PD’s own dissect beer. Leave the pretentiousness on the curb.
On a Saturday night not too long ago, a hell of a storm blew through San Antonio. Overnight rains are certainly welcome to the area, considering the region’s aquifer-based water supply is highly dependent on the spring rainfall. What wasn’t so welcome, however, was the wind that accompanied the storm. With gusts between 30 and 50 mph, it was strong enough to topple over a section of my fence, adding a totally unexpected chore to my weekend to-do list.
As a beer drinker, you’re familiar with wild ales. You’re familiar with saisons, too. But wild American saison may be new territory for you. For those unfamiliar to the term, it’s open to a lot of interpretation. This is where Art Dekkera from Springdale comes in. Springdale, an experimental offshoot of Jack’s Abby Brewing in Framingham, MA, is known for its wide variety of beers that range from IPAs to sours. So when they announced a new wild American saison, the style certainly sounded like a beer they would brew.
One of the more refreshing aspects of the craft beer world is the sheer number of breweries that use their knowledge, time and product to better their own local communities.
Last year, one such brewery took it upon themselves to begin the conversation of sustainability by hosting a conference at their brewery. There, they discussed sustainable brewing practices and the increasing impact of climate change on the quality and availability of ingredients needed to brew beer.
At the end of the conference, a “Declaration of Sustainability” was signed by all participating breweries and the St. Louis Brewers Guild. They also called upon many local communities, businesses and policymakers to take action in both promoting sustainability and reducing climate change.
“Sustainability may sound like a buzzword, but it really is a critical element for those of us involved in brewing beer,” says Alvan Caby, Sustainability Coordinator at Urban Chestnut. “We work with farmers and utilize natural ingredients, so we feel that doing whatever we can to employ sustainable practices is important to the existence of our industry.”
Supposedly, we are entering the warmer months of the year. Colorado seems to have forgotten that, as we have been getting cold weather, overcast skies and some last minute snowstorms, which calls for a dark beer to help you batten down the hatches.
As I perused a local liquor store for something malty and roasted, I noticed a striking can design. Black, with a five-word beer title and a regal-looking insignia. Horny Goat Brewing Company’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Imperial Porter clocks in at a no-nonsense 8.5% ABV, a perfect level when trying to fight the latest installment in 2019’s Bomb Cyclones.
Creativity breeds creativity, so it’s no wonder that Katie and Krys Wolf, with their pension for design and art, have turned an 1850s home into a profoundly unique craft brewery — Wolfden Brewing. The exterior is that of a spacious, suburban home while the inside reminds one of a lodge one enters in Wisconsin or the mountains of Wyoming — with plenty of beer, to boot.
“We wanted it to feel like home, or like a vacation getaway spot,” explained Katie Wolf.
Antidotally, Ratio Beerworks was easily mentioned more times than any other Denver brewery as one that I needed to check out during my trip. I recently started a new job that will be sending me out to Denver quite a bit, and while I love traveling to new cities, I don’t think I could be luckier. Added bonus? The craft brewery scene in Denver, CO is insane!
Who would have thought, underneath all that foam, Barney really is like you and me—filled with blood. If his really tastes this good, somebody get an IV drip funneled into my mouth, stat.
Barney Blood isn’t Short’s Brewing Company’s first stab at pairing whimsy with the macabre. Look to the Thirstie Mutilator for that, its label featuring a unicorn wielding chainsaws for hooves, and yet, the concept here makes even more sense. If you processed Barney through an industrial blender, I bet this is what you’d get. Don’t worry though, Short’s assures no dinosaurs were harmed in the making of this beer.
Spring is upon us! The sun is peeking through, trees are sprouting leaves, flowers are blooming and drinking outside has once again become a pleasant possibility. There is something about seeing the first blossoms of warmth makes us crave a saison—more than usual, of course.
Sacramento, CA-based Urban Roots Brewing & Smokehouse has made quite a name for themselves since they opened to the public in May 2018, becoming known not only for creating award-winning beers but also for their succulent Texas-inspired, California-influenced BBQ.
Track 7 Brewing, located in Sacramento, CA, has been producing a wide range of killer craft beers since they opened in 2011. For those who don’t know, the name Track 7 was selected due to the brewery’s proximity to the old Western Pacific railroad tracks, west of Curtis Park, as a nod to the integral role the railroad has played in the city’s rich history. One thing that keeps Track 7 relevant, aside from quality, is their ambition to try new styles and work with flavors that you don’t often see from other breweries. Track 7 typically releases two cans every weekend so there is no shortage of new things to try.
The Women of Suburban Chicago, who took part in the Pink Boots Live Brew Day at Skeleton Key Brewing for International Women’s Day in March, had one thing in mind: make good beer. The brewers and brewery professionals, who happened to be women, came together to do what all beer fans love: transform yeast, malt, hops and water into a wonderful, fermented beverage. As a byproduct of brewing in the Pink Boots’ event, the women did accomplish one extra item: they demonstrated (again) that brewing prowess has zero to do with gender. Any doubt that women can brew was immediately stripped away when patrons enjoyed the nine varieties (of the 10 made) of Hold My Crown Rustic Lithuanian Pale Ale, released April 5 at Iron & Glass bottle shop. From base beer to Kombucha, the variants proved to not only be delicious, but a geeky exploration of flavor combinations.
Some brewers pull inspiration from current trends and others seek to brew according to personal like and although neither is wrong, Barrett Tillman of BlackMan Brewing, he’s in neither category.
Insert the Hostel Cereal, a timidly tart sour ale, which according to Tillman “began as a study on famine, its cause and how people survive.” During his travels through Africa and staying at hostels, the breakfast that was served was a porridge, made from grains and topped with whatever fruit was available. This was Tillman’s inspiration for the Hostel Cereal.
“For Those Who Wander.”
The slogan of New Terrain Brewing Company isn’t limited just to those who explore the great outdoors—though it certainly does include outdoor adventurers. Accordingly, visitors of the Golden, CO-based brewery are rewarded with a spectacular view of the Foothills; in addition to effortless access to a forested dog park. This facility, with its bucolic beer garden that offers scenic sights of Rocky Mountains to the west and Denver’s skyline to the east, was certainly built with those who wander outside in mind.
Since opening in June 2018, Branch & Bone Artisan Ales in Dayton, Ohio, has created eye-opening beers in a wide range of styles, including bright and juicy IPAs, crisp and inquisitive session sours, and velvety smooth stouts and coffee beers. Head brewer Brett Smith loves them all, having carried many recipes over from his homebrewing days, but the beers that really have his heart pour from two wooden vessels in the back room of the brewery: oak wine foeders Smith picked up from American Solera in Oklahoma City. They once held Italian Vin Santo.
In a world filled with outlandish new beer style varieties, sometimes you just want a classic style: something without all the bells and double dry-hopping. After a long day, no matter the season or temperature, a stout sounds like a nice way to end my evening. I escaped my Oakland/Berkeley/Hayward/San Leandro bubble the other weekend and made my way up to Richmond (it’s really not that “far”) and I was a happy lady! East Brother Beer Co. is nestled over by Point Richmond and has the classic beer style game down. That’s their schtick: classic styles done well.
Have you ever heard the phrase “splitting the baby”? Apparently it comes from the Old Testament, when two bickering women both claimed to be a baby’s mother. King Solomon, who sounds like he had a few beers under his own belt that day, offered to split the baby in half so both sides could win. His suggestion was meant to flush out the truth, as he suspected that the real mother would never agree to such a clearly terrible plan.
It may have been a dubious method for figuring out the truth, but centuries later, this phrase gave birth to one majestic beer: Locavore Beer Works’ Split The Baby, a blueberry lemon wheat ale made with real blueberries and lemon zest, brewed with Sorachi Ace and Citra hops.
Every once in a while, you have that experience with beer that completely blows your mind and excites your taste buds in ways others have not. Vasen Brewing Company out of Richmond, Virginia, has done just that with the recent and first bottle release of Savvon–a dry-hopped Farmhouse Ale. The complexity and flavors capped within these bottles were amazing and worth every drop.
How much do you love collaboration beers? This collaboration was brewed and packaged at Urban Roots Brewing, with the Alvarado Street crew coming to Sacramento for the brew day. The name pokes fun at some of the beer names and labels that appear to “borrow” trademarked artwork. While the name of the beer is A Momentary Lapse of Judgement, the label includes a large eagle carrying the C & D letters.
As a big fan of Telluride Brewing Co., I couldn’t resist the presence of a new can offering in my neighborhood liquor store. But wait—a Leipzig-style gose brewed in the winter?
Indeed. AlpenGOSE is such a fanciful elixir.
The 4.5-percent beer represents the brewery’s first seasonal sour. Telluride released it last year on draft only under the moniker “There Gose the Snow,” a nod to the anemic snowfall. This season, the creation took on the name AlpenGOSE in hopes of a winter full of powder.
Strong as an ox.
Solid as a rock.
These phrases perfectly describe an up-and-coming brewery, Wallenpaupack Brewing Co. It’s situated in Hawley, PA, close to the third largest lake man-made lake in Pennsylvania; follow the coast and its 52 miles of shoreline will lead you to some fantastic beer. Lake Wallenpaupack is a major recreational destination in the Pocono Mountain region. However, it was lacking a place that brewed some solid brews. Siblings Becky and Christopher Ryman noticed the need for a brewery around the lake and decided to get to work on offering the area something unique.
Picture this: It’s a warm, sunny day out and you have a beer in hand. Which beer could fit that bill, you might ask? Well, that’s an easy answer if you’re a fan of something slightly tart, yet fruity. Alvarado Street Brewery‘s Tayberry is the beer you’ll want in your hand. It’s the perfect pairing for spring weather, or, as we like to call it, porch drinking weather.