PD’s own dissect beer. Leave the pretentiousness on the curb.
Spring came very late this year, which delayed my normal drinking schedule a bit. By Easter, I’ve typically transitioned to pilsners, session IPAs and goses, but this year’s cooler temperatures had me settling back into my winter routine. It may have been fate when Sixpoint Brewery‘s Righteous Barrel-Aged Rye found its way into my fridge, and it was a welcome sight during this unseasonably cool, rainy spring.
Coffee and beer is hardly a revolutionary coupling. As is the case with most hackneyed combinations, however, there’s a reason these two are so often paired together — albeit usually in the context of a stout or porter, whose malty flavors and thick, creamy mouthfeel play well with the roasted bitterness of coffee beans.
Rogue Ales’ Cold Brew IPA aims to do something different, even in the less-common realm of coffee-infused IPAs and pale ales. The can boasts of a “hop punch,” an intriguing claim given the array of coffee beers I’ve had over the years, most of which treat hoppiness as an afterthought. Thanks to a generous hop mix that includes Liberty, Rebel, Freedom and Simcoe, the Newport, Oregon-based brewery manages to deliver.
With my wife being from Indianapolis, I know that when the calendar turns to May; it’s Indianapolis 500 month. To celebrate the event, Bear Republic Brewing Co., known for its Racer 5 IPA and other racing-inspired beers, has released Racer 500 Indy Pale Ale. The beer is only be available at the brewpub and the state of Indiana.
Somehow I’ve managed to go years without reviewing a single thing from Burial Beer Company, one of the better-known, Asheville-based brewers in North Carolina. Today we make an end to that with One For Me, Burial’s collaboration Helles Lager brewed with Other Half Brewing out of New York.
Last January, I waxed nostalgic a bit. Great Lakes Brewing Company decided to re-introduce Holy Moses White Ale as a constant, everyday staple in the beer fridge at the local, and not-so-local, supermarket. I quivered with anticipation when I heard the news, and then I balked at their seasonal May release. It was a beer that would add raspberries to its refreshing citrus undertones, and at the time I did not think I would be ready for that transition. After GLBC’s foray into Holy Mimosas after the Holy Moses release earlier this year and after trying to make them myself—I used mango juice—the idea that there would be another form of Holy Moses to grace our shelves and our bellies was more exciting than the initial reveal. Now, Great Lakes Brewing Company and Holy Moses Raspberry White Ale has arrived, just in time for the warmer weather—FINALLY.
Springtime is here and, for me, that can only mean one thing: sitting on my sunporch and drinking some fantastic IPAs. Thankfully, I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan (AKA Beer City, USA), which means I’m generally near the birthplace of some of the best made IPAs in the world. Michigan breweries know their IPAs, and Bell’s Brewery has blessed us with one helluva new brew in their recently released double IPA, Hopsoulution Ale.
Banded Oak Brewing Barrel-Aged Atomga comes with an intriguing backstory: it was brewed to celebrate the release of the band Atomga’s album, “AGA” and the recipe resulted from a collaboration with Bodebrown, a Brazilian brewery.
But, a great story means nothing if the beer is subpar. So, rather than provide an article filled with interviews and storytelling, I decided as a writer to concentrate solely on the beer.
Firestone Walker Brewing Company, California’s Central Coast brewing behemoth, has become a frequent visitor to the Colorado craft beer scene. With hazy memories of tasters at past beer festivals, I eyed a can of Mocha Merlin with hesitant hope.
Sure, the hearty coffee-infused stout is a beer intended for the cold season — a great beer to warm you up as you sip from your chalice in the (Game of Thrones’) Winterfell Great Hall — but why must winter ever end? Recent posts on various “beer check-in” websites show that the beer continues to be enjoyed, even as the weather turns more summer-like each day.
When traveling, it has become commonplace in our society for people to bring back souvenirs for friends and loved ones. It could be a shirt from a local professional team or a keychain with their name etched on it (which is a sore subject for someone who seemingly always struck out as a young kid when trying to find the one with my name on it). But for those closest to me, they know to expect some samples of local beer brewed in the town or city I was visiting.
It’s hard to overstate the natural beauty of Washington state. The state is home to mountain ranges, temperate rain forests, desert plains, active volcanoes and other natural wonders that are so varied and abundant, you could easily spend every weekend of the year in a new terrain. Even from my home base of metropolitan Seattle, the closest mountains are less than 30 minutes outside the city and you can book a whale watching tour that leaves from downtown.
Peanut butter and pretzels. French fries and ice cream. Gose and fruit. These are just some perfect sweet and salty pairings; and if you have never tried fries with ice cream go to the store now!! It’s just one of nature’s torrid love affairs that stands the test of time. Modern Times Beer Fruitlands marries this divine pairing in a delightful way.
4th Tap Brewing Co-operative is one of the most interesting breweries in Texas because they are the only worker-owned cooperative brewery in the state. Founded in 2015, the brewery has taken an inspired, unique approach to their beers and just released their personal take on a new IPA, a Citra and Mosaic hop blend with a touch of flaked oats for a smooth mouthfeel. I caught up with co-founders Erin and John Stecker to find out more about Kung Fu Robot IPA.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the breweries in western Pennsylvania — Dancing Gnome, Grist House, Voodoo Brewery and Brew Gentlemen, to name a few of my favorites. The craft beer served at those places, as is the rest of the craft beer served in the region, is absolutely delicious. However, every once in awhile you want to branch out and explore other breweries. That is where Narrow Gauge Brewing Company (St. Louis) comes into play, including its King Fallen Flag.
Some of the best outdoor memories I have are around the twilight hour. You’re settling in for the evening – dinner is already done, fire stoked and watching the stars peek out as the sun sets. There is something about the feeling of moving with the sun, I am usually up when the sun wakes up and winding down after it sets, you just feel one with the universe.
Deschutes Brewery‘s seasonal offering of Twilight Summer Ale seems to capture these feelings beautifully.
It was the best of sours, it was the best of sours. My apologies to Mr. Dickens, but the tale of these two sours from two different breweries located in two different regions, and enjoying two different histories, is a joyful one. So, do you prefer California or Colorado? Kettle or Barrel? Belgium or Germany? It doesn’t matter. You can have whatever you want because beers like these exemplify how we as craft beer fans are indeed living in the best of times.
There was one week in Denver where I saw the weather go from 75 degrees and almost too sunny to 35 degrees and white-out snowing the following day. So, when I finally arrived home after a day of being surrounded by drivers without their headlights on, I needed a beer. I am very much a seasonal drinker. Nothing sounds worse to me than a light beer during the colder months or a thick, dark beer during the hotter months. Therefore, I was extremely thankful that I had a Firestone Walker Nitro Merlin Milk Stout in my fridge.
Love. We all need love, right? I love a few things in life. Aside from my beautiful wife and the kids she claims are mine, my other great loves are biking and beer, or beer and biking. Now, in St. Louis it’s impossible to have one ‘favorite’ brewery, but I do have one favorite bike shop. I’ve been buying bikes from Mike Weiss and Big Shark for 20 years. They are MY bike shop. So, when I learned that my favorite bike shop was teaming up with one of my favorite breweries — Urban Chestnut, I may have teared up a bit. Really. A tear was shed.
The first time I tasted Rivertown Brewing’s Raspberry Flicker in their airy Monroe, Ohio, taproom on a sunny day in late January, it reminded me of childhood. I realize that’s an odd thing to say about an alcoholic beverage, but stay with me. No, my childhood did not involve me throwing back refreshing lagers. But it did involve raspberries.
How do you define style these days? When we think of a head brewer with style, we think of Kevin Templin. He has been crafting some of our state’s most iconic brews before we even knew what good beer really was. You see, Templin led Salt Lake City’s Red Rock Brewing team as Head Brew Master for just about the past two decades. When we finally woke up and peered into the world of craft beer, Templin was one of the first professional brewers we met. We once wandered a beer fest with this guy and people simply gravitated to him. Silly enough, it was an honor to see him work the room (or should we say “tents”). He didn’t think of himself as a celebrity, but we were certainly in a bit of awe hanging out with him. Admittedly, the intimidation of his beer knowledge captivated us. Yet it turns out; this suds veteran effortlessly balances connections within all levels of experience in the trade.
As I write this, the Oakland Athletics are celebrating their 50th year in Oakland. Sadly I wasn’t able to make it to the game, but luckily I snagged a few cans of Green Collar. While the players were at Spring Training, an all-star team was brewing. Serious A’s fans, Altamont Beer Works and Mraz Brewing teamed up to create this home run of a pale ale.