PD takes a look at a brewery near you.
The outpouring of support for Alex Kidd and his family has been incredible over the last eight months. In particular, when backtracking to those first 30 days after he announced his Stage IV cancer diagnosis, it’s mind-blowing just how quickly so many breweries and individuals banded together to raise funds. Lua Brewing was no exception. Just four days after the unexpected announcement on Don’t Drink Beer’s social accounts, Lua organized a vintage sale offering full sets of their sought-after Destroyer Barleywine, with 100% earned going straight to the Kidd family.
With a slew of closures in the craft beer world in 2023, it’s always great to watch a brewery flourish. Indeed Brewing Company, with taprooms in both Minneapolis and Milwaukee, had a huge 2023. Not only were its flagship beers, Flavorwave IPA and Pistachio Cream Ale, big hits in its market, but it donated over $50,000 to various nonprofit organizations in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
PorchDrinking chatted with chief business officer Ryan Bandy, who was appointed to the role in 2023 after over 10 years with the brewery, including as director of experiences.
Up until this point, the Barrel Room Spotlight has exclusively featured brewery programs specializing in malty, high-gravity, oak-aged beers. For this installment, Floodland Brewing breaks the mold. We had the privilege of interviewing founder and brewer Adam Paysse to gain some insight into Floodland’s mixed fermentation portfolio, some of his approaches to culture collection and ingredients, and how he is able to assert his vision through unique, high-quality, bottle-conditioned beers.
Happy New Year! When we began this series last year, we had no idea what to expect. No one was quite prepared for the sheer magnitude of support Alex Kidd and his family would receive after his cancer diagnosis, but it’s been incredible to watch unfold. This series powers ahead into the new year, beginning with Fox Farm Brewery in Salem, Connecticut.
Back in May, immediately after hearing the news of Alex Kidd’s cancer diagnosis, PorchDrinking helped to organize a razzle with the Barleywine is Life Facebook group to raise money for his recovery through donations to his GoFundMe. On the 19th we published an article outlining how breweries could get involved with rare bottle contributions for the razzle, and then on June 6th officially announced the packages up for grabs. For every $10 forwarded to his recovery fund (with emailed proof), donors would receive one entry. Submissions closed at Midnight EST on June 18, with winners selected live on the morning of Tuesday, June 20 by Stephen Loh and Michael Gabriel of Malt Couture on Instagram.
One brewery donation in particular came all the way from Norway, contributing two special iterations of home-brewed, high-gravity ales that were randomly added to three winning boxes from the PorchDrinking razzle. We had the privilege to talk with Espen Westum extensively about his passion project, Westum Hjemmebryggeri, as well as the inspirations provided by Alex Kidd and what’s led him to this point in his brewing journey. Additionally, we were able to review and share the very exclusive charity releases Westum sent stateside to support the Kidds.
It was 4:45 on a weekday in the Santa Fe Railyard, and Nuckolls Brewing was already in full swing. There were 25 people in the beer line and a party of contemporary art gallerists were hobnobbing near the copper-accented bar. Clearly, this was the new Santa Fe hotspot.
The Denver Beer Company (DBC) armada continues to amass an even greater reach across the Front Range opening its 5th taproom and brewpub location in downtown Littleton, CO earlier this …
While Denver’s RiNo neighborhood has dominated beer headlines for the last decade, the Platt Park stretch of South Broadway has certainly been making the most waves over the last two …
This week, Collaborating for a Cause sets its sights on Florida, where Hialeah-based brewery King Fox joined forces with Shōjō Beer Co. and Odd Breed Wild Ales to release DDBIL, a special beer to support Alex Kidd. This is unbelievably the tenth installment in this series, with more to come. We can only hope that by highlighting the immense generosity from the Industry through these dedicated releases that we’ve not only inspired others to contribute help, but also motivated people to get checked regularly and learn the importance of monitoring their bodies.
At Helper Beer’s grand opening in May 2023, brewer Jaron Anderson had 11 beers on the board, all brewed in-house. Anderson, a protégé of Templin Family Brewing’s Kevin Templin, is a beer nerd. His eyes kind of roll back in his head if you ask him a question about beer, and he stops whatever he’s doing—even if he’s busy in the taproom—and enters a kind of reverie. Templin taught him well.
Funkytown Brewery founders Rich Bloomfield, Zack Day and Greg Williams met in 4th grade in Chicago and grew up together. They went to historically Black Grambling State University in Louisiana together, and returned to the Windy City together to begin their lives and careers. While attending parties, backyard barbecues, baby showers and other get-togethers in their twenties, they realized something else together: they were the only Black people bringing craft beer to these events.
This series has been a humbling experience. Not only have we had the opportunity to cover more participating breweries than we ever thought, but we have also seen endless generosity both in support of these installments and, more importantly, in support of Alex Kidd as he continues to fight for his life. Timber Ales is the next feature in Collaborating for a Cause, and we had the privilege of talking with Owner and Brewer Jason Stein about his iteration of Stay Strong Alex and the impact that Don’t Drink Beer has had on his own journey.
Those who have followed Alex Kidd since the beginning know him to be a long-time supporter of Modern Times. His reviews of their products have contributed to the growth of their barrel program and special projects, and the news of his cancer diagnosis back in May really hit the team in a personal place. Less than a month after Alex shared the news on social media, Modern Times had already organized a release in an effort to help cover his hospital expenses. We had the opportunity to work briefly with the Special Projects team at Modern Times to gain more insight on the beer itself and Alex’s impact on their development.
While Mikerphone Brewing out of Chicago is the latest brewery in this series, they were one of the first to take action in support of Alex Kidd and his family following the news of his cancer diagnosis. Just like what we saw most recently with Bob D’Angelo and Esker Hart Artisan Ales, Mikerphone Brewing was founded from a passion for homebrewing. Now, eight years since their first commercial beer, Mikerphone has become a Chicago beer staple and Owners Mike and Lisa Pallen have been fortunate enough to travel the world making and sharing beer. Upon hearing Alex’s devastating news, they knew they wanted to do what they could for him and his family during this unprecedented time. We were able to talk briefly with Mike and discuss a little more about the special single barrel English-style Barleywine released for the man behind the Barleywine is Life movement.
For many breweries making the leap from producing 1,000 barrels a year to 5,000 barrels a year is a formidable task, but taking that leap from producing 5,000 barrels a year to 10,000 and maintaining that production is an accomplishment few are able to achieve.
In Colorado, breweries like New Belgium, Odell, Oskar Blues, Left Hand, SKA Brewing, Avery Brewing, Upslope, and Great Divide have served as pioneers for the next generation of craft beer fans by scaling to become national brands. And while the craft beer landscape certainly looks different than it did ten years ago, a new wave of Colorado breweries including the likes of WeldWerks, Denver Beer Company, and now 4 Noses Brewing are looking primed to usher in a new era of Colorado breweries that could make a splash across the national market.
The opening of 4 Noses Brewing Company Park Hill marks yet another exciting milestone in the brewery’s methodical, yet strategic growth over the past nine years. 4 Noses Brewing Company first burst onto the scene when it opened its doors in Broomfield, CO in May 2014. Throughout the first six years of operation, 4 Noses built a sterling reputation for executing at a high level across a wide range of styles. However the burgeoning young brewery made it’s next big leap with the opening of Wild Provisions Beer Project in Boulder, CO in June 2020, focusing on mixed culture and wild fermentation beers as well as Czech-style Lagers. Shortly thereafter, 4 Noses would form 4N Holding as a parent company and acquire Lafayette’s Odd13 Brewing in November 2021. Now armed with three successful and distinctly unique brands under its belt, 4 Noses is prepped to embark on it’s next big step forward with the opening 4 Noses Brewing Company Park Hill at 4040 Dahlia Street.
The Stay Strong Alex initiative continues this week with a special iteration of Esker Hart Artisan Ale’s Bear series. With his first full-production location slated to open in early 2024, Bob D’Angelo started his brewing journey nine years ago. Early support from Alex served as a huge kick start to what has now become Esker Hart, and in the wake of his unanticipated cancer diagnosis, Bob knew that he wanted to honor and dedicate this second Blend of Bear to him in support of the long road ahead. We had a chance to talk with Bob and learn more about his history with Alex as well as the beer itself and the special raffle that was set up to help raise money for the Kidd family.
Machine House Brewery has been brewing traditional English-Style Cask Ales in South Seattle since 2013. Initially located in Georgetown, Machine House has spent summer 2023 relocating its brewery operations and taproom to the Hillman Neighborhood, just south of Rainier Valley’s Columbia City.
In a continually impressive showing of togetherness for a shared cause, Stay Strong Alex and similar initiatives have been raising an incredible amount of money to support Alex Kidd and his family as they navigate the road ahead following his Stage IV cancer diagnosis. This week we look to Pennsylvania and Voodoo Brewing Company. Having just celebrated the 10th anniversary of its original Arch Street Brew Pub last year, these guys are no strangers to the industry. The devastating diagnosis of the satirical beer icon resonated heavily with the team in Meadville, and we had the opportunity to speak briefly with Voodoo CMO Tom Guzick to gain some insight about the most recent release in their famous Barrel Room Collection series dedicated to Alex Kidd.
The high-production powerhouses of the industry have been far from the only ones showing support towards Alex Kidd and his family during his continuing fight with Stage IV cancer. A collaborative effort out of New Jersey, For The Kidd’s is the next feature in a growing series highlighting the incredible support provided by the craft beer community for a craft beer icon. Chris with Shore Side Brewing allowed us the opportunity to sit down and discuss a beer that he felt was more than fitting to be released for Don’t Drink Beer.