PD takes a look at a brewery near you.
Although it’s one of Colorado’s top five independent craft brewers by volume, Sleeping Giant Brewing Company neither serves nor sells beer onsite. While this may seem counter-intuitive, Sleeping Giant is a dedicated contract brewer, meaning it only produces beer for other breweries–it has no beer brand of its own. Matthew Osterman, founder and owner, recently discussed this important and little-understood part of the craft brewing industry.
January often gets a bad rap — it’s easy to feel gloomy after the holiday fun is over. As 2021 begins, let’s remind ourselves that the days are getting longer, last year’s goals are a distant memory, and we now have the opportunity to make new ones. Thus far 2021 looks a bit too much like 2020: aspirations of travel, trying new things, and meeting new people might have to wait until mid-year. Instead of goals, perhaps it’s time to start working on some COVID-safe resolutions, like eating more vegetables, finishing home improvement projects, and drinking tasty local beers at home. Enter Aluminum Cowboy, a light lager from Hop & Sting Brewery.
Nestled in a picturesque box canyon and scored seasonally by lush green cliffs or powder-capped mountain tops, Telluride, CO is a magical resort town that remains one of the most scenic destinations in the state.
Despite the world-class skiing, a multitude of festivals that used to fill its lodging capacity every summer and Bridal Veil Falls, a dramatic 365-foot waterfall that is fully visible from downtown, the town still exudes a relative quaintness due to its remote location–unlike other resort towns like Breckenridge, Aspen and Vail.
Similarly, Telluride Brewing Co., which was founded in 2011, is highly adored and respected by those familiar with the industry while still flying relatively under the radar. Long revered for its signature Facedown Brown and more recently gaining steam for their continued work in hop-forward beers, Telluride Brewing is now on the cusp of its next evolutionary phase.
The North Pole goes dark for months at a time during the winter months, which also happens to be the time when the indigenous elves work their hardest. The elves, of course, serve the world’s most famous philanthropist, Santa Claus. But, with a harsh and brutal winter comes the need to kick back with friends and enjoy a good beer or two and that’s where North Pole Brewing comes into play. The brewery, and its head brewer Abigail Cornelious, have so far enjoyed resounding success.
How many breweries have taken this route? Start as a San Francisco brewpub in 2000; add contract brewing in Minnesota to the mix in 2008; in 2015, when the time is right, build the first production facility in San Leandro.
One of the most wonderful things about Michigan, given its vicinity to the Great Lakes, is the multitude of mini climates that make the state ideal for growing grapes, hops, wheat and, of course, cherries. However, despite a great deal of hullaballoo over Michigan cherries, it is far from the only fruit grown in the Mitten State. Mirabelle plums, apples, pears and quince are also grown throughout Michigan’s western fruit belt, as well as the luscious and lovely blueberry. It stands to reason, then, that breweries throughout the fruit belt region embrace the blueberry and other fruits as a way to make authentically-Michigan, fruit-based beers from locally grown fruit. Few are more locally grown than Waypost Brewing Company, a farm brewery that prides itself on its ties to the land.
“We define Waypost as a farmhouse brewery, and our beers are created to reflect the place and the people who make it what it is. Whether that’s the water, the fruit or the feeling on the farm the day the beer was brewed, we want our product to be a reflection of this truly unique place,” said Waypost’s co-owner and brewer, Hannah Lee.
Which Central European country has a proud brewing tradition of more than 1000 years and is the highest per-capita beer-drinking nation in the world? This country’s delicious beers have also inspired many of the craft lagers brewed in the United States. If you guessed Germany, you would be close. But the answer lies just a little further east on the map and a world apart in the consciousness of the typical American craft beer enthusiast.
In the Czech Republic, beer is not just a beloved beverage, it is a way of life. Stepping into a Bohemian beer hall is an immersion into a rich and ancient brewing tradition that rivals the grandest biergartens in Munich or Trappist monasteries in Belgium. Czech brewing contributions include the first Pilsner, the Saaz hop, the perfection of traditional decoction brewing and many others. It’s a Lager-focused culture and Czechs have long made some of the best lagers in the world.
Black Calder Brewing, a new brewery opening in Michigan, launches on Black Friday. As the first Black-owned brewery in Michigan, owners Terry Rostic and Jamaal Ewing recognize how significant this is for representation and diversity in craft beer. PorchDrinking chatted by email with Rostic and Ewing to find out more about Black Calder Brewing and what to expect from the brewery.
Wheatland Spring Farm + Brewery in Waterford, VA sits on 30 acres of rolling Virginia farmland approximately 50 miles west of the urban bustle of Washington, DC. This working farm is a beautiful spot to enjoy a pint in the repurposed, 200-year-old tasting room and century-old brewhouse barns nestled amidst the charming bucolic countryside. These are the parts of Wheatland Spring most guests experience, but they only hint at the revolutionary approach to brewing that is blossoming within these unassuming rustic walls.
Rincon Reservation Road (3R) Brewery has the powerful honor of bridging Native American ancestral heritage with the craft beer community. Tucked away in Valley Center, 45 miles from downtown San Diego, Rincon Reservation Road Brewery is attached to Harrah’s Resort and Casino, cheekily re-labeled in advertisements as Funner, California. Much like this entire region of Southern California, Funner was inhabited by indigenous tribes, such as the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians.
Drink local. From t-shirts, to hashtags, to just being uttered in conversation, it’s a phrase that comes up often within the craft beer industry. The idea of prioritizing local beers in and around your hometown appeals to many. Everyone has their reasons. Whether it’s the terroir, ingredients or lack of travel time, people have an affinity to drinking beer from an establishment close to their homes. Local beer and breweries seem more authentic than some of the more well known, larger craft breweries. It is this type of originality that is on display at The Good Wolf Brewing Company as they take you on a hike through Tahoe with their brewery and, more particularly, forest beers.
The U.S. boasts a large and diverse number of veteran-owned breweries. With Veteran’s Day coming up on Wednesday, Nov. 11, it seemed like a great time to look at why military service provides practical preparation for brewery ownership by checking in with Wild Blue Yonder Brewing Co. in Castle Rock, CO.
“We were just another set of yahoos trying to make it happen,” Jeff Smith, owner and brewer at LUKI Brewery in Arvada, Colorado says. “There are so many delusions of grandeur, so I respect the professional collective apathy at yet another ‘homebrewer going pro’ story.”
In 2018, Smith quit his job to focus on the brewery full-time, unaware (as we all were) of the pandemic that would soon ravage the industry. When his family cut the ribbon on LUKI (a combination of his daughters’ names) in July of 2020, Smith’s “delusions of grandeur” manifested into a wild new reality: A fun, circus-themed brewery on the west side of Arvada.
Cincinnati’s Rhinegeist Brewery was founded in 2013 as a step toward reclaiming the area’s German brewing heritage. Rhinegeist’s expansive 250,000 square foot brewery and taproom is housed in the former Christian Moerlein turn of the century packaging hall and over the years has grown into multiple floors throughout the building.
New breweries often seem to take a few months to dial in their recipes and make great beers. Not so for 6 and 40 Brewery in Lakewood, Colorado. At their September 11 grand opening, the brewery fired on all cylinders with a wide-ranging tap list designed to satisfy every palate. 6 and 40 is connected to long-standing homebrew store Tom’s Brew Shop.
Owner Tom Schurmann explained that he created 6 and 40’s beer selection for broad appeal. “We want something for everyone,” he explained. “We have 20 selections. We’re gonna have what you like.”
Throughout pop culture, there’s often been a great deal of fascination around those rare instances when a talented group of individuals is able to put aside individual egos and motives to coalesce together around a greater cause.
Think back to …
When Roaring Table Brewery won the 2020 USA Today Readers’ Choice “Best New Brewery” award, it didn’t come because the brewery engaged heavily in a marketing strategies, nor did it come from chasing trends or a producing a series of sexy releases. Beth May and Lane Fearing, married couple and founders of Roaring Table Brewing, created a brewery that at its heart and soul is a neighborhood tavern or pub that just happens to serve some of the best beer in town.
“Beer is more than just a drink; it’s an experience,” said Lane, who serves as Roaring Table head brewer.
In the grand scheme of beer’s role throughout human history, American craft beer is still in its early stages of influence. However, even during this fleeting period, the amount of innovation that has sprung forth has already made a lasting …
Part of what makes the state of Colorado so special is that a short drive outside of the city can lead you on an adventure through altitude defying mountain ranges, desert-like sand dunes, lush rolling green plains, and arid rocky traverses. Such is the case with Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley, where a drive through its snaking canyons that have been carved out over time by a swift and serpentine river that shares the name, has created one of the state’s most picturesque regions.
Bad Dad Brewing Co. isn’t the sort of brewery you’re likely to stumble across accidentally. Barry Howard has no qualms saying that the brewery he and his sons founded in Fairmount, Indiana, isn’t in a location people generally think of as a destination. Instead, he’s proud of the fact that he made the brewery and its associated restaurant and brewpub into the destination.