Craft Beer News
PorchDrinking brings you the breaking in craft beer news.
It might still be Dry January for many folks, but the beer calendar is already beginning to fill up for the first half of the year. And with so many breweries and events still working on ramping up after a …
On January 17th, 2023, the nearly 100 current employees of Creature Comforts Brewing in Athens, GA filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to unionize under a brand new independent labor banner — BUG or the Brewery Union of Georgia. This does not mean that Creature Comforts has officially unionized their labor force, as a formal election process amongst employees must take place to solidify the new structure and then head to the bargaining table, but BUG organizers are optimistic about the vote. The discussion about unionization began earlier last summer and progressed quickly as many employees cited feeling neglected, overburdened, and unsupported by upper management, who have been busy planning the expansion of a new Creature Comforts facility in Los Angeles. BUG also believes that unionization embraces Creature Comforts’ overarching company values such as ‘“existing to foster human connection” and “building a balanced team of authentic and professional individuals.”
This weekend, Cannonball Creek Brewing Company celebrates its 10th anniversary with a weekend-long celebration commemorating a decade of brewing some of the state’s most highly decorated beers.
Collaborations are made to bring out the best of two things, melding knowledge and expertise together to create something better than either could have created alone. This year, two iconic brands joined forces to bring the wild and raw nature of the Pacific Northwest to the mouths of humans through a unique beer series. Filson, established in 1897 to outfit prospectors headed for the Yukon partnered with Stillwater Artisanal, a nomadic beer venture to celebrate over a century of craft and tradition through a limited-release collection of collaboration beers.
One of craft beer’s most iconic brands is about to look and taste a lot different after 32 years. New Belgium Brewing has announced a complete overhaul of its iconic Fat Tire brand, which includes new packaging, branding, and more importantly, a new recipe.
The same legendary brewery that has produced iconic industry-changing staples like Parabola, Union Jack, 805, Mind Haze, and Pivo Pils is giving one lucky beer fan the opportunity to join the “Legendary Brewmaster Experience.”
Firestone Walker Brewing invites beer fanatics to enter for a chance to win an all-expense paid, four-day, three-night VIP trip to visit all three Firestone Walker breweries in Venice, Buellton, and Paso Robles to brew with their all-star team. The winner of the Legendary Brewmaster Experience will receive an all-access Firestone Walker VIP weekend learning from the likes of co-founder David Walker, and Brewmaster, Matt Brynildson.
We might be a little biased, but supporting local journalism is critical not only to maintaining a democratic society but also to providing platforms for small businesses and individuals in industries like craft beer.
Unfortunately over the last decade, countless numbers of publications have suffered from budget cuts, key departures, and in some cases closures. In the beer industry alone, we’ve seen notable departures from peers like DRAFT Magazine, BeerPulse, The Hop Review, and All About Beer Magazine before it was eventually revived earlier this year.
When it comes to national breweries, Firestone Walker is the baseball equivalent to a five-tool player. Not only have they been wildly successful in capturing the attention of casual craft beer fans with commercial hits like Mind Haze, Union Jack and Hopnosis, while also gaining the respect of their peers with industry icons like Pivo Pils and Wookey Jack, but they’ve also proven their ability to gain traction with casual beer drinkers through their 805 series.
However, all of that might pale in comparison with what they’ve accomplished through their ever-evolving barrel-aging and specialty release program. While beer fanatics are likely familiar with classics like Firestone Walker’s Parabola, Sucaba and their yearly Anniversary blends, over the past three years, the Paso Robles-based brewery has quietly continued to breathe new life into their barrel-aging and small-batch release programs through the Brewmaster’s Collective membership program. Think of them as the Shohei Ohtani of brewing.
Even in spite of a world-altering pandemic and an impending recession, the craft beer scene in Colorado Springs has continued to experience rapid growth over the last four years. So much so, that according to Colorado Beer Geek, Stephen Adams, Colorado Springs has now eclipsed Boulder and Fort Collins in terms of the total number of breweries with 34 in operation. The area’s vibrant beer scene has already drawn big-name attention once, but now, a different familiar name from the Front Range is primed to join the mix.
After nine years of operating as one of the pioneer breweries in Denver’s RiNo neighborhood, Epic Brewing will close its Denver location before the end of the year. Opening just a year after River North Brewery, Our Mutual Friend Brewing, and Black Shirt Brewery, Epic Brewing joined a groundswell of craft beer producers to transform the North side of Denver into one of the most heavily saturated craft brewery neighborhoods in the country.
The results are IN and we now know all of the big award winners from this year’s 2022 Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beers (FoBAB). This year’s 20th anniversary of FoBAB was once again a spectacular success with over 160 breweries showcasing the country’s absolute best producers in the wood and barrel-aged beer categories.
District Brew Yards is well-known within the West Loop of Chicago as a pour-your-own beer hall with four different breweries in operation. After looking for expansion opportunities throughout the past year, the previous Ram Brewing location in Wheeling, Illinois was the perfect fit. The current West Loop location has four breweries in residency: Around the Bend Beer Co, Burnt City Brewing, Twisted Hippo and Casa Humilde Cerveceria. At the Wheeling location, customers will find these four breweries, as well as Histrionic Brewlab. In addition to these five breweries, there is an Added Libations Tab, where ciders and wines will be available.
The Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beers (FoBAB) is unlike any other beer festival in the country. No other place can you find more barrel-aged beers to sample under one roof. That being said, here are some tips so you can have a great time and be safe.
Thirty years ago, Goose Island Beer Co. released the first edition of Bourbon County Brand Stout. Its initial success evolved into a phenomenon resulting in beer drinkers annually lining up around the block at various stores to try to get their hands on a bottle. In celebrating the 30th Anniversary, Goose Island brought back two fan-favorite variants among the seven-bottle 2022 Bourbon County Stout lineup.
While the Great American Beer Festival has come and gone, the frenzied pace of the largest beer festival in the country descending upon the Centennial State certainly hasn’t subsided. In fact, in the two weeks since GABF a lot has happened. So we thought we’d recap some of the more notable comings and goings surrounding Colorado’s craft beer scene as of late.
On August 25, Fort Point Beer Company relaunched their menu for their Valencia Beer Hall in the Mission District of San Francisco. Valencia had a rocky start, opening in the fall of 2019. They unfortunately had to close their doors like so many others. With this menu relaunch they wanted bring a sit down seafood experience to another part of the city that holds a special place for Dina Dobkin, Chief Brand Officer. “The neighborhood has definitely changed over the years but it continues to feel like the heart of food, beverage and art in SF,” says Dina. “…opening a location there just felt like a no brainer. We were super lucky to find an incredible historic building with great bones, and very special neighbors: local bakery Craftsman & Wolves and fellow manufacturer, Dandelion Chocolate.”
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The next Revolution Brewing Deep Wood release will feature a trio of returning entries including two classics and one other highly popular returner.
The end of September brought great news out of Sacramento, California, as Governor Newsom signed the final bills of the ’21-’22 congressional session. Among the various bills signed were AB 2301 and 2307, which have removed several hurdles for the ever-expanding brewery industry in California. The first added some nuance to the three-tiered system to allow breweries some self-governance, and the second allowed breweries to continue to expand the communities they serve.
The 40th anniversary of the Great American Beer Festival marks the first time the event has been held in person and open to the public since 2019. To say that brewers and craft beer fans are excited is an extreme understatement. While participation and attendance were limited this year due to renovations to the Colorado Convention Center, the exhibitor floor was still packed with over 200 suppliers and drew over 10,000 fans to the event.
By now, it’s no secret that PorchDrinking’s 10th Anniversary Beer Festival has brought out an all-star cast of breweries from across the country and locally to kick off GABF week in a massive way. Now, with just over a week until the festival, we’re thrilled to unveil an equally jaw-dropping initial pour list that features a prolific array of rarities that span a wide diversity of styles.
From barrel-aged Stouts to Barleywines, crispy Pilsners, and historic ales, to spontaneous and wild ales and fruited icebiers, there’s truly something special for everyone.