PD takes a look at a brewery near you.
Schmohz Brewing Company is one of the lesser known breweries in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In a field of highly recognizable names, it’s not surprising, but it is unfortunate because the beers are stellar and the people are good fun. It is possible that part of the reason for their lack of publicity is that the atmosphere at 2600 Patterson SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan is a little different from what you might expect at a modern microbrewery.
If you haven’t heard about Cleophus Quealy Beer Co. consider this your formal introduction to a great farmhouse brewery in the East Bay! They are located at 448 Hester Street, San Leandro, CA 94577 – which is right by the Oakland International Airport! So, you know it’s good to grab a great beer on your layover or on your way out of town.
Colorado’s next elite level sour / wild beer producer doesn’t have a physical taproom, nor does it actually have its own production facility, in fact it hasn’t actually released its first beer to the public… at least not yet. Despite its unconventional start, Amalgam Brewing, which has been quietly taking root for the past three years, will officially launch this weekend with the release of Ascension, a golden sour ale aged in a combination of neutral oak and chardonnay barrels.
“As a startup, you have the opportunity to self-distribute since nobody knows who you are,” said distributors to Sun King Brewery co-founder, Clay Robinson in 2009. Now, as Indiana’s second largest brewery and with numerous, prestigious brewing medals to its name, plenty of people know about Sun King Brewing.
Located in the Upper Florida Keys, Islamorada takes on popularity for being the fishing capital of the world. Islamorada Beer Company has been providing the locals with quality craft beer since 2014, when a group of friends were inspired to brew styles that would complement the Florida way of life. The hot weather, mixed with outdoor activities, does not change the desire to enjoy a quality brew. Ever since Islamorada Beer Company was launched, their goal was to brew beer, that was drinkable in warm weather and they have been doing so ever since.
As a solo beer writer with a full time job, I’ve come this realization—I won’t be able to attend every new brewery opening, and I won’t be able to drink every new beer.
This has been worrisome, but after speaking with a few owners and managers of local craft breweries, I now understand that most beer media will cover grand openings, but that the effect wears off pretty quick. It’s reminding the beer loving public months later about what’s happening and what’s new that will pay off for everyone. So with that in mind, I’m not going to worry about missing the grand openings, but rather let each new brewery work out its kinks before writing a feature on them, their beer and potentially their menu. This will also allow you and I, the reader, to benefit from multiple visits to the brewery, which is frankly more fun anyway.
Recently, I paid a second and third visit to what is now the closest craft brewery to my home, Charleville Brewing Company & Tavern located at 2101 Chouteau Avenue in St. Louis, MO..
What is Blackberry Farm? That is the question. As we drove past a beautiful white fence deep in the Smoky Mountains overlooking a gorgeous lake, I had to ask that question.
Blackberry Farm Brewery is an award-winning brewery, but that is only one portion of their operation. For over 40 years, Blackberry Farm has been a culinary destination. From that, they have grown into one of the countries finest luxury resorts. There, one can retreat to a relaxing, outdoor adventure wonderland of awesome. Upscale overnight cottages, spas, dining, world-class wine, liquors and, yes, amazing beers.
Brewpubs are not a new trend by any means, as they have been in business in St. Louis since at least 1991, when The Schlafly Tap Room opened just west of downtown. However, the practice of pairing a limited or full menu with beer brewed under the same roof continues to grow more popular in St. Louis, and few do it better than Ferguson Brewing Company.
Nestled in the underbrush of Denver’s thicket of cranes and sprouting skyscrapers, lies a different kind of forestry. Woods Boss Brewing, who’s nondescript exterior unit on the outskirts of Downtown Denver’s Ballpark neighborhood, opens into a log cabin-esque interior, reminiscent of the same kind of vacation lodges one could find dotting the mountain sides of the Rockies, Smokies or Appalachians.
Woods Boss Brewing, which officially opens to the public today at 5pm, aims to brew a wide variety of styles to provide a little something for everyone.”Our focus is high quality beer and that can range anywhere from traditional to completely esoteric beers, that transcend any one style,” noted co-founder Jordan Fink.
It’s hard to imagine now, but just a few years ago the Leary Way strip in Seattle was primarily industrial spaces. Drive-by territory. It’s a history that seems distant – and perhaps even unimaginable, now. These days Leary Way is home to Seattle’s best and, arguably, most frequented breweries. Patrons, food trucks, and pedal pubs now weave in and out of the area fluidly, like clockwork. So when did it start? What was it that flipped the switch? Well, one might argue that it all started with Adam Robbings, and his fateful venture: Reuben’s Brews.
Tucked away in an industrial part of town near the old Fort Collins Airport, you’ll find a bright red building, originally an airplane hanger, and now a family-run brewery called Horse & Dragon Brewing. Inside, long community tables and round tops casually welcome you to put your phone away and have a seat. There are no TVs, live bands, or food trucks for entertainment. Instead, the brewery welcomes you to come in, grab a beer, chat with some friendly patrons or staff, and enjoy the moment. And immediately, you will feel welcome. There is an inexplicable vibe that Horse & Dragon exudes, that can only be attributed to owners Carol and Tim Cochran. Their love of craft beer and the Fort Collins community is poured into the brewery and here is their story.
In a craft-beer world abound in ales, a brewery focused on lagers can reap the benefits of exploring a whole new world of brewing innovation and experimentation. And that’s what you’ll find at Kinslahger Brewing in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Illinois,
In two short years, Rally King Brewing has become one of Fort Collins’ go-to watering holes. What started as a passion project for owners Matt and Michelle Kriewall has evolved into a standout brewery in what many consider the craft beer capital of the United States. Rally King is tucked away in a strip center on the east side of town, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it spot between a gamer’s paradise and a delicious Asian restaurant. This past Saturday, however, you’d be hard pressed to overlook Rally King’s taproom.
Nestled in the woods of southern Illinois, among the dips and low hills of a surprisingly wild region of the state, sits one of the most innovative breweries operating in the American craft beer scene today. That innovation, however, comes by way of ancient tradition. Owners and brewmasters Marika Josephson and Aaron Kleidon aren’t pioneering cutting edge brewing technologies or using explosively flavorful new varieties of experimental hops. Rather, they’re reviving the use of ingredients and techniques that humans have used for centuries to make beer. Foraging among the underbrush of their wooded property for edible bark, nuts, fruits, flowers, roots and mushrooms, and growing yet more ingredients at their brewery garden, the folks at Scratch are bringing unexpected flavors to beer drinkers lucky enough to make it to their rustic property.
Andrew Kaczmarek and Nato Francescato have never been keen on following convention. The two co-founders of 14er Brewing bucked tradition when they launched in the summer of 2016 without a taproom location, focusing solely on contract brewing and canning their beers for liquor store sales for the first year. That gamble proved successful earning the two a gold medal at their very first Great American Beer Festival last October for their Rocky Mountain Saison, a Cilantro Lime Chili Saison, which took home top honors in the Chili Beer category.
Featured Image Credit: Urban Village Brewing Company
Envision this: a Berliner weisse made with 300 pounds of beets. It is as strange and tasty as it sounds, and it is one of the varieties of brews available at Philly’s newest brewpub, Urban Village Brewing Company.
Opened to the public as of June 1, Urban Village Brewing is a part of a myriad of storefronts opening in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia, creating life for this up-and-coming neighborhood. In a city with a booming restaurant scene, Urban Village sets itself apart with its quaint ambiance and quality beer.
From the communal outdoor patio picnic tables, to the glass garage door facade giving way to an open airy taproom, even down to the chalk wall interior, Denver Beer Company’s upcoming third facility, opening Saturday in a former auto bodyshop along the main drag of Olde Town Arvada, will feel like an extension of their original Platte Street LoHi location.
Right before you reach the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport, there is an industrial area packed with offices. Tucked off to the side is SLO Brew‘s The Rock, the second brewery location that opened earlier this year. Son of Dr. Stanley Hoffman, one of the pioneers who established the Paso Robles wine region, Mike Hoffman founded SLO Brew in 1988 with Kathy Ireland. It was the first brewpub on the Central Coast since prohibition. The current owner, Hamish Marshall, a beer loving Aussie who fell in love with SLO, took over as owner in 2010.
Featured image: Yergey Brewing Company
Tucked away in the small town of Emmaus, Pennsylvania is one of the best kept secrets of the Lehigh Valley’s craft beer scene. Behind an ominous chain-link fence on a side street stands one of eastern PA’s most inviting neighborhood breweries: Yergey Brewing Company.
Yergey Brewing Company’s founder and head brewer, Jim Yergey, may be the oldest head brewer in the Lehigh Valley, but he’s also the one who is having the most fun. Spend five minutes chatting with him at the bar, and you will instantly recognize that sparkle in his eye. It doesn’t seem like there is anywhere else he would rather be. After a long career as a chemist, Jim chose to spend his retirement in his own brewery, and it definitely suits him.
Featured image courtesy of David Nilsen
I had never met a nun before. That feels important to establish at the outset.
Though I grew up religious, the spiritual instruction of my youth came mostly from non-denominational preachers with overactive sweat glands and a predilection toward sermons about the end times rather than from black-clad Catholic nuns. So I had no idea what to expect when my wife and I arrived at Monastery Immaculate Conception, home of the Sisters of St. Benedict in Ferdinand, Indiana. I was there to interview Bruce Luecke, the brewmaster at Saint Benedict’s Brew Works, the only brewery in the country housed on the grounds of a women’s religious community. The graceful but imposing dome of the monastery’s century-old chapel rose above us on a hill as we stepped out of our car in front of the Kordes Center, the monastery’s guest lodging facility. The brewery was nowhere in sight as we entered the doors of the retreat center.