Craft Beer News
PorchDrinking brings you the breaking in craft beer news.
Revolution Brewing knows how to make damn good beer, and they know how to market it. With an overwhelming amount of quality craft options in the Chicago market, Revolution has been able to defend their sales turf by standing out through their unique marketing efforts – look no further than their League of Heroes variety pack.
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Scroll through your Instagram these days and you’re sure to find a wide selection of hazy beers in tulip glasses, strategically positioned to capture the faintest glimmer of sunlight on the glass. For many, the fanfare around the NE-style IPA is as much about the visuals as it is about the beer’s inherently juicy sweetness. Humans are visual eaters after all, so creating a beer that delights both your eyeballs and tastebuds makes sense. When I scrolled through my feed a few months back, my finger stopped on a post from Chicago-based Forbidden Root. The West-side brewery has made a name for itself with their botanical brews and hazy concoctions, but this newest endeavor, dubbed Assembly Required, was daring even for them. It was a sour NE-style IPA, more opaque than hazy, with a bright rosy red hue that departed from the typical orange juice color of a traditional haze bomb. Their new Assembly Required line is a bold evolution to the must-make trend of the present. After tasting the next batch, I’m confident in saying that the sour haze trend is alive and well in Chicago
The West Coast meets the Midwest on Tuesday when Ballast Point Brewing Company opens its Chicago brewery in the West Loop neighborhood. The long-awaited opening adds another well-known beer name to the city’s beer scene.
How does one properly pay homage to the predecessor that launched an entire movement? By returning to the basics. La Folie, New Belgium Brewing’s Sour Brown blend, was the country’s first commercially produced sour developed by Peter Bouckaert in 1999, and still features the oldest continuous souring culture in America. It has since gone on to earn multiple awards at the Great American Beer Festival and more importantly, inspired thousands of American brewers and beer drinkers to embrace barrel-aged mixed culture sour beers.
While it seems that Illinois is celebrating craft beer every week of the year, there’s one week in May that is set aside to specifically recognize the role that the Prairie State is playing in the greater world of craft brewing.
New Belgium Brewing has had success in a bunch of different beer styles, most notably with their popular Voodoo Ranger IPA line and the fan favorite Fat Tire. But they’ve never distributed either of those beers as widely as their newest offering. Enter Bicycle Kick Kölsch, their new, refreshing brew primed to be the premiere beer of this June’s World Cup. To give it added appeal for “The World’s Game,” New Belgium decided to partner with five breweries on five different continents, creating a truly unique collaborative beer that boasts the finishing touches from five distinct breweries. The kicker, pun intended, is that each brewery that brews Bicycle Kick will also distribute the limited time beer across their distribution footprint. That’s five continents, making it New Belgium’s most widely distributed beer ever. We asked New Belgium spokesperson Jesse Claeys about how the Fort Collins brewery brewed a beer with worldwide appeal.
Every seat was full on Friday morning’s Denver-bound Frontier flight out of Nashville—most passengers consisting of glassy-eyed or dozing beer industry professionals (likely on the 3rd or 4th day of wearing their embroidered brewery work shirts). This year’s Craft Brewers Conference, spanned the better part of last week from Monday through Thursday evening’s World Beer Cup awards ceremony. For many, this meant five full nights of beer-soaked, deep fried, Nashville-themed debauchery reuniting industry friends from all over the world.
Surly Brewing started in a small retail park in Brooklyn Center, MN. After experiencing sustained growth in sales, the brewery expanded to its massive Prospect Park location that now houses a beer hall and shoulders the brunt of its growing, multi-state distribution responsibilities. And while they do offer some unique one-off beers served exclusively at the beer hall, the older Brooklyn Center location gives them even more space to experiment. The culmination of this brewing flexibility is its new BC Small Batch series.
With more than 200 breweries within its city limits, Chicago’s brewery scene can be a bit overwhelming for newcomers or tourists visiting the city for a weekend. Thankfully, many breweries have started to take the guess work out of where to visit by joining together to create uniquely branded brewing “neighborhoods” that offer beer drinkers a structured map of several breweries in close proximity to each other. It’s more a branding play than anything, but it does help each brewery in the allotted “district” brand themselves as being part of the collective – adding extra appeal to those who want to make a day out of walking to several spots in one day. The breweries in the Ravenswood neighborhood were the first to pioneer the idea in Chicago, as the adeptly branded “Malt Row” offers drinkers a robust list of unique breweries and beer styles from the likes Dovetail, Begyle and Band of Bohemia, all located within a near mile radius. Now, Chicago’s quickly growing West Side is getting into the picture with the newly created “Chicago Brewing District,” which includes beer giant Goose Island, GABF-winner On Tour Brewing, large contact brewer Great Central Brewing Company, All Rise Brewing and Finch Beer.
At the dawn of Avery Brewing Company’s 25th anniversary, the Boulder-based old guard brewery, which last year sold a minority stake to family-owned Mahou San Miguel, is ready to introduce another major shift. After maintaining a fairly consistent brand identity for the duration of the company’s existence, Avery has decided it was time to refresh the brand’s artwork and design across its packaged lineup.
Flix Brewhouse opened in Round Rock, Texas in 2011 with the unique concept of combining a state-of-the-art movie theater with a microbrewery. Today they operate four locations around the country with plans to more than double that over the next year. I caught up with Greg Johnson, Director of Sales and Marketing for Flix, to learn more about this ambitious expansion.
The Pink Boot Society (PBS), an international organization of badass female brewers aimed to help mobilize, inspire and advance other women in the industry, recently coordinated over 200 collaborative brews taking place March 8 in honor of International Women’s Day.
Since its creation back in April 2017, the Denver chapter of the Pink Boots Society has amassed more than 80 members and together they came together on April 10 to release Equal Hopportunity, a Pineapple IPA.
Earlier this month, April 2, Melvin Brewing celebrated its third annual 2×4 Day, an international unofficial holiday created by the Jackson, WY-based brewery to commemorate the success of their highly decorated 2×4 Double IPA. The flagship beer has garnered top honors at the Great American Beer Festival, World Beer Cup, North American Beer Awards, and the 2018 edition of 2×4 Day saw satellite celebrations at 40 locations across six countries.
By the time you’re done reading this sentence, tickets for Mikerphone Brewing Smells Like A Beer Fest would have sold out. An exceptionally lucky 400 people obtained tickets to the inaugural event that will be held at the brewery on April 28 which features a star-studded lineup of breweries both local and from around the country.
The festival replaces Pale Pauper Day which had been held over the past few years as an alternative to the popular 3 Floyds Dark Lord Day.
If you love the freshness of spring, then you are definitely going to love all the fresh new breweries budding all over the Centennial state. Thanks to our amazing friends at the Colorado Brewery List and the Colorado Beer Geek, we have a list of 42 Colorado brewery openings for April, May and June.
A very merry almost Earth Day to you, my fellow earthlings! I hope you are enjoying your day on this lovely planet by reading this article with a beer in your hand. While you do that, be sure to recognize all the different resources it takes to make that craft beer you are holding. Everything that you see in the brew, as well as the device containing that beer, comes from a vast number of components and people to make it happen. With this special relationship between us and Earth, being eco-friendly is very important.
Although the American economy has largely enjoyed growth the last several years, portions within the broader picture have been in a state of flux for some time. For macro and micro brewers alike, the current state of aluminum has both micro and macro brewers concerned. A quick peek at the shelves of your local retailer will reveal rows and rows of aluminum cans. 12, 16 and even 19.2 oz cans have been a huge boon for larger craft brewers and macro producers like MillerCoors, offering greater shelf life and added convenience to consumers. But the strategy of putting everything into cans is entering a period of uncertainty due to the recently proposed tariffs and sanctions put in place by President Donald Trump.
While Trump claims the new regulations will help bolster American business, small to regional sized brewers like WeldWerks and Founders, along with massive brewing giant MillerCoors, are voicing their concerns.
Chicago has always been a weekend destination as people look to explore the city’s rich history, culture and of course, have a slice of deep dish pizza. It’s also now a place where craft beer fans can indulge in the wide array of breweries that the city offers. If anything, it might be overwhelming when trying to think of how to tackle all the breweries within the city limits. Spoiler alert—it would be virtually impossible to visit every single brewery in a weekend.
So if you’re coming to Chicago for a weekend, here’s a guide on how to get the most out of the Chicago craft beer scene in a limited amount of time. Understand that like I said above, it would be virtually impossible to do every brewery, so I had to leave some out. It’s nothing personal and you can alter this itinerary however you like. You’ll also notice that there are no suburban breweries on this list. I’ll be doing another itinerary in a couple of weeks that will focus on just suburban breweries—don’t worry guys, I didn’t forget about you!
Built upon the wings of innovation, Colorado’s craft beer scene has already gained a reputation as trail blazers and pace setters for the rest of the industry. But when Longmont, CO’s Primitive Beer opens this Saturday, it’ll distinguish itself with a number of different milestones from day one.