PD’s own dissect beer. Leave the pretentiousness on the curb.
Usually a crazy, spontaneous weekend starts with a beer. In this case, it ended with one… or two. During football season, an unplanned game was the last move of the fun weekend, and tailgate time was cut short so a quality beer was needed stat! Orange Blossom Pilsner 2 was found through the crazy rush to make it to the game and since then, it’s been a staple in my fridge.
Yet another highly anticipated IPA release from TrimTab Brewing‘s Light Visions Series has just hit limited Southern markets. As a result, hop heads couldn’t be more excited. The name given is Helix Rising, a double dry-hopped hazy double IPA. TrimTab continues to do exciting things in the Southern IPA game, and this DIPA brewed with Chinook, Zythos, Simcoe and Simcoe Lupulin powder is a truly unique and welcomed addition to their increasingly successful repertoire.
It can be difficult to keep up with all of the new things happening in the Chicago craft beer scene. With new taprooms opening and bottle releases happening virtually each week, there is no shortage of options for new Chicago beers. Thus I’ve rounded up a few of my recent favorites in this Ultimate 6er, What’s New Chicago edition.
The Utah brewing community was a little bit shocked when Kevin Templin left his long time position as Head Brewer at Red Rock Brewing Co. To us it seemed like an abrupt mic drop that didn’t make sense. After surviving the initial shock, we took comfort in the fact there must be something brewing in his mind. So we patiently let the months pass by. As the seasons morphed and the local craft beer continued to thrive, we might have almost moved on. Then, Kevin was back with a bang just as quickly as he had left—and this time he brought along the whole family!
Virginia’s beer market is booming, with big names and new, sprawling establishments. Among those, Sinistral Brewing Company, located in Manassas, VA, really embraces simplicity, though it certainly isn’t dull. Sinistral takes family and community to heart: its location is right near a commuter rail station; they provide a venue to featuring local musicians and they name beers after colleagues’ children, just to give a few examples.
If you read my Ultimate 6er | Snowed-In in Michigan, you would remember that, “from November through March, I have learned to always be prepared by stocking our home with the essentials: a space heater, frozen pizzas and, of course, a few beers to keep us warm and cozy on this snowy day,” so when Polar Vortex 2019 hit, my husband and I were ready to face it. One of the craft beers we picked up along the way to try was Lost Minds (7% ABV), a tart IPA from Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The best way to lift yourself out of a winter funk is to drink a beer that’s dark and delicious, with a high enough ABV to warm you up. After walking a few blocks in 19-degree weather to Novel Strand–a relatively new brewery located only a few blocks away from my apartment–I needed something full-bodied, boldly flavored and a little weird.
One of my favorite holiday traditions is driving around looking at lights. When I was a kid, my family would pack into the car and take the longest route possible between my aunt’s and our house to look at Christmas lights. Even in high school, my friends and I would drive around looking for those homes whose merry-making bordered on deranged. Now that I’m older, I still take the Christmas light tour after dinner. Short’s Brewing Company, following in the Christmas tradition, released an American sour ale to highlight the raucous displays that have become as much a part of the holidays as Santa and presents.
I admit, I rage-bought a beer. I bought Pipeworks Brewing Pothole City because of the name. I didn’t even know what style it was, but I knew I wanted it. Nonetheless, the beer — an Imperial Stout — proved to be just as good as the name.
Like many of Cleveland’s newer craft beer bastions, Platform Beer Co. is attuned to the desires of beer connoisseurs and consumers. They have tackled many popular varieties from New England IPAs to saisons and goses. Platform is willing to experiment and re-evaluate their styles, releasing many offerings throughout Ohio, sometimes for a limited time (like their Small Batch IPA series, for example). Whenever I enter a local supermarket, I’m amazed by how prolific they have become. Still, some of their tried-and-true mainstays are what keep me coming back. One of Platform Beer Co.’s seasonals, High Brow Barista, is a particular favorite of mine.
In the summer of 2017, Whiner Beer Co. co-founders Ria Neri and Brian Taylor built a coolship using hand-picked steel and repurposed wood. The fermentation vessel is located next to the farm their brewery sits on in the South Side of Chicago.
Sometimes I struggle to figure out what beer to bring to an event. Other times the Universe throws an opportunity at you too good to pass up. This time, a serendipitous combination of a last-minute ski trip to Short’s land and a “diaper” party combined to make one of my favorite winter beers the obvious party choice: Short’s Brewing’s The Double Magician.
What do you call these hazy IPAs that seem to be everywhere? This style goes by many names; NEIPA, Juicy IPA, Hazy IPA. But whatever you call these juice bombs it seems they’re here to stay and in full effect from coast to coast.
What comes to mind when you picture a flagship? Now think a bit harder and get past the Boston Lager, Fat Tire, and each of the IPAs available nationwide. What are the standard flagships available are your local favorite breweries? My guess is you are thinking of several more IPAs ranging from extra hoppy to sessionable, a few more pale ales, and maybe, maybe a stout here or there.
For those of you that have been around the craft beer scene for a while, think back several years ago and it’s easy to see that many styles have come and gone. Even some of the styles that have stood the test of time have evolved over the years. One style, in particular, comes to mind: Black IPAs. This style was highly popular for a few years, then quietly phased out of many breweries’ lineups. However, Black IPAs have started to make a comeback in popularity.
The reckoning of New England IPAs is going to come. After years of the milkshake beer being the new kid on the block, trends are slowly switching back to old school pale ales and even hopped lagers. I don’t think the NEIPA will fully go away, but when every brewery jumps on the trend it just loses it’s panache. I thought I had tasted every kind of juice box imaginable … until trying The Implication from Aslin Beer Company.
As Chicago barrels toward a week of historically cold temperatures, I was eager to get out to my local Binny’s and stockpile some dark, heavy stouts to keep me sane as I prepare for a week filled with cabin fever.
No matter where you live in the nation, you’re always itching to get your hands on the exclusive beers you can’t get through your local distribution. We’ve all seen the “ISO,” “Looking Out For” or “Will Trade For” posts on craft beer Facebook groups, but some choose to use some other less conventional ways to get their hands on new beers. Personally, I use Tavour when I want some really amazing beers from “sea to shining sea,” and even beyond.
Los Ranchos de Albuquerque in New Mexico is a small village that maintains the charm of rural living despite being surrounded by the city of Albuquerque. Steel Bender Brewyard is the first licensed (and only) brewery in the village and it has positioned itself as a community gathering place for a variety of occasions including ordinary after-work happy hours and celebratory milestones from baby showers to retirement. Using seasonal fruits from local orchards for their barrel program and creating “from scratch” pub fare in their full kitchen, there are many reasons why Steel Bender Brewyard should be added to your next beer journey in New Mexico.
A new beer from North High Brewing in Columbus, Ohio, is shining a light on the importance of agriculture in the world of craft beer. North High has partnered with Ohio Farm Bureau to brew Cover Crop Beer, a blonde ale brewed in honor of the centennial anniversary of the latter organization, which exists to promote and support Ohio farmers.