PD’s own dissect beer. Leave the pretentiousness on the curb.
When you walk into a White Elm Brewing Company taproom in Lincoln, Nebraska and ask for the Fluffaluffagus, you’ll notice a few things about this beer. First, Fluffaluffagus is very fun to say. Second, this is a beautifully dark beer that pours with a tall, tan head. Third, as you lift the glass to your nose for a sniff, you’ll note that it smells familiar. Perhaps like a cereal you ate as a kid. No (you go in for another sniff) not the cereal. It smells like after you ate the cereal, and all you had left was the reward of the marshmallows floating around in the last of the milk.
Suarez Family Brewery focuses on three broad styles including, per their website, “ales of mixed fermentation, unfiltered lagers and other crispy little beers.” The brewery specializes in making refined, humble beer, a unifying theme connecting these styles. Crescent, their “Belgian inspired refresher” is no exception. Though just a few years old, Suarez Family Brewery has demonstrated mastery that often takes decades to acquire.
Idaho Springs may not be the central hub of craft beer in Colorado, but Westbound & Down Brewing Company is doing its best to change that. At 2019’s Great American Beer Festival, they took home three awards: silver medals in the Double India Pale Ale and Wood/Barrel-Aged Strong Beer categories, as well as Mid-size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year. Their Double India Pale Ale win was for their aptly named Westbound Double IPA, which was just recently added to their canning lineup. We tried this award-winning beer to see what exactly Westbound & Down Brewing did so well.
Every year that a brewery makes a thriving success of brewing more amazing beers, it is an accomplishment not only for themselves, but also for the industry and their patrons. Karl Strauss Brewing Co in San Diego, California, celebrated its 31st anniversary with their Changing of the Barrels event. This anniversary party not only features their flagship lineup but of course also highlights some superb beers that have been sleeping in barrels, awakened specifically for this moment
Copper Kettle suggests pairing their Milk Stout with snow-shoveling, snowboarding and bull-riding. At a reasonable 5.6% ABV, it’s probably a safe bet with the first two activities, but maybe not a good idea with the third—at least, if you’re the rider. On the other hand, I’d thoroughly enjoy knocking back a few while watching somebody else ride the bull.
I realize I always go on about how hard it is for breweries to stand out in Michigan because there are so many of them. But Michigan is fifth in the nation with more than 300 breweries, so it’s not hard to imagine how easy it is for a brewery to fall through the cracks. In 2015, this was likely on the minds of Travis Fritts and Nate Rykse when they founded Old Nation Brewing Company in Williamston, Michigan. As it turns out, they had absolutely nothing to worry about, even after a bit of a slow start.
A beer is only as good as its water: It is the starting point and foundation from which all else grows and changes. Libertine Brewing Company wanted one of their staple beers to evoke the essence of the place they call home—the central coast of California—so they decided to use local, Pacific Coast salty sea waters to add the traditional brininess in a Gose.
When it comes to beer collaborations, Karl Strauss Brewing has been killing it in the past year. With collaborations like Russian River and Alesmith, not to mention the many others, Pure Project was a welcome addition to their Collaboration Line up with Murky Poetry, a Hazy IPA.
Move over Cupid. Oswego Brewing, Riverlands Brewing, Skeleton Key Brewing and Wolfden Brewing have concocted the perfect method for which to achieve romantic bliss: the Box of Chocolates Beer Collaboration. The multi-brewery Valentine’s Day beer package is more than just a treat, though, because the beers also serve as beautiful demonstrations of the versatility of stouts (or stout-like ales), which is fitting for February (a.k.a. Stout Month).
It’s a chilly Friday afternoon in Denver, in the Bluebird District 2.5 miles directly east of the State Capitol, and the Cerebral Brewing taproom is buzzing. Not that this is unusual, of course. The four-year-old brewery frequently draws a big crowd to its bright taproom, one side of which uses academic papers as wallpaper. After all, the brewery’s motto is “An Academic Pursuit,” an honorable principle that guides these innovative brewers to offer beers that run the gamut. One of those is Character Reference, a foeder Vienna Lager.
“Brewing is really in our blood,” says Ron Abbott, founder and brewer at Denver’s Seedstock Brewery. His brewery offers classic Czech-style lagers and periodically revives obscure historical styles rarely brewed on these shores, keeping his familial traditions alive.
What does adventure mean to you? Is it the adrenaline rush of accomplishing something huge? Is it physically exploring a new region? Is it the urge to leave your comfort zone? To Joe Connolly, director of Springdale Beer Co., it’s that last one. He also believes in the same notion for IPAs. “We believe that real activity deserves real beer,” Connolly notes. “To us, this is what IPA signifies: an urge to push the envelope, leave our comfort zone and simply put, get out there.”
And that’s what Springdale is all about. As the experimental offshoot of Jack’s Abby, Springdale has been in pursuit of adventure since its inception. By delving into sours, wild ales, barrel-aged beers and more, they have numerous successful experiments under their belt. They released their flagship IPA, Springdale IPA, in January 2020.
Beer hunting is most fun when digging up long-forgotten, buried treasure. Recently, I had the pleasure of discovering Olde Hickory’s Flanders Red Ale. This beauty was aged for 30 months—a full two-and-a-half years!—in bourbon barrels before bottling on Halloween 2016. I found it in late 2019, hiding in plain sight on the shelf at Carrboro Beverage Company. That means this Bad Larry was aging for more than five years before I picked it up. Today, I have the pleasure of sharing it with you, our lovely PorchDrinking readers.
Land-Grant Brewing Company in Columbus, Ohio, has launched a new beer celebrating the career of astronaut and Columbus resident Dr. Katharine D. Sullivan.
While Dr. Sullivan had been to the Land-Grant taproom before this partnership, she’s not normally a big beer drinker, says Land-Grant co-founder and Creative Director Walt Keys. He points out though that the accomplished astronaut is “always up for trying new things.”
I tend to be the type of beer drinker who plays favorites. For several years, I fell into a rut of good-beer-drinking. I knew what I liked and that’s mostly what I drank. But my eyes have been opened to the massive range of variety in today’s craft beer scene. In my home state of Kentucky, craft brewing was a little slow to take off but has really hit its stride over the past few years. Lately, I’ve been on a mission to seek out new Kentucky-brewed beers. On a recent visit to Liquor Barn in Lexington, I was perusing the aisles, trying not to get taken in by the label gimmickry that has become prevalent in craft brewing.
I failed. My eyes were immediately drawn to one particular beer, mostly because the label was, well…rather disgusting. I’m all for humor in beer labeling, but, really? Then I noticed the brewery: Louisville-based Against the Grain.
One of the Twin Cities’ best-kept craft beer secrets sits in the middle of a South Minneapolis industrial district. Where I-35 meets Highway 62, amid concrete contractors and industrial steel fabricators, you’ll come across Wild Mind Artisan Ales.
Around this time every year, as the temperature starts to dip and the days shorten, it’s all too common to hear people complaining about the winter. Alas, these poor misguided souls must not be craft beer fans. You won’t hear any grumblings about it being winter around my house. When winter hits that means it’s Hardywood Gingerbread Stout (aka GBS) season! It’ll make you reminiscent of the holiday season.