Craft Beer News
PorchDrinking brings you the breaking in craft beer news.
This weekend, WeldWerks Brewing, one of America’s most buzzed-about breweries, will celebrate its third anniversary with three days of special tappings and bottle releases.
During their first three years of operation, the Greeley, CO-based brewery has earned a gold medal victory at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival, in the Wood and Barrel-Aged Strong Stout category for Medianoche, and a silver medal for their Hefeweizen in the American Style Wheat Beer with Yeast category at both GABF and the US Open Beer Championship in 2015, and a bronze for Puesta del Sol, their Vienna-style Lager at the 2016 World Beer Cup. They’re also currently in the finals for USA Today’s For the Win Craft Beer Bracket for the Best Brewery in America and was named USA Today’s Best New Brewery in a 2016 10Best Reader’s Poll.
Brian Sheehy and Doug Dalton own three Cask Store locations: the flagship downtown on 3rd and Market, and another spot in the old Rincon Postal Building near the Embarcadero, and Cask on College in Rockridge. Sheehy and Dalton own a handful of other great bars in the Bay Area, including Bourbon and Branch, Pagan Idol and Local Edition. They have been influential to the cocktail scene in this area for the past decade and many great bartenders who have gone on to open their own establishments came up through the ranks of this company. Cask Taproom and Wine Bar is the name of the new drinking establishment within the Cask on College Shop. I spoke with taproom manager and beer buyer Josha Baker about the history of Cask, herself, and the Grand Opening on March 23, 2018.
So, there I was, standing outside on a cold March night in Chicago watching Off Color’s social media manager Ben Ustick and co-founder Dave Bleitner (lovingly called “The Other Guy”) methodically put together the fence that would block off their soon-to-be-open patio space. There was a palpable excitement shared between Ben and Dave as they hammered each 2×4 into place. The patio meant something more than just providing extra seating on a swanky summer day. It was validation that Off Color’s grand experiment had paid off.
The new taproom space, dubbed the Mousetrap, has been a smashing success as it has provided Dave and the other Co-Founder Jon Laffler (the one you usually see in the papers) with more room to share their craft beer genius with hordes of willing Chicagoans. While 2017 was an exciting year for Off Color Brewing, with more momentum and new experiments in the hopper, 2018 is shaping up to be even better.
Philip Joyce and Eric Schmidt, co-founders of Amalgam Brewing, have never been ones to follow convention. In its first year of existence, Amalgam immediately established itself as a formidable contender in Colorado’s bountiful landscape of elite level barrel-aged blended sour producers, all without a physical taproom, its own production facility, or its own retail space, until now.
As the number of craft breweries expanded rapidly in not only the suburbs of Chicago but all across the state of Illinois, there was talk if Chicago Craft Beer Week was feeling a little restrictive.
I remember sitting on the patio of Ballast Point’s Little Italy taproom in San Diego a few years ago sipping on a fresh Grapefruit Sculpin. At the time, I marveled at how impressive that beer tasted – the combination of mellow bitterness and fruity overtones came together in perfect harmony. It was one of the best beers I’ve ever tasted, and it’s still a beer I weigh other fruited IPAs against. Introduced in 2005, Ballast Point’s Sculpin IPA has become a pace setter in the American craft beer scene — especially for West Coast IPAs.
Every year the Brewers Association releases their list of the top 50 breweries by volume based on overall craft beer sales for the previous year.
Craft beer seems to go through phases. Right now, you can’t find a new brewery that isn’t making something exceedingly bitter, hazy or barrel-aged. In some ways, consumers’ preferences for different craft beer styles mirror their often-fleeting style, dietary and exercise obsessions. Every year there seems to be a new trend popping up that captures the minds of the economically important 25-34 age demographic. One dietary preference that has weathered the storm of fleeting fads has been the rise of gluten-free and gluten-reduced diets due to its digestive health benefits. Now, several prominent craft brewers are joining the fray by introducing gluten-reduced beers. Are these new options a simple novelty or a beer style that is set to explode? We asked two brewers leading the charge.
For over two decades, Two Brothers Brewing Company has been making solid beer and is a mainstay in the Chicago beer scene. Just recently, they added a new year-round beer to their rotation as well as two seasonal/limited releases.
Plain and simple, we’ve long exited the rainbows and unicorns era of the beer industry. We’re not wanting to turn all doom and gloom, but one can’t ignore the significance of the workforce downsizing announcements made in recent years from the likes of Stone, Green Flash, even Anheuser-Busch and most recently New Belgium, who last week announced a 4% cut to their workforce.
Last week, the Brewers Association sent out a press release announcing that more than “3,000 craft brewing companies—representing more than 6,000 craft brewing locations in the U.S.—have signed on to use the independent craft brewer seal.”
Will you serve food? It’s a question every brewery that’s getting ready to open a taproom will be asked.
In Chicago, there are a lot of taprooms. Food is a necessity when drinking, and taprooms handle this issue in all different ways. While some have a full menu, others work with food trucks to stop by on a regular schedule and others are simply BYOF (bring your own food).
As beer enthusiasts, we’ve all thought about it. Some of us may have even looked into the logistics of trying it, but very few of us could ever truly find the time, the money or the energy to visit every brewery in our home state over the course of one year. But that’s exactly what Emily Bennett accomplished in 2017 when she embarked on the Mitten Beer Quest, visiting every brewery in her home state of Michigan.
Just minutes before Marz Community Brewing Company was set to open for the first time this past Saturday, a line stretched from the door and around the corner with craft beer fans ready to welcome the long-awaited taproom to the Chicago beer scene.
Craft beer has a diversity problem. While there’s no easy fix to an issue that is prevalent throughout most industries in America, several craft brewers are making their presence felt by promoting diversity and inclusion from within their ranks. One of those breweries is Chicago’s Revolution Brewing, who employs 68 female employees throughout their expanding operation. To celebrate International Women’s Day, the women of Revolution came together to brew a special beer: Spirit of Revolt IPA.
This upcoming weekend marks the sixth annual WinterWonderGrass Festival. It is also the bluegrass festival’s second year in the town of Steamboat Springs in Northern Colorado.
This three-day outdoor festival is sold-out and attendees can expect performances from Elephant Revival, Leftover Salmon, Greensky Bluegrass, Yonder Mountain String Band, Lil Smokies and many more bands and artists. There are 22 bands in total comprising this year’s Colorado lineup! Below is a run down of the event as well as a playlist for those heading up to Steamboat for some music and beer.
Founded in 1988, Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery has enjoyed over three decades of success by tapping into the craft beer furor of the Pacific Northwest through artfully-hopped beers. With years of experience behind them, Deschutes is acutely aware of the difference between a fleeting fad and a trend that is here to stay. And the rise of brewers moving to cans is no fad. To meet the growing demand among many craft beer drinkers for increased flexibility and accessibility from their beers, Deschutes is moving three of their flagships into 12oz cans this March.
At the 2017 Cider Summit in Chicago, Denver’s Stem Ciders was officially introduced into the Chicago market. One year later, they’ve carved out a nice foothold in the growing cider offerings throughout the city and have been able to stand out in a very crowded space.
Following a somewhat stagnant 2017, the first month of the new year presented signs of optimism for the overall craft beer market. IRI Worldwide reports that U.S. beer sales in off-premise retail (like grocery, liquor, mass-merchandise stores, etc.) increased 3% in January 2018. This increase was bolstered by strong segment growth from craft beer (4.4%), imports (7.3%) and domestic supreme premiums (12.3%) like Michelob Ultra and Blue Moon. Because this is largely a craft beer site, we thought we’d take a look at the notable craft highlights from the IRI report and give our thoughts on the notable data points. Who knows, this might become a recurring monthly column. Here’s the lowdown.
Never one to shy away from causing a commotion, Greg Koch, executive chairman and co-founder of Stone Brewing Company announced today that they have filed suit against MillerCoors over the improper use of the word Stone in recent rebranding and marketing efforts around the Keystone brand.