Meadery has become a steady favorite for many craft beer fans. This taproom and brewery has been receiving a larger number of recommendations from those who have experienced the beer, the mead, the cider and the sours created over the past six years.
Today, the beer gracing the spotlight is a more exotic ale, one that has received a bit more press this past year. It also happens to be on tap and in bottles this month, so the time was ripe to share this beautiful beverage with a wider audience. Let me introduce you to The Bottlehouse Brewery and Meadery’s Spring Gruit.
I’ll admit that I didn’t start watching Anthony Bourdain’s show, Parts Unknown, until after he tragically took his own life on June 8th. I was late to jump on the bandwagon, but once I saw what the hype was about, I was hooked. I binged the entire series on Netflix in a few days. As someone who enjoys writing about beer, food and travel, it was only natural to admire someone who gets paid to eat and get drunk in some of the most beautiful and exotic places on earth.
Do You Even Juice, Bro?
To those who frequent the forums and social media of breweries across the U.S., June saw the re-release of one of the most anticipated beers of the year so far. The brewer? None other than Tree House Brewing in Charlton, Massachusetts. The beer? The legendary Juice Machine.
WestFax Brewing has never been afraid to push the envelope — right now they’ve got a cilantro lime ale on tap alongside a Belgian quad, for example — and the Lakewood brewery’s new “Brut IPA” is no exception.
Head brewer Alex Stansbury didn’t even make a pilot batch of Just Brut It, his initial take on the new style coming out of Northern California. He and owner Anthony Martuscello simply decided to go for it.
In the heart of the City of Brotherly Love lies Yards Brewing Company. A purveyor of fine ales since 1994, Yards as a knack for extraordinarily balanced beers ranging from a classic IPA, to an amber ale brewed with spruce tips. One example is Brawler, “the pugilist-style ale.” The 4.2% ABV English dark mild is brewed with roasted barley, Amber and Crystal Malts, a pesky English specialty yeast and rocks a smooth 12 IBUs.
Jones Dog Sundae from Chicago’s Pipeworks Brewing Company is a stout made for summer drinking. This sweet milk stout with natural flavors comprised of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry was brewed to be the boozy, liquid version of Neapolitan ice cream — the perfect warm weather treat!
If you sip around the craft beer world today, you’ll find many new unique and tasty beers, such as hazy beer, pastry stouts, milkshake IPAs, sours, brut IPAs, etc. With all the recent/rapid evolutions in the craft beer industry, this got me to thinking, “What was the beer that first opened my eyes to all the glory that is craft beer?” It was Odell Brewing’s 90 Shilling amber ale, and this, my friends, is an ode to that particular beer or as I call it, my “gateway to craft.”
This is my first official summer in California. Seattle gets warm, but with the level of sunburns I have gotten has skyrocketed! I mean, where are the clouds? Where is the rain break we get in the PNW?
How do we beat the heat? Beer! What else am I supposed to do? Beer is a whole lot cheaper than an AC unit… or at least that’s how I’m justifying it. Therefore, the only way to beat the heat is to drink some Hoof Hearted Brewing.
About 60 miles south of Downtown Chicago, in a town of roughly 18,500 people, one will find a superbly crafted American Pale Ale (APA). You remember APAs, right? Craft beer drinkers used to consume multitudes of them a few decades ago. Well, they still exist, and they are as good as ever, exemplified by Brickstone APA from Brickstone Brewery in Bourbonnais, IL.
Pappy Van Winkle commands an awe factor in American spirits like no other bourbon does. It’s produced in small batches and can be incredibly difficult — and expensive — to acquire, with special bottles carrying four to five figure price tags. When Fifth Street Brewpub in the historic St. Anne’s Hill neighborhood of Dayton, Ohio, announced in April that they would be releasing a single batch of their Schmidion Damme Belgian Dark Strong Ale that had been aged in Pappy Van Winkle barrels, it definitely caught my attention.
In case you missed it, glitter beer is a thing. Glitter beers are typically brewed with edible glitter dust – fine grains of glitter made from sugar-based compounds. Matchless Brewing in Tumwater, WA is the latest Washington brewery to venture into this trend. Their Built to Spelt with Glitter NEIPA is a delightfully flavorful interpretation that goes above and beyond the expectations of a simple trendy beer. It’s a juicy, fruity mouthful of liquid pizzazz.
It almost feels strange to discuss a beer that’s been around for more than a year, but who says beer writers must concentrate solely on new releases? So, as summertime reaches its apex, it seems fitting to discuss 21st Amendment Brewery (21A) Watermelon Funk.
There is a jubilant exuberance that takes over a Delco native when you ask where they hail from. They mention the nickname Delco, short for Delaware County, PA, a region adjacent to the city of Philadelphia, before referring to themselves as a Pennsylvania native. They will fill you in on Wawa, their beloved Iggles (known by most as the Eagles) and what to order at Pica’s. But they also are proud of their local breweries—rightfully so! 2SP Brewing Company, located in Aston, PA, has been brewing any and all styles that they please with consistent quality since opening their doors in 2015. 2SP’s newly released double dry-hopped DIPA, The End, exemplifies that quality.
In a culture that is often obsessed with the notion of “more”, craft beer has fallen victim to chasing high ABV and over-hopped beers. But the real truth is, that most beer drinkers prefer light and/or moderately hoppy beers. This …
Summertime in Sacramento is hot. This coming weekend, it’s going to be triple digits and everywhere from the industrial park of West Sacramento, through the highway 50 corridor, up into the foothills, beer lovers will be flocking to their favorite brewery to find some shade and enjoy a brew or two.
If you find yourself at Bike Dog, you may notice a new subset of the ever-loved IPA, their Nameless Brut. Compared to the loud, bold and anything but subtle juicy IPA’s that have been all the rage for the past couple of years, the Extra Brut IPA is a super dry, clean-cut IPA that is crisp, clear and offers the perfect blank canvas to feature the almighty hop.
Guy Fieri may be an unconventional catalyst toward opening a successful brewery, but when a video store manager and a truck stop bartender marry and open a restaurant in Washington’s capital, you may as well expect the unexpected. So when Nathan and Sara Reilly’s restaurant was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives in 2013, they decided to capitalize on their 15 minutes of fame — Three Magnets Brewing was born, and Big Juice Smoothie was not far behind.
If you were to ask someone in the Sacramento area if they’ve had a chance to visit a new brewery lately, you would most likely get the response, “Which one?” The rampant growth in U.S. breweries has not been lost on Sacramento. At last count, there are more than 70 breweries, tasting rooms and/or brewpubs open or in planning in the greater Sacramento area. You’ll get thirsty just trying to keep track.