PD’s own dissect beer. Leave the pretentiousness on the curb.
Sir-Veza, a Mexican-style light Lager brewed by Utah’s preeminent Lager brewery, is a beer for all seasons. The crisp Lager is the perfect refresher—or so I’ve heard—after a day spent carving turns on the ski slopes. For Utahns like me who don’t ski or snowboard, this is the time of year we’re dreaming of soft sandy beaches and warm summer breezes. And a sip of Sir-Veza, coupled with an active imagination, transports us to a sun-soaked oasis.
When you bookend your day with drinks, it’s important to have quality ones. Coffee in the morning? Grind up something fresh to kick-start a productive day. Beer at night? That first crack open that has your taste buds thanking you after that productive day. Rinse and repeat.
Barrel & Bean from Allagash Brewing Company combines the best of both of the coffee and beer worlds. And when one thinks of a coffee beer, it’s common to think of a stout. That’s my first thought. But Barrel & Bean takes a different approach to a coffee-blended beer: the result is a combination of a Belgian-style golden ale aged in bourbon barrels with cold-brewed coffee from a local coffee roaster, Speckled Ax.
Resident Culture is arguably Charlotte’s best brewery. They were just ranked in the Top 10 North Carolina Breweries on Untappd for 2019 and they were named the 2018 10th Best New Brewery in the World from RateBeer, just to name a few of their many accolades.
Located in the Plaza Midwood neighborhood, Resident Culture opened their doors two years ago. Their motto, “Stay Funky,” is encapsulated in their beers, can artwork, swag and in the taproom itself.
Ferus Artisan Ales is the newest brewery to open up in the ever-changing landscape of craft breweries in Alabama. Ferus is Latin for feral, with the name chosen to represent their passion for brewing sour beers and its connection to wild yeast that is used during fermentation. Down the line, they hope to increase production at their Trussville, Ala., location. Specifically, they want to focus on a variety of crisp Pilsners, hop-forward IPAs, flavored Stouts and barrel-aged beers. As a matter of fact, you may have already seen their names associated with collaboration brews like the beer they did with Edmund’s Oast, Order of Magnitude.
One sniff and sip of New Image Brewing Refuse to Shine, an Imperial Breakfast Vienna Lager with maple syrup and coffee, and you’re immediately transported to a flannel-clad Vermont vacation in the winter—while never leaving your chair in the Olde Town Arvada taproom.
From what I can gather, HOMES doesn’t give a rat’s ass about pleasing the masses. Visit their ultra-mod taproom in Ann Arbor—golden-age hip-hop bumping, precious little bao for the eating—and you’ll notice a distinct lack of styles to try. No ambers, no browns, no stouts, no wheats. Their draft list features almost exclusively fruited sours, such as their Sherbet Series, hazy IPAs and maybe a stray sour IPA for good measure.
In the midst of the busyness and stress that comes with being an adult, the moments when you can let loose and feel like a kid again are truly precious. I enjoyed one of those experiences with my husband a few years ago when we made the spontaneous decision to participate in the “Sleepwalker Run” in Grand Haven, MI at the end of January. The Sleepwalker Run, which takes place this year on Friday, January 24, consists of either a .62 mile sprint or a 2.62 mile run in your pajamas through downtown Grand Haven. It’s a part of the town’s annual Winterfest, which occurs Jan. 23-26, 2020.
A few years ago, my husband and I decided to check out the Winterfest events on a whim. We felt like little kids as we ran through downtown in our long john underwear and roasted s’mores on a giant parking lot bonfire. Afterward, we went to Grand Armory Brewing Company to indulge in some of our favorite food and beer.
Recreational marijuana became legal in Illinois on Jan. 1, 2020 and it was a big deal. People lined up early in the morning, waiting for hours in order to be one of the first to legally purchase weed in the state, not unlike a beer release. Several breweries were preparing to release a special beer to mark the landmark occasion; the first one released was Revolution’s Legal Hero.
When was the last time you drank something completely new? Was it the first time you braved a beer with “milkshake” on the can? The first time you confused an IPA for a glass of juice? A beer-infused with CBD and smelling like a college dorm room? Vista Brewing in Driftwood, Texas, has achieved the rare privilege of making a beer that has a unique spin on an established method. The first-ever beer aged in sotol barrels.
If you’re craving a crisp, refreshing beer that keeps up with your lifestyle, or if you’re just in the mood to try something distinct and new, then reach for a Hook Point Brewing’s flagship beer, Flat Hat American Ale.
Coffee is a vitally important part of my life. Those long cold Chicago nights staying up late with an infant calls for coffee by the pot full, and if my body wasn’t dependent on caffeine before, it sure is now. I’ve always been a big fan of coffee stouts, and Uppers and Downers is one of my favorite Chicago beer festivals during the winter months. As breweries are experimenting more with how coffee and different beer styles and mesh, quite a few different and unique offerings are becoming more readily available, such as Kentucky Coffee Barrel Cream Ale, and it’s a goldmine for both coffee and beer lovers.
Christmas as a kid is a wonderland of gifts and anticipation for gifts; Christmas as an adult is travel and worrying about travel. The gift we receive is—once we’ve finally reached our destination—a whole new world of local beers at our fingertips. I went to the beautiful shores of Sarasota, FL where I spent most of my time in the pool sipping JDub’s Brewing Company’s Passion Wheat, pretending it wasn’t winter. The Passion Wheat definitely helped maintain my self-delusion.
Lil Beaver Brewery comes from Bloomington, Illinois—a town nearly smack dab in the middle of the state—and has been brewing up tasty treats since 2017.
They are fresh off their great performance at FoBAB, when we listed them as one of the best newcomers, and are finally starting to expand more and more throughout Illinois. The vast majority of their brews are Stouts but they have also made a name for themselves producing some tasty hazy Pale Ales and IPAs.
Christmas came early for Midwest craft beer enthusiasts this year as Minneapolis’ Fair State Brewing Cooperative and Munster, Indiana’s 3 Floyds Brewing gave us Partying Past Burning Bridges, a collaborative dip-hopped IPA.
Happy holidays from our home to yours. We are hoping everyone’s had a memorable 2019 like we have. Furthermore, it’s been a fun year for craft beer in our good old home state of Utah. For example, five new breweries opened their doors to the public, including Level Crossing Brewing Company. Although it may not seem like much compared to other areas, multiple brand-new options in just one year pumped us up. So essentially that means over 10% of the Beehive state’s total breweries started in 2019. And not only have breweries popped up with increased frequency, but the quality being offered is world class.
It’s a well regarded fact that the best beer to make you recall fond memories of Christmases of yore is a terrifically dark, malty ale. Perhaps it’s spiced, like Great Lake Christmas Ale. Maybe it’s minty with deep chocolate notes. Or it could be barrel-aged, resulting in a boozy, syrupy confection that’s meant to inoculate you from the inevitable holiday hangover. But what if, just this one time, you wanted to enjoy a Christmas beer that embodies the current haze craze? Well, we’ve found the beer for you.
I’ve done my best this year. Sure, I may have had a few bumps in the road on my way to the Nice List, but what can I say? I’m only human. Besides, a few parking tickets never hurt anyone! Look Santa, I want to reason with you. I don’t need anything too fancy, so you can save the diamond earrings and shiny new cars for the real heroes out there. There is really only one thing I want to find in my stocking this year, and it’s a shiny new bottle of Shiner Holiday Cheer from Spoetzl Brewery. Now, they probably don’t sell this one where you’re from up North, so I’ll give you a few pointers to make sure you know what you’re looking for.
Every two years, Samuel Adams releases a beer, in an uniquely-shaped and expensive bottle, that tastes like nothing you’ve ever had before. Utopias has the highest naturally fermenting ABV at 28% and while it can best be described as a port or cognac, it is indeed a beer.
When it comes to holiday beers, New Belgium Brewing had the market cornered for years with Frambozen: a medium-bodied brown ale awash with fresh raspberries and a delightfully festive pinkish head. The seasonal release was eagerly anticipated every year, and when they discontinued this brew back in 2015, I mourned the loss deeply.
Luckily, though, fans of the tartly fruited brown ale have been treated to new iterations of the classic over the past few years. An imperial version with cocoa was delightfully similar to the original, with subtle hints of chocolate that deepened the overall flavor without adding too much sweetness. I suspect it was the success of that iteration that brings us to the current limited release: New Belgium Brewing Foeder Frambozen.