PD’s own dissect beer. Leave the pretentiousness on the curb.
Hutton & Smith, a brewery “fanatically dedicated” to the art of creating craft beer, shows their stuff with this hazy IPA, The Promenade. This beer is juicy, tropical and cloudy with a delicate balance of bitterness – a true hazy treat for any hop lover.
Without question, 2020 has been one of the wildest years in human memory. With world-shaping events happening (it seems) almost every day, and the constant, grating drip of catastrophe from the news, one is always on the lookout for reprieve, for some sort of grace.
Some people call this magical time of year the holiday season. People who read this website probably know it more as Stout Season. But at Epic Brewing, it’s Baptist Season. And this year, they went big.
Epic Brewing, originating in Utah, is famous for being the state’s first brewery since prohibition to solely brew beer with a “high” alcohol content. Now, in Utah, that means something different than you’re probably thinking: Back in 2009 when Epic was founded, the Beehive State considered any beer above 4.0% ABV to be a “strong brew” and restricted those sales to state-run liquor stores (they’ve now increased that maximum up to 5.0%, those daredevils). But Epic Brewing didn’t just make strong beer by Utah standards; like most kids with strict parents, they rebelled and started making strong beer. Thus, in 2011, their Big Bad Baptist series was born: A Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout with coffee that was such a hit, the brewery turned it into an annual tradition and introduces new variants each year during Baptist Season.
In an industry which has been largely built around the search for the new and exciting, it can be refreshing to revisit some of the beers and breweries which blazed the trails for the modern day. Foothills Brewing, based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is a perfect example not only of one of these foundational companies, but also of one which has done an amazing job of staying relevant and responsive to the modern craft beer drinker. Perhaps none of their brews illustrates this better than their Coffee Infused Bourbon Barrel-Aged Sexual Chocolate, one of the state’s most anticipated yearly releases.
We all remember the first time we waited in an exceptionally long line for an exceptionally small pour of a notable beer. On a sunny SoCal day in May 2015, at The Bruery’s 7th Anniversary party, a beer from local upstart Bottle Logic Brewing named Fundamental Observation showed up like Lindsay Lohan as the new queen bee of The Plastics. An explosion of vanilla followed by the soft cuddle of high-end bourbon barrels, this beer was a delicious needle in the four hours of unlimited tastings haystack. With the next public release of this beer came a block-spanning line, providing a delicious 8oz reward for an hour of your time, and the first memory of waiting in extended anticipation for a single draught of excellence.
The 2020 version of West Des Moines, IA-based Barn Town Brewing’s Yer Killin’ Me S’mores! offers a nostalgic and supportive approach to Stout Season.
This Milk Stout debuted last year as a nod to “The Sandlot.” Founder Pete Faber and his team knew they wanted to create a s’mores stout and they eventually decided to reference an iconic scene from their childhood. Like all beers at Barn Town, the concept, branding and execution balance eccentricity and thoughtfulness in a purposeful way.
Warped Wing Brewing Company’s taproom on an uneven brick side street in downtown Dayton, Ohio, is pretty quiet for early December. The hulking, 80-year-old concrete building that once housed the Buckeye Iron & Brassworks foundry is normally humming with beer drinkers, and on the early December Saturday when the brewery’s beloved Whiskey Rebellion bourbon barrel-aged Imperial Stout is released, the cavernous facility is always packed with celebratory fans. A line begins early that morning waiting for bottle allotments and extends through the cracked cement of the parking lot, past the building, and around the corner of the block.
This year’s release, of course, is different, though the enthusiasm for it is as vibrant as ever.
For many, the holidays are about giving back. It’s a time to support those less fortunate or to further a charitable cause. The holidays are also about connecting with your family and sharing your favorite beer. So, what if you could do both? What if you could drink an amazing craft beer and give back? Rescue + Recharge American Lager, a limited release for the holiday season, is this perfect kind of synergy — a partnership between FINNEGANS Brew Co. and Firefighters for Healing to create a great beer and support a wonderful cause.
With an in-state distribution footprint that stretches to every corner of Colorado, Denver’s River North Brewery is a longtime local favorite. Despite its reach, its longevity and its reputation among hardcore craft enthusiasts, River North has still managed to remain somewhat of an underrated contender in the world of barrel-aged beers.
Winter, particularly in the middle of a global pandemic, is not the time for light beer. The days are shorter, the nights are colder, and the only beer that will cut it as the winter solstice approaches is something strong, dark, and smooth. Matchless Brewing’s Off the Cuff II Old Ale is worthy of consideration this time of year–it’s a big beer that demands attention.
To create Off the Cuff II, Matchless brewers blended different Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stouts with wine cask-aged Old Ales. Blending beer is both an art and a science; Matchless Brewing excels at both in this beautiful blend of bourbon and fruit that’s perfect for a winter night in.
On these cold winter days, few beers are more ideally suited for the weather than Fremont Brewing Company’s B-Bomb Bourbon Barrel Imperial Winter Ale. A Winter Ale that sees extended time in bourbon barrels, it serves up more than enough alcohol to warm up your insides, while delivering tons of fall spices and vanilla barrel notes. At 13% and coming only in large 750ml bottles, it’s a perfect beer to break out and split with any friends and family you may have in town for the holidays.
It’s that time of year again: a time of great anticipation… Stout Season. In accordance, we’ve found a beer for the bold stout lover, Empress Rising: Red Wine Barrel Aged Imperial Stout by Birds Fly South Ale Project.
Residents of Charlotte, North Carolina look forward to Queen City Brewers Festival every February. But given all that 2020 has brought us, the 2021 Queen City Brewers Festival will be in the format of a collective beer initiative: Court Shoes Only.
2021 would have been a milestone 10th year of Queen City Brewers Festival (QCBF). Each February the city gathers to sample beers from breweries across the city and region while benefiting a good cause. The proceeds of the festival and raffle historically have always gone to ACEing Autism. This is a nonprofit whose mission it is to serve children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) through unique tennis programs.
Barrel, chocolate, marshmallow all packaged up in Off Color Brewing’s notable 250ml bottles — it’s Barrel-Aged Dino S’mores season, and this year’s version is not to miss.
The popular Russian Imperial Stout comes in a non-barrel-aged version and typically a couple of variants as well as the barrel-aged version. This year’s BA beer spent 13 months sitting in Wild Turkey 101 bourbon barrels and the beer took to the barrel like a fish to water.
Fall seasonal standards such as pumpkin beers, Oktoberfest Märzens and Fresh Hop IPAs permeate store shelves as the nights begin to cool and autumn turns to winter. It is a welcome sight for many beer drinkers, whether you like to stick to classics or seek out something new. Whichever camp you are in, Zwei Brewing’s Dunkelweiss manages to tick both those boxes. It is both a traditional German Wheat Ale and an often-overlooked style that could become your next fall go-to.
The owners at Zwei Brewing, Kirk and Eric Lombardi, brew this Dark German Wheat Ale twice a year on a rotating schedule that includes their Bernsteinfarbenes Weissbier and Weizenbock. This year we are all fortunate to have it hit the taps during fall, which happens to be Kirk’s favorite time of year to enjoy it.
Bewilder Brewing Co., one of Utah’s newer breweries, recently released its first higher-alcohol packaged beer. Mole Porter is a 6% ABV brew that delicately blends sweet and spicy in a mouth-coating, enjoyable sipper.
As an organism’s genetic sequence twists and changes, sometimes happy accidents occur, forever altering the course of a species. Fish switched fins for feet, lizards grew wings and took to the sky and here we are with livers, fine-tuned for processing the world’s delicious beer.
Put on that tracksuit, strap on the fresh kicks and queue up “Don’t Stop the Rock”–it’s about to get hype in here. When one of the top breweries in Texas announces a new year-round addition to their lineup, you gotta make some noise. Already providing multiple hopped-up offerings across the spectrum, Real Ale Brewing Co. still managed to drop something fresh that hits all the right notes with their Boombox Double IPA.
With innovation and experimentation at the forefront, Energy City Brewing in Batavia, Ill. has something new brewing every week. Without an operating taproom and in the middle of a still-surging pandemic, they have still found a way to keep the sophisticated beer drinkers’ attention and stay relevant in times of uncertainty. While their mainstay offerings continue to be popular around the Chicagoland area, their one-off offerings, available only for curbside pick-up at the brewery, are the main attraction, drawing people all the way from Chicago to make the long drive two counties over for a chance to get their hands on this week’s concoction.