PD’s own dissect beer. Leave the pretentiousness on the curb.
Chicago’s Hopewell Brewing Co. is probably best known for their modern take on beer. Their goal as a brewery is to make beer that is bright and clean. Hopewell was a nearly decade-long creation, with the owners always knowing that their dreams would come to fruition as they proceeded through the years. With their intensive approach, they’ve created some amazing and unique showstoppers. Their seasonal spring/summer sour ale, Clover Club, proclaims the entirety of Hopewell’s mission in every sip.
Bayboro Brewing Co. is one of the newest and hottest breweries in the Tampa Bay area. When James and Kelcy Coleman opened their doors on March 17, 2020, they had no idea what was coming just that afternoon: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued his executive order shutting down the state in an attempt to keep Floridians safe from the Coronavirus. In just a few hours, all breweries closed their doors; uncertainty lay ahead.
However, Bayboro kept things going when breweries were allowed to sell beer to-go. They bought growlers and crowler cans, a crowler machine and plastic cups. They were patient until things finally started to improve and they could open their doors to start flourishing in this vibrant craft beer community.
The pandemic reminded us about the importance of supporting small, local and family-owned businesses. SchillingBridge is a family-run operation that claims to be the nation’s first farm winery/microbrewery. They are located in Pawnee City, NE, a small town less than 10 miles north of the Kansas border.
The rivalry between Missouri’s two biggest cities, Kansas City and St. Louis, is well-known and long-standing. From the Royals and the Cardinals to toasted ravioli and barbecue, ask any resident which city is the best, and you’ll be met with an impassioned and detailed defense of their hometown. You’re either a Kansas City person or a St. Louis person — never both.
However, the rivalry is all in good fun — with the exception of the 1985 World Series — and while fierce, it’s not uncommon for the two cities to unite for a greater cause. Whether Team St. Louis or Team Kansas City, residents have a few things in common: they love beer, they love their city and they love their home state.
New Belgium Brewing has long reigned as the sour beer monarch of Fort Collins, Colorado with their impressive lineup of Barrel-Aged Sours regularly releasing from their expansive foeder room. The pointedly named Black Berry Black Tea Sour, in collaboration with Teatulia Teas in Denver, is a Dark Sour Ale that shows that there are still a lot of flavor combinations to be found in the future of sour beer.
Have you ever had a “Cold IPA?” No, we are not talking about the one that you just pulled from the refrigerator. The history of a Cold IPA is relatively new, but the development is credited to Wayfinder Beer out of Portland, Ore. Cold IPAs are a thing of beauty and smell the part too. On one side, you have that smell of the hoppiness from an IPA. On the other, you have that clean, crisp style of a lager. Do not mistake these as IPLs, which seems to be a common thread.
What started with a large genus of the American IPA further whittles down to your West Coast IPA and New England IPA, and even giving states their own with the Colorado IPA giving rise in the mid-2010s. But getting as niche as a city? Brentwood, California is a small city that sits on the fringes of the East Bay but can feel worlds away with its vast array of farmland that surrounds the adorable downtown. Mostly known for their cherry, peach, and corn production and a smattering of u-pick-it farms, this small community just got its first brewery. The newly minted Imperiale Beer Project wanted to pay homage to the agricultural background of the city they call home with their Masa Brentwood IPA.
As waves crash against the rocky coast and boisterous gulls soar over historic brick buildings and sidewalks, Portland, Maine slowly begins to see the hustle and bustle of summer tourists return. According to C+R Research, as of 2021, Portland has the highest number of breweries per capita nationwide with 18 per 50,000 people and no visit to Portland is complete without multiple brewery stops.
Although there are fourteen breweries or brewpubs alone to visit on Portland’s three-mile-long peninsula, it is well worth it to make the journey inland to Industrial Way, where five different breweries reside. Thirsty beer drinkers are known to stroll from one tasting room to another, enjoying a wide range of beer styles and food trucks. With Allagash Brewing Co. as the cornerstone of the neighborhood, the industrial buildings on this aptly named road quickly filled with brewery upstarts during the initial craft boom of the 2010s and thrives today as the home of Foundation Brewing Co.
After an eight hour day of riding every roller coaster and ride possible at Kings Island in Mason, Ohio, there was nothing better than ending your day with the infamous blue ice cream while sitting under the Eiffel Tower look-alike overlooking the fountain. While attempting to not spill the blue ice cream on yourself, you realize how much your feet hurt and that you forgot to apply that second coat of sunscreen. At that point, nothing tasted better.
Just a stone’s throw from the saturated market that is Chicago, and in the large shadow that is cast by craft beer darlings, Three Floyds, sits 18th Street Brewery. Since opening their doors in 2013, 18th Street has kept their nose to the grindstone, cranking out some mighty fine beers for close to a decade.
Despite being just a neighborhood brewery in Indiana, 18th Street is no stranger to national acclaim. They’ve been invited to coveted beer fests such as Wake Fest, collaborated with cool-kid breweries like Mikkeller, and were voted top brewpub in the nation by USA Today in 2019. 18th Street may not have the mainstream popularity of their aforementioned neighbor yet, but the beer they produce continues to earn them industry cred and respect of their peers that hype can’t buy.
LUKI Brewery in Arvada, Colo. has been open just a bit over 10 months now. In terms of our current relationship with time/space, that’s more or less an eternity. As Jefferson County gave its businesses the “all clear,” LUKI and owner/head brewer Jeff Smith now have their first opportunity to pack the big top to capacity.
What better way to kick pandemic restrictions to the curb and start summer off than with a crisp, subtly sweet, lime-tinged Mexican Lager?
Beers are getting stranger and stranger. While certainly with every candy bar stout and imminent explosion smoothie release a German purity law angel loses their wings, there is no denying that some of this experimentation has produced delectable results. Satiating the appetite of the voracious beer aficionado mandates that breweries put in enough ingredients to fuel a flux capacitor, but what about those of us who like to experiment, yet still want what we’re drinking to have at least a passing resemblance to the artist formerly known as “beer”? Well, let’s introduce you to The Drowned Lands and Harvest Kill, a Sour IPA that hits the balance just right.
In just five years, New Orleans’ Urban South Brewing has made a huge impact in the beer world and is currently one of the fastest-growing breweries in the U.S. With more than 200 beers released to date, multiple awards under their belt and newly expanded distribution across Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi, Urban South are riding high and celebrating their fifth anniversary in style with a 15-beer collaboration project that includes some of the biggest names in U.S. craft beer. Drekker, American Solera, Aslin and Pontoon are all involved in this highly ambitious project that includes beer styles ranging from mixed-fermentation Table Beer to Fruited Pastry Sour to TIPA.
Green Flash Brewing Co., since its founding in 2002, has endured crazy growth and national expansion, as well as financial troubles and company restructuring. So when they asked me to try Saturhaze, it intrigued me to see what they were up to.
It’s natural to seek silver linings in bad situations, but when storm clouds hung above our collective heads during the COVID19, crisis, Anvil & Forge Brewing and Distilling provided Illinois beer drinkers with some helpful grey — Earl Grey Tea, to me more specific. Earlier this year, Illinois Beer drinkers partook in a March Madness bracket-style beer event — #BEERacket — that, yet again, served as a virtual replacement for the in-person festivals we once took for granted. But, amid that reminder of the trouble caused by the evil microbe came a host of good beers, including Springfield Illinois’ Anvil & Forge Wolf Bane Grey Tart, a sour ale with with lemon peel, dried wild bergamot flower and Earl Grey Tea. An exemplary botanical beer, Wolf’s Bane reminds beer drinkers that there are still brewers willing to producing flavorful beers outside the realm of “trendy styles.”
Fire Maker Brewing Co. has been creating a spark in Atlanta, Georgia, over the past year. They opened their doors last year in the middle of the pandemic, but that didn’t stop them from lighting up the Georgia brewing scene. If they weren’t already on your radar, USA Today ranking them the #2 best new brewery in America should have tipped you off that things are heating up at Fire Maker Brewing Co. Thankfully their Head Brewer, Tyler Cox, created Chattahooch-Tea Southeastern IPA, a sweet tea-inspired Hazy IPA, to help cool you down.
San Diego-based Pure Project started its craft brewing journey in Costa Rica in 2014 but has been firmly ensconced on the west coast since 2016. However, the brewery still focuses on many of the elements that made its Costa Rican location and the initial brewery concept unique like using pure, unique and local ingredients whenever possible, giving back to environmental nonprofits and often starting with the ingredients before determining the style of beer they’ll create. Lief is one such beer.
Zillicoah Beer Co.’s latest Witbiere is a bit of mountain springtime in a glass. This 4.2% ABV barrel-aged wheat beer uses coriander, orange peel, chamomile and old-world fermentation techniques to make it interesting and add depth. The brew evokes the fresh scent in the air that appears after one of the short showers that define spring in the brewery’s hometown of Asheville, NC.
Pherm Brewing, located in Gambrills, Maryland fills a giant geographic hole in the Maryland beer scene and is a welcome addition to an area that has lacked craft breweries since, well, ever. Pherm opened its doors mid-pandemic this January and is already pumping out very high-quality beers.