PD’s own dissect beer. Leave the pretentiousness on the curb.
What does adventure mean to you? Is it the adrenaline rush of accomplishing something huge? Is it physically exploring a new region? Is it the urge to leave your comfort zone? To Joe Connolly, director of Springdale Beer Co., it’s that last one. He also believes in the same notion for IPAs. “We believe that real activity deserves real beer,” Connolly notes. “To us, this is what IPA signifies: an urge to push the envelope, leave our comfort zone and simply put, get out there.”
And that’s what Springdale is all about. As the experimental offshoot of Jack’s Abby, Springdale has been in pursuit of adventure since its inception. By delving into sours, wild ales, barrel-aged beers and more, they have numerous successful experiments under their belt. They released their flagship IPA, Springdale IPA, in January 2020.
Beer hunting is most fun when digging up long-forgotten, buried treasure. Recently, I had the pleasure of discovering Olde Hickory’s Flanders Red Ale. This beauty was aged for 30 months—a full two-and-a-half years!—in bourbon barrels before bottling on Halloween 2016. I found it in late 2019, hiding in plain sight on the shelf at Carrboro Beverage Company. That means this Bad Larry was aging for more than five years before I picked it up. Today, I have the pleasure of sharing it with you, our lovely PorchDrinking readers.
Land-Grant Brewing Company in Columbus, Ohio, has launched a new beer celebrating the career of astronaut and Columbus resident Dr. Katharine D. Sullivan.
While Dr. Sullivan had been to the Land-Grant taproom before this partnership, she’s not normally a big beer drinker, says Land-Grant co-founder and Creative Director Walt Keys. He points out though that the accomplished astronaut is “always up for trying new things.”
I tend to be the type of beer drinker who plays favorites. For several years, I fell into a rut of good-beer-drinking. I knew what I liked and that’s mostly what I drank. But my eyes have been opened to the massive range of variety in today’s craft beer scene. In my home state of Kentucky, craft brewing was a little slow to take off but has really hit its stride over the past few years. Lately, I’ve been on a mission to seek out new Kentucky-brewed beers. On a recent visit to Liquor Barn in Lexington, I was perusing the aisles, trying not to get taken in by the label gimmickry that has become prevalent in craft brewing.
I failed. My eyes were immediately drawn to one particular beer, mostly because the label was, well…rather disgusting. I’m all for humor in beer labeling, but, really? Then I noticed the brewery: Louisville-based Against the Grain.
One of the Twin Cities’ best-kept craft beer secrets sits in the middle of a South Minneapolis industrial district. Where I-35 meets Highway 62, amid concrete contractors and industrial steel fabricators, you’ll come across Wild Mind Artisan Ales.
Around this time every year, as the temperature starts to dip and the days shorten, it’s all too common to hear people complaining about the winter. Alas, these poor misguided souls must not be craft beer fans. You won’t hear any grumblings about it being winter around my house. When winter hits that means it’s Hardywood Gingerbread Stout (aka GBS) season! It’ll make you reminiscent of the holiday season.
Words can’t even begin to describe the amount of excitement that surges over my body when Columbia Kettle Works and St. Boniface Craft Brewing Company collaborate to release their annual Imperial Red Ale, Kettleface.
Columbia Kettle Works is located in Columbia, PA; it’s an old-style river town that borders the 464-mile Susquehanna River. Columbia Kettle Works, or CKW as it’s referred to by its regulars, was established in 2014 and has created some fantastic beers. Particularly known for their Christmas Ale, Grinch Feet, and their Belgian Tripel, Tricky Fingers, CKW usually has 10-12 different beers on tap at any given time. As a brewery that prides itself in experimenting with new styles and chooses to constantly rotate their beers, Kettle Works never seems to disappoint its audience.
120 Minute IPA has been on my white whale beer list for a while, up there with Utopias and Pliny the Younger. So when I happened to find a bottle at random in a liquor store near my house, I was extremely surprised and needless to say I bought it immediately. Being I’m on the opposite side of the country from where its made, it’s a rare find for me at least.
Sir-Veza, a Mexican-style light Lager brewed by Utah’s preeminent Lager brewery, is a beer for all seasons. The crisp Lager is the perfect refresher—or so I’ve heard—after a day spent carving turns on the ski slopes. For Utahns like me who don’t ski or snowboard, this is the time of year we’re dreaming of soft sandy beaches and warm summer breezes. And a sip of Sir-Veza, coupled with an active imagination, transports us to a sun-soaked oasis.
When you bookend your day with drinks, it’s important to have quality ones. Coffee in the morning? Grind up something fresh to kick-start a productive day. Beer at night? That first crack open that has your taste buds thanking you after that productive day. Rinse and repeat.
Barrel & Bean from Allagash Brewing Company combines the best of both of the coffee and beer worlds. And when one thinks of a coffee beer, it’s common to think of a stout. That’s my first thought. But Barrel & Bean takes a different approach to a coffee-blended beer: the result is a combination of a Belgian-style golden ale aged in bourbon barrels with cold-brewed coffee from a local coffee roaster, Speckled Ax.
Resident Culture is arguably Charlotte’s best brewery. They were just ranked in the Top 10 North Carolina Breweries on Untappd for 2019 and they were named the 2018 10th Best New Brewery in the World from RateBeer, just to name a few of their many accolades.
Located in the Plaza Midwood neighborhood, Resident Culture opened their doors two years ago. Their motto, “Stay Funky,” is encapsulated in their beers, can artwork, swag and in the taproom itself.
Ferus Artisan Ales is the newest brewery to open up in the ever-changing landscape of craft breweries in Alabama. Ferus is Latin for feral, with the name chosen to represent their passion for brewing sour beers and its connection to wild yeast that is used during fermentation. Down the line, they hope to increase production at their Trussville, Ala., location. Specifically, they want to focus on a variety of crisp Pilsners, hop-forward IPAs, flavored Stouts and barrel-aged beers. As a matter of fact, you may have already seen their names associated with collaboration brews like the beer they did with Edmund’s Oast, Order of Magnitude.
One sniff and sip of New Image Brewing Refuse to Shine, an Imperial Breakfast Vienna Lager with maple syrup and coffee, and you’re immediately transported to a flannel-clad Vermont vacation in the winter—while never leaving your chair in the Olde Town Arvada taproom.
From what I can gather, HOMES doesn’t give a rat’s ass about pleasing the masses. Visit their ultra-mod taproom in Ann Arbor—golden-age hip-hop bumping, precious little bao for the eating—and you’ll notice a distinct lack of styles to try. No ambers, no browns, no stouts, no wheats. Their draft list features almost exclusively fruited sours, such as their Sherbet Series, hazy IPAs and maybe a stray sour IPA for good measure.
In the midst of the busyness and stress that comes with being an adult, the moments when you can let loose and feel like a kid again are truly precious. I enjoyed one of those experiences with my husband a few years ago when we made the spontaneous decision to participate in the “Sleepwalker Run” in Grand Haven, MI at the end of January. The Sleepwalker Run, which takes place this year on Friday, January 24, consists of either a .62 mile sprint or a 2.62 mile run in your pajamas through downtown Grand Haven. It’s a part of the town’s annual Winterfest, which occurs Jan. 23-26, 2020.
A few years ago, my husband and I decided to check out the Winterfest events on a whim. We felt like little kids as we ran through downtown in our long john underwear and roasted s’mores on a giant parking lot bonfire. Afterward, we went to Grand Armory Brewing Company to indulge in some of our favorite food and beer.
Recreational marijuana became legal in Illinois on Jan. 1, 2020 and it was a big deal. People lined up early in the morning, waiting for hours in order to be one of the first to legally purchase weed in the state, not unlike a beer release. Several breweries were preparing to release a special beer to mark the landmark occasion; the first one released was Revolution’s Legal Hero.