PD’s own dissect beer. Leave the pretentiousness on the curb.
As Halloween approaches, treat yourself to Pelican Brewing Company’s newest release, Midnight Malt Cocoa Porter. As the late Michael Jackson sang, “Darkness falls across the land, the midnight hour is close at hand.” In this case, the Midnight Malt Cocoa Porter should certainly be in your hand. Brewed with Meridian Cacao Company nibs, which are sourced from farmers in Tanzania, this Porter boasts a rich, dark chocolate flavor with subtle caramel undertones, coupled with light roasted coffee notes and a classic malt finish. Whatever your Halloween plans might be this year, crack open a can of Midnight Malt Cocoa Porter under the full moon and let it thrill you.
Halloween highlights the calendar for now, and with that in focus we at PorchDrinking want to highlight some of the candy-sweet Sour Ales and adjunct-loaded Stouts that will be the perfect treat for parents during spooky season.
Georgia and Virginia-based New Realm Brewing Company brewed the perfect beer for the season in their cauldrons with Imperial Oaxaca Choca Mexican Chocolate Stout.
Cotton candy is one of those sweet treats that’s fitting for so many occasions: carnivals, backyard BBQs, birthday parties and, of course, the packaged version of this treat that you receive while trick-or-treating. 450 North Brewing Co. in Columbus, IN created this “adult” version of a favorite treat with an extra fruity profile of watermelon piña colada. It’s certainly a Halloween beer treat that is fun, light and refreshing to enjoy.
During a drastic weather change like the ones we experience in Colorado from time to time, it’s easy to go right from crispy summer brews to heavy winter Stouts without the intermediary Oktoberfests and pumpkin beers. But LUKI Brewery in Arvada, Colorado, is giving its fairly new fan base reason to seek out squash and gourd-centric beers this fall: Grammy’s Pumpkin Pie.
Instead of being labeled a “pumpkin Ale” or an Imperial Stout with pumpkin like so many others, Grammy’s Pumpkin Pie is a spiced Brown Ale. LUKI’s current craft lineup contains no sub-5% ABV beers nor any 10%+ ABV booze bombs; the beers are born from owner and brewer Jeff Smith’s love of old-school styles and desire to create well-balanced, accessible (and still entertaining) brews.
Who gets overly excited when the bulk candy starts showing up in stores pre-Halloween? Having a Scrooge McDuck-sized supply of two-piece Starburst snack packs to brighten up your day every 10 minutes for a few months is just swell. It seems these days that the number of trick-or-treat candy options at your supermarket mirrors the plentiful supply of candy-inspired sours at your local bottle shop. There’s been a rise in kettle Sours, fruited Pilsner malts, and juice box beers that would make Ecto Cooler’s Slimer aghast with their color and ingredient list. One recent entry into the fruity fray is Interboro Spirits and Ales Parks and Wreck.
Resident Culture Brewing Company and The Eighth State Brewing Company teamed up to create Instant Destiny. This Imperial Stout is packed with roasted peanuts, toasted cocoa nibs, vanilla, cassia bark, toasted coconut, and jaggery (a cane sugar traditionally consumed in Asia).
A chill flows through the air as crisp autumn season approaches. With that chill comes the desire for warm flannels, fire pits, and dark beers. Allagash Brewing Company’s newest addition to their year-round lineup, North Sky stout, is precisely the beer for your stargazing, s’ more making fall night.
Sometimes you see a beer; read the description and have no idea what to expect but you know you want to try that beer. That was the case with Hopewell Brewing Company’s Cold Brew Lemonade beer that recently hit the market.
Kentucky’s Goodwood Brewing has a habit of brewing beers that are touched with wood at some point during the process. Sting Like a Beer spends quite a bit of time lingering in a brandy barrel before we get a chance to taste it. And boy is it worth the wait.
First Street Brewing Company of Hastings, Nebraska opened its doors in 2016. One of their most popular beers is named, rightfully so, “Popular Blonde.” Brewer and Owner Nathan wanted to make a beer to be served at his friend’s coffee shop. The Art Bar is located a couple blocks from the First Street taproom.
Maplewood Brewing & Distilling in Chicago, IL offered a dual homage to Bavaria this year with Festbier and Fest Whiskey, demonstrating its prowess in both realms of the imbibe world. Though Maplewood may have added distilling to its repertoire after opening its lauded brewery, creating spirits has always been part of the plan. Indeed, in 2016, Ari Megalis, co-founder and distiller, commented to PorchDrinking.com: “When we started, we almost considered only distilling, but it obviously takes some time before you can get your product on the market. But we love beer, and we ended up doing that, too. It worked out great because now we can do a lot of things with it.”
In the madness of 2020, you’d be forgiven for forgetting the Category 4 Hurricane Laura that decimated the Gulf Coast on August 27. The town of Lake Charles, LA was especially hard-hit, with at least 28 fatalities in the small city. The hurricane hit Lake Charles at a greater strength than Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. (And as of this writing, Hurricane Delta is making a bee-line for Lake Charles.) Almost a month has passed since Laura’s 150 miles-per-hour winds and 15-foot storm surge; yet, nearly 45,000 residents still do not have power. Between huge storms, historic wildfires, and the pandemic, many residents are worried that the world has forgotten about them.
San Diego, CA, aka “The Finest City,” “Silicon Beach” and “A whale’s…” (at least, according to Ron Burgundy) is also known for an amazing beer scene, beautiful beaches, not having a professional football team and as the former home of Colorado-based Resolute Brewing Company‘s head brewer, Justin Burnsed. Burnsed spent more than eight years here while pursuing his interest in brewing (i.e. taking brewing classes, interning at local breweries and writing for Brew Your Own Magazine), forging his own path in the then-emerging beer scene of this laid-back beach city. As Slightly Stoopid, a native San Diego band and one of Burnsed’s favorites at the time, sang, “But he’s that one, He’s just a manly ese loco, With a plan.”
Sometimes a beer can be so memorable, so unique and so remarkable that even after being discontinued, it continues to reverberate in the memories of its fans for years on end. New Belgium Brewing’s Tart Lychee first appeared as a taproom-only release as far back as 2009, was more widely released in 2011 as part of the brewery’s Lips of Faith series and was revived in 2016. Now, the popular wood-aged Golden Sour with pureed lychee fruit and cinnamon is finally back once again.
Flying Dog Brewery is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a new Double IPA called Great Job!, tongue-in-cheek self-congratulation for 30 years of, as its own press release puts it, “Good Beer, No Shit.”
The Maryland brewery is the 35th largest in the country by volume and continues to be the biggest player in the state. Flying Dog’s 20th-anniversary beer, Raging Bitch, quickly became the best-selling beer for the brewery where it remained for nearly a decade.
Cascade Brewing’s latest Sour release — Framboise Northwest — is an ode to raspberries, incorporating 3000 pounds of red raspberries grown locally in the Northwest into their base Blonde Ale. “In this beer, just the flavor of the raspberries is so true to the fruit, it really captured the super-fresh raspberry flavor and we didn’t want to manipulate it in anyway,” shared Kevin Martin, Director of Brewery Operations at Cascade Brewing in Portland, Oregon.
Sycamore Brewing out of Charlotte, North Carolina, is partnering with Brewing Funds the Cure to release Rising Hope IPA on Friday, October 2. One hundred percent of proceeds from the sale of this beer will be donated to the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation.
In modern-day American craft beer terms, a brewery founded in the mid-1980s is an industry pioneer. For Nils Imboden, head brewer at Wasatch Brewery, a trip to Europe puts that in perspective.
“The last time I was back there, ‘Oh, you work at a brewery?‘ he said. “Yeah. ‘How long you been around? 1986. ‘That’s cute, kid.“
A quick calendar check might suggest that now isn’t the ideal time to sip a Señor Pepino Cucumber Lime Lager from Epic Brewing. As days get gobbled up by night and swimsuits give way to sweatshirts, craft beer drinkers tend to move away from beachy summer refreshers.
Of course, another look at the calendar provides proof that this is still 2020. And if there’s one thing the year’s made clear, it’s to expect the unexpected.
There is no mistaking the connection many of us feel with beer. You can likely recall memories of can art or flavor notes of memorable beers you’ve enjoyed. Sometimes this is due to rarity or place and company of consumption. Sometimes it’s just for the experience. Good People Brewing Company Snake Handler Double IPA will create those feelings and more as the memory of this beer will surely stay with you.