PD takes a look at a brewery near you.
Over the past decade, craft beer has risen from relative obscurity, to relative general commercial buy-in and now reached the point of exploring the next great frontiers of innovation. From spirit barrel-aging, to mix-culture sours and wilds, lupulin powder to adjunct ingredients, our understanding of beer continues to expand each and every day.
Ursula Brewery in Aurora, Colorado released “PB&J Porter” last year in March, then it won a gold medal at the Colorado State Fair, so they re-brewed it and called it “Crustless”. Skip to October, Imperial Crustless was brewed, they sold some shirts, glasses, lunch boxes and a little PB&J sandwich as a garnish.
The Only Child Brewing story involves several unique chapters. Some sections are straightforward, yet compelling, such as mentioning the brewery’s ultra-hip, slick taproom or the brewery’s personable, enthusiastic staff. Of course, one can also talk about its beer that exemplifies the term, “artisanship.” However, other portions of the Only Child Brewing story are far more complex, including the nearly simultaneous, and tumultuous, birth of both the brewery and its owners’ newborn twins. The story may not be a fairy tale, but all signs point towards a happy ending.
Feature Image: James Nichols, Great Central Brewing Co.
If craft brewers had escaped from their 20th century oppression (on the way to the fermented promised land) with a set of rules on stone tablets, there’s a good chance it would have included the commandment “thou shall not contract brew.” But, are all contract brewers the same? One visit, one conversation with Chicago’s brand new Great Central Brewing Company (GCBC), and it’s likely you’ll realize that perception and reality rarely match. I know, because I did just that a few weeks ago.
Red Brick Brewing Company, Georgia’s oldest operating craft brewery, is exactly what you want in a neighborhood haunt. Red Brick prides itself on producing fresh, interesting and delicious brews in a warm, welcoming environment.
Real Ale Brewing Company has just celebrated 21 years of brewing beer in the Texas Hill Country — and they don’t show any signs of slowing down. The Brewers Association recently posted the Top 50 Craft Breweries in the US by sales volume and Real Ale made the list at number 49. It’s impressive for a brewery whose motto is “unavailable in 49 states”. That’s right, you can only enjoy the popular Firemans #4 or a unique small batch Mysterium Verum release in the great state of Texas. Recently, the brewery announced the launch of the Real Spirits Distilling program that includes Hill Country Signature Whiskey, Grain to Glass Gin, and the highly limited first batch of Single Barrel Whiskey only available at the Real Ale Taproom.
Known for its expanse of warehouses and industrial vibe, the West Town neighborhood in Chicago has become a hotbed for craft beer, including the recently opened On Tour Brewing. Positioned within walking distance of Forbidden Root, All Rise Brewery and Goose Island, On Tour Brewery is the perfect midway point for any West Town brewery crawl due to its relaxed vibe and its exceptionally well-rounded beer list.
Photo Credit: Noon Whistle Brewing via Facebook
The Noon Whistle Brewing story resembles one enjoyed by innumerable craft breweries, especially in Chicago. The brewery first sought to create a niche within the booming craft beer market by becoming Chicago’s premier session-beer location. But, now in its third year, abundant success has forced the Noon Whistle Brewing crew to adapt its vision, both to accommodate its growing business, and also satisfy a desire to brew a variety of great beer. Noon Whistle has transitioned from audience-seeker to a trusted name brand.
Featured imaged photo credit: Portner Brewhouse’s facebook page.
Portner Brewhouse is trying to do many, many things: resurrect pre-Prohibition family recipes, encourage local experimentation among homebrewers, serve delicious German food and of course, brew and serve beer.
And prost! They are actually doing it all — and doing it well.
One of the hottest new breweries in the Atlanta-area is Hapeville, Georgia’s Arches Brewing. Hapeville may be an unfamiliar city name, but the brewery is located just north of one of the world’s busiest airports, Hartsfield-Jackson International. Arches is creating a lot of buzz as one of the best new breweries in Georgia (THE best in my opinion), so it’s clearly wasting no time making its mark on the Georgia craft beer landscape.
Feature photo credit: Briar Common Facebook
When Kent, Greg and Travis Dawson decided to make their dream of opening a brewery become a reality they started to look around the brewery scene in Denver and they realized that while there were plenty of new breweries opening up, very few of those breweries were dedicated to serving outstanding food to go along with the high-quality beer they were brewing.
“It was clear that the brewpub model was quickly being outnumbered by the manufacturing/tasting room model.”
Kent Dawson, co-founder of Briar Common Brewery + Eatery
Featured photo provided by Maxline Brewing
Step inside Maxline Brewing and you’ll see a small tasting room lined with large, wooden community tables and expansive garage windows that open out to a patio in the south-facing sun. Inside the tasting room, three fermenters are in full view with chalkboard titles tantalizing guests with the beers to come. On this particularly sunny day, the patio is full and beers are flowing. Maxline staff, often called beertenders, weave seamlessly throughout the tasting room stopping to exchange pleasantries with customers, pet a dog or two (dogs are allowed on both patio and tasting room), and high five children on their way out. For this midtown location in Fort Collins, it’s as if “everybody knows your name.”
Denver is a city fueled not by urban sprawl, but rather the alluring balance of culture, arts, entertainment as well as the simplicity and beauty of the great outdoors. Colorado weekends are often split by beer fests, farmers markets, art walks and Rockies games, but also 14er hikes, hill climbs on two wheels, cliff hucks and bouldering climbs.
Nevin’s Brewing Company (NBC), located in Chicago’s suburban Plainfield, is a restaurant, banquet hall, music venue and a brewery — and now that brewery has its own name, Nevin’s Draft Company. The “B” in NBC, occasionally got lost in the mix, so the brewing arm of NBC created a new, separate identity. The beer has always been good, but now more people are going to know about it.
If a picture is worth 1,000 words, Sketchbook Brewing is worth 1,000 stories.
For this writer, whose job it is to frequent breweries and watering holes several times a week, it is sometimes difficult to be impressed. However, Sketchbook Brewing, located in Chicago-suburban Evanston, Illinois, impressed mightily – great beer, admirable business philosophy, and a wonderful, cozy taproom.
I’ve been noticing a new trend – how many of our best and up-in-coming city neighborhoods are being anchored and supported by the local beer community.
One I want to talk about today is Dogtown. Dogtown, bordered by Manchester in the South, Hampton on the East, McCausland in the West and Oakland in the North – has been a part of the fabric of the city for more than 100 years. And while the spiritual center of the neighborhood will always be St. James the Greater School, the beer epicenter is Heavy Riff Brewing Company (6413 Clayton Ave. Saint Louis, Missouri 63139).
When I pull into the parking lot at Eventide Brewing, a squat, red-brick structure in Atlanta’s Grant Park neighborhood, a guy is standing atop a 20-foot ladder angled against the building. Wearing protective headphones the size of coconut shells and holding a drill, he watches me get out of my car.
I take a guess at who he might be:
“Yep,” he says. “Shawn’s inside, she’ll get you set up. I’ll be there in a few minutes.”
The drill, the ladder — none of this would surprise folks who know Cowan. Besides his role as the CEO of Eventide, he is also its head engineer. Having spent a decade working in the field of mechanical engineering and construction, Cowan still maintains Professional Engineer status with the state of Georgia, and practices his trade on much of Eventide’s brewing equipment. On this sunny Thursday, however, he is hanging a large banner announcing the brewery’s upcoming three-year anniversary celebration.
When you hear Wisconsin and craft beer, one typically thinks of New Glarus Brewing. Very quickly though the state is seeing other breweries experience success and is becoming a hotbed for craft beer. One of those breweries that is starting to experience more growth is 3 Sheeps Brewing Co. in Sheboygan.
Avg. Reading Time: 5 min
ABV: 5% | IBU: 29
As a natural born citizen of Colorado, I am one of the few who has never left (or plan on leaving) this wonderful state. From hiking, tailgating at a football game, or munching down at my favorite Denver Mexican restaurant, I have cemented myself into the thriving Denver culture. All these can of course be enjoyed while drinking a cool refreshing craft beer. Recently I was introduced to one Denver’s newest craft breweries, 14er Brewing. My reward for climbing a Colorado 14er is to drink a beer at the top from an environmentally friendly crushable can, so just hearing the name immediately caught my attention.