PD’s own dissect beer. Leave the pretentiousness on the curb.
Few styles can be as divisive among craft beer fans as fruited Sours. Some avoid them altogether, while others see them as the pinnacle of craft brewing. From time to time a beer comes along that can successfully bridge this divide. Side Project Brewing Pêche du Fermier is the poster child for this kind of mass appeal.
Produced by one of the greatest American brewers of sour beers, Side Project is as highly regarded as they come. Their ability to consistently produce delicious and complex beers is staggering and explains why trying to find their beers sometimes feels you’re on a quest for the holy grail.
Pastry beers have had their day in the spotlight… but fruited breakfast pastry sours? Well, that’s a horse of another color. At Humble Forager Brewery in Madison, WI, the recipe looks simple yet contains so much more.
After a tumultuous end to 2019 and the pandemic-related uncertainty of 2020, Boulder Beer Company is forging ahead with a refresh of its brand lineup in 2021. To help kick off the rebrand, it’s created a barrel-aged version of Shake Chocolate Porter using Laws Whiskey barrels.
The new variety brings a robust and complex twist to an already-flavorful beer. Starting with the deep brown color and moving to the rich, multi-layered nose it’s clear—this beer needs to be slowly sipped and savored.
Brandon Jones is no stranger to barrel-aging and storytelling, using both his words and beer as the medium. Jones is a brewer, beer blender and self-proclaimed “funk wrangler” at Yazoo Brewing, one of the godfathers of the Nashville’s craft beer scene. When Brandon isn’t wrangling funk, he’s sharing recipes on his blog, EmbracetheFunk.com, where he talks about spontaneous fermentation, wild yeast and bacteria—all of what give wild ales their unique and “sour” profiles. On Embrace the Funk, Brandon states his modest goal of making the world of sour beers a bit more approachable.
Texan Fruited Sours tend to fly deeply, almost suspiciously under the radar. Not because we’re not proud of them – on the contrary. The truth is that they are so lip-smacking-tasty that we want to keep them all to ourselves. Choosing just one Fruited Sour from a truly dizzying array of outstanding options was a small challenge in itself, but when we heard about new kids on the block Urban South HTX’s ultra flavor-dynamic collaboration with Pennsylvania’s Imprint Beer Co., we heeded the call. Spilled Schmoojee was the result of their collaboration.
February is a month where you can pour your heart out to the one you love; alternatively, it’s a perfect opportunity to pour a Fruited Sour Ale. Fruited Sours can be a little intense and definitively complex, but still completely satisfying (not unlike most relationships). For classic beer drinkers, the first sip of a Fruited Sour is more like trying a cocktail than sipping an IPA; Fruited Sours demand your attention in drinking. Their unique flavor profiles and ruby-red and golden hues make them perfect for special occasions- including Valentine’s Day. This month, look no further than Anchorage Brewing Company Fruited Sour, Scream, to celebrate the day of love.
Memory is a powerful tool, and it shapes how we remember events, stories and people. It’s impressive how the brain forgets the day, yet can call back perfect details of a random afternoon with a loved one 20 years ago. The simplest images can cause these nostalgic moments that leave you thinking back on fond memories.
One of the most admirable characteristics of the brewing industry is the constant pursuit of perfection. The art of rebuilding or tweaking/fine-tuning classic worldly or new and innovative recipes is an art — an art the industry does well. In Minneapolis, there’s not a better example of this process than Indeed Brewing Company’s Pils.
Deal with the Devil IPA is not the beer that MacLeod Ale Brewing Co. anticipated when it was established in 2014. But in addition to being a delicious IPA, Deal with the Devil also tells the story of MacLeod’s evolution from a British-style cask ale brewery to one of the most beloved beer companies in Los Angeles.
For anyone reading this outside the state of Kentucky, welcome to a teaching lesson on how to properly pronounce the city of “Louisville.” It is Loo-a-vuhl. Not Lewis-ville. Not Louie-ville. LOO-A-VUHL. Against the Grain Brewery has released the newest beer to their portfolio, a beer that educates the rest of the world on the correct pronunciation of their city, Loo-a-vuhl Pale.
With all the delicious clutter out there in the beer world, sometimes you just want a good, solid example of a classic style. For all of the Sours, Pastry Stouts, Hazies and Seltzers, there are still plenty of classics available. Falls City Brewing Co. brews a prime example of a classic Pale Ale with their English-Style Pale Ale.
When it comes to being active outdoors, no pursuit is ever complete without a celebratory beverage or two. Hiking, biking… it doesn’t matter. Nowhere is this more evident than in the ski and snowboard industry. There, they have turned celebrating a day on the mountain into an art form. Known as après-ski, it encompasses all the social activities that take place after a day in the snow. Most of these endeavors include good craft beer, which has become synonymous with skiing over the years. Recognizing this connection, breweries are capitalizing by using ski culture in their branding. Breweries like Common Roots Brewing Co. and their Gondola Session IPA define the idea of celebrating in the outdoors.
Collaborations are a regular occurrence in the world of craft beer. It’s one of the aspects that makes the industry unique — that togetherness and proof that competition isn’t a focal point. With their Holiday Reserve Coffee Stout, 2SP Brewing Co., which is located just outside of Philadelphia, took the idea of collaboration and looked outside the box.
Decipher Brewing joined an elite tier of breweries that make barrel-aged beers recently, following the release of Bourbon Barrel Aged Karabash, from their new “Babington Project.” This release comes in 14.2%… but we’ll get to that later.
The Babington Plot was a plot in 1856 to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I, using coded messages hidden in beer barrel bungs. (We’ll let you do some sleuthing to see how that plot turned out.) Decipher Brewing picked this name based off their own work in the military with ciphers and what better way to link the two than with a BBA stout?
In sharp contrast to Wrench, Industrial Arts’ incredibly popular NEIPA, their Helles from the State of the Art series is exceedingly bright. Its execution is consistent with the entire ethos of the brewery, perfectly captured by its name.
Dry January looked much different this year. Now, more than ever, local breweries need consumers’ support to survive. We continue to live through the pandemic and continuous major historical events. As a result, many have decided this isn’t the year to cut out drinking for a month (or at all).
However, for those who participated in alcohol abstinence, you didn’t have to sacrifice flavor. Recently, there has been a surge of non-alcoholic (NA) options in the market. Additionally, there are breweries solely dedicated to it. Meet Wellbeing Brewing Company, a Missouri-based craft brewery focused on non-alcoholic beers. They offer a range of NA styles, all consisting of 0% alcohol but thankfully–plenty of flavor.
Queen City Brewer’s Festival is a Charlotte beer-lover’s dream every February, but the global pandemic has forced them to get creative this year. For the 10th Anniversary of the fest this year, they’re celebrating in the format of a collective beer release: Court Shoes Only.
The latest and greatest New England IPA to hit my palate is Volume Integral, a hazy double IPA brewed with oats and wheat which creates a very plush mouthfeel. The oats and wheat play well with the hops used in this beer which are El Dorado, Azacca, Mosaic and Belma. All of these combined create a lot of fruit and melon flavors that are balanced very well. The hop star of the show has to be the Belma hops which tend to create an almost strawberry-like profile.
With over 8,000 breweries operating coast-to-coast and everywhere in between, there has never been a better time than today to be a beer drinker in the United States. The energy and creativity of the craft beer movement is undeniable. Breweries are producing elaborate takes on venerable beer styles and creating new styles as well. Whether you like Milkshake IPAs or an Italian Pilsner, there is a beer for you in your local brewery. Craft beer is an undeniably popular beverage. However, beer was even more popular in the US before the catastrophe of Prohibition nearly wiped out the alcohol industry from 1920 to 1933.
Located in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains of northwestern North Carolina, Booneshine Brewing Co. calls the town of Boone its home. And, like many of the residents of Boone, they are explorers and adventurers, and their beers reflects that—both in name and ingredients.
Their Space Pegasus—a New England-style IPA—is also aptly named after exploring, as it will take you on an “intergalactic adventure”.