PD takes a look at a brewery near you.
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.
Leave it to a Siebel Institute graduate to ferment a plan to impress a girl. Charlie Davis attempted to win Katie Morgan’s heart with hard cider. It worked. She not only fell in love with him, she married him. Katie also fell in love with the cider. In fact, the two of them thought so highly of that magical moment that they turned it into a business — Chicago’s first cidery. Today, you’ll find Charlie right-beside-her — Right Bee Cider, churning out well crafted cider to a growing fan base. He wooed her, and now they are wooing Chicago. You might say, it is cider at first site.
Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of sharing a delicious five-course meal paired with Foolproof Brewing beer selections while sitting across from head brewer Steve Sharp. I fell in love with their craft creations, which are distributed to the Northeast, but unfortunately not in my city! Still — I believe in this brewery and am spreading the word through an insightful interview with Foolproof’s founder Nick Garrison. Cheers!
There are many factors that can fuel the creativity of a brewer. One wellspring of creativity is an eagerness to learn. If a brewer begins to believe that they have learned all that they need to know, complacency may settle in, killing any sense of exploration or self-improvement. At Hidden River Brewing Company, the brewing philosophy is based on the idea that there is always room for improvement, and there are always new things to learn.
The enthusiasm for brewing small-batch beer at Imperial Oak Brewing is palpable. Brett Semenske, Grant Hamilton and Chris DiBraccio of Imperial Oak Brewing own a wealth of combined home brewing and bar industry experience which explains their recipe for success – brew a variety of great beer and make the brewpub experience priority number one.
A straight shot south down Interstate 55 from St. Louis is where you’ll find a brewing company — Main & Mill Brewing Company — that, while just three years in operation, is carrying forth a rich brewing tradition that began 120 years ago.
Let’s get something straight – weird beer is awesome. Weird beer made in the shadow of the world’s largest lager brewery, Anheuser-Busch, is even awesomer.
If you follow the trail long enough, you’ll eventually hit new terrain. This is just as true for owners Kaylee and Josh Robbins as it is for the hiking trails and pump tracks near this brand new brewery – New Terrain Brewing Company – located on the north east edge of Golden, Colorado.
If there ever was a town that could be described as a picture postcard, it may be Edwardsville, Illinois. As you come off I-255 North, you’ll be led along New Poeg Road on your way to Main Street where this All-American small town is home to one of the fastest growing craft breweries in the area — Recess Brewing.
In order to standout as a brewery in the great state of Michigan, you’ve got to go above and beyond just brewing really solid beer. Since 2012 over 100 new craft breweries have opened in the fruitful state of Michigan alone. But Transient Artisan Ales, in the southwest corner in Bridgman, has begun found a way to gain not just local industry attention but national acclaim as well.
Odd13 Brewing has had themselves a year, from the meteoric rise in success of their New England-style IPAs to their Robot Librarian hazy IPA collaboration with Fiction, WeldWerks and Cerebral, to the expanded distribution and new can releases featuring their iconic comic book themed illustrations. We sat down with founder Ryan Scott, as well as head brewer, Eric Larkin, to talk about their big year.