With more than 4000 beers being poured at GABF last weekend from approximately 800 breweries, you probably didn’t get a chance to try them all. Even if you liked beer as much as a certain Supreme Court Justice nominee, you still probably wouldn’t have been able to try every beer on site. Regardless, we did do some extensive investigating of the beers at GABF and compiled a list of our favorite beer names.
Some call it a trend, some call it a craze. But for me, it’s the style that has added a new layer of fun to beer.
The style I speak of goes by many names. New England style IPAs, Hazy or Juicy beers, and now, I’m even starting to see “Juicy or Hazy Pale Ales” and even “Juicy or Hazy Imperials and Double India Pale Ales.” The more the merrier.
Come for a drive with me. It will only take two hours or so. We’re leaving Seattle – taking I-90 out of town, going east. Within half an hour or so we’ll hit the majestic Cascade Mountains – one of the countries’ most expansive ranges, stretching from Northern California all the way into Canada. It’s home to some pretty famous volcanoes – Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens if we’re naming names. But we’re not stopping in the Cascades. We are pushing onward, for another hour, until we cross into Eastern Washington. It’s a vastly different landscape than the wet, lush, rainforest on the other side of the state. Here it’s dry, arid and almost desert-like. A beauty that’s starkly different, but no less beautiful, than the Cascades that we’ve just driven through. Within a few minutes, we’ll hit Yakima – our final destination. Why are we going to Yakima, you ask? It’s an obvious answer this time of year: It’s hop harvest.
If you love Seattle’s craft beer scene, you love Chuck’s Hop Shop—it’s as simple as that. Chuck’s Hop Shop, which has two locations in the Emerald City, has gained a reputation for being the fan-favorite, no-frills watering hole and bottle shop for craft beer fanatics. It’s where you go for an incredible and ever-rotating selection with dozens of beers on tap and hundreds of bottles available to go as well as knowledgeable and approachable bartenders that are eager to give recommendations on what brews simply cannot be missed. As a result, Chuck’s has cemented itself as a pillar of the Pacific Northwest craft community in the four years since its founding.
America has a lot of beer festivals. I mean… a lot. I could practically book every weekend for the next few months with at least 2-3 Chicago beer festivals. The heightened popularity of these events resides on a foundational bedrock of human existence: people like drinking, and people like drinking together. And while things like the Great American Beer Festival draw massive crowds and a considerable amount of hype amongst USA-based beer drinkers, there’s typically one beer fest that appears on any beer fan’s bucket list across the globe: Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.
Let’s face it, when you are planning a vacation around beer, Utah isn’t usually at the top of the list. The liquor laws that dictate ABV and where you can consume may deter serious beer drinkers before even firing up an Airbnb search. However, Utah beer has a character of its own, a character that is both quiet and formidable all at once: A sleeping bear that is slow to wake but indomitable when angered. As such, let’s dispel some of the myths surrounding Utah’s beer culture.
Deep in the heart of Wrigleyville, nestled between the macro-beer strongholds of Sluggers and the Friendly Confines, is a small, 400 square-foot box of craft beer paradise. Started last July, Lucky Dorr is one of the recent upgrades to the sprawling Wrigley Field complex that aims to give baseball fans and regular neighborhood beer drinkers alike a truly unique craft beer experience. The young craft beer spot focuses on exclusive, ballpark-inspired collaboration beers with local breweries as a way to provide patrons with something different from the Bud and Goose Island-filled stadium cups they’re used to. It’s an ambitious venture, but it seems to be working. We spoke to bar manager and brewer Niilo Hayes about the success of the craft beer bar and what he has planned for the operation — and for Wrigleyville — in the years to come.
When you speak of OG beers, few stalwarts deserve the title more than Oskar Blues Brewery’s Dale’s Pale Ale. You can call many brewers innovative, but being able to say that you canned the first ever craft beer definitely gives you some added bragging rights. Dale’s Pale Ale’s adept combination of floral hops and malt overtones was first packed into aluminum back in 2002, in the early days of craft beer’s infancy, before beer was served in snifters and incessantly critiqued on social media. The iconic “strong pale ale” is still one of the most recognizable beers on the market even as the style of Pale Ale has evolved and the India Pale Ale entered its heyday. Here’s why it continues to capture the taste buds of drinkers across the country.
Believe it or not, summer is once again drawing to a close, but before we dive into pumpkin spice bombs and fresh hop season, let us raise a liter to German-style beers with a round-up of Colorado’s craft beer-centric Oktoberfest celebrations. So lace up those dirndls and strap on the lederhosen it’s time for the beautifully crisp, easy-drinking, toasted malt forward profile of Oktoberfest Märzen lagers. Check out our craft beer guide to Colorado’s Oktoberfest celebrations. Keep in mind, we’ll keep adding Oktoberfest beers from Colorado’s craft breweries as they’re released, as well as Oktoberfest celebration events as they’re announced.
In any casual beer consumer’s journey, there are many inevitable “firsts” that can occur before finally culminating with unbridled beer obsession. From the first time one crosses into the refreshing bitter blast of a hop-forward IPA, to the first time you become infatuated with beautiful rich boozy bourbon barrel-aged stouts; the first time one travels to a destination beer fest, to pulling the trigger on a first successful beer trade, these milestones mark one step deeper into true beer geekdom.
Maybe you haven’t noticed, but Chicago’s Burnt City Brewing is making waves. The brewery already boasts of a chic brewpub and bowling alley on the always-hip Lincoln Avenue, a brewhouse located in the locally-famous, former Jay’s plant, eye-catching label artwork and a recent collaboration with Chicago’s illustrious Art Institute. But now it’s also churning out a diverse, impressive collection of beers including its Brett and Yeast friendly “Wildfire Series.”
For the past nine months, Katie and I have been adventuring our way through Minnesota’s craft beer community. With more than 150 breweries and brewpubs to visit — last we heard that number was actually upwards of 180 now — we’ve been busy and content with what’s right here in our own backyard. But sometimes a new adventure calls, and when an opportunity to visit breweries in Iceland, Ireland, London and Paris came calling — we answered.
In truth, no one came calling for us; we just happened to be heading to Europe on a sort of one-year anniversary/bucket list trip. Still, we took advantage of our time abroad to visit some new taprooms, make some new friends and drink some new beers.
Located in the heart of Ravenswood’s Malt Row, Empirical Brewery has drawn a significant following thanks its scientific approach to brewing and great sour beers. Oh, and the cats are a huge draw too. You won’t find them roaming around the taproom or on much of their branding, but there’s no doubt that their three Ghostbuster-themed cats, Venkman, Egon and Raymond have had a significant impact on the staff at Empirical and on their business as a whole. On a given Saturday brewery tour, it’s common for patrons to be more interested in finding the cats hidden amongst pallets or perched in their cat castle than getting a close look at Empirical impressive experimental brewing system. We asked Head Brewer and COO Jacob Huston about his feline employees and how they’ve become a vital part of the brewery’s family – and business.
The long-awaited project pairing a budding local mixed-use development empire in Zeppelin Places, with one of craft beer’s most storied pioneers, New Belgium Brewing, has finally opened to the public.
The Source Hotel, the fourth major mixed-use space in Denver’s River North Art District from the Zeppelin team following Taxi, The Source and Zeppelin Station, has been a long time coming. In fact, New Belgium Brewing and Kyle Zeppelin’s team had been collaborating on this project since 2014. Normal construction delays and accidents made opening a practice of patience for everyone involved, but the excitement was palpable as Kyle Zepplin (developer), Stephen Dynia (architect) David Stutz (The Source Hotel GM) and Kim Jordan (New Belgium) addressed the crowd at the soft-opening this past Thursday.
This past Saturday, beer fans from across Chicago (and the larger U.S.) made the trek to Half Acre’s Balmoral home to partake in the burgeoning beer fest called The Big North. Half Acre has hosted this event for three years running now. Each year is bigger, each year is better, and each year, the beer list grows to eye-popping quantities. The third iteration of Half Acre’s beer celebration did not disappoint as hundreds of sudsed-up beer fans took in a picturesque summer evening across Half Acre’s ever-expanding campus. The event is special for many reasons, but it’s also an important milestone for Half Acre’s self-titled pursuit of “duality,” which means that they’re able to make enough mainstream brews to keep business moving, while also keeping their creative and experimental programs producing at a high clip. The result of Half Acre’s pursuit was witnessed on Saturday, and boy did it taste good.
There’s energy in the air. You can feel it. It feels exciting. Monday Night Brewing just celebrated their 7th anniversary last week, so we sat down with Peter Kiley, Head Brewer, to catch up on the last seven years. I met Kiley with a pale golden liquid-filled glass in hand, he greets his friends and family with warm hugs and firm handshakes. This place feels important. It feels like home. Like family.
Wisconsin is known for its cheese, beer and football. Green Bay, Wisconsin’s third biggest city, is simply known for the Packers. Dubbed Titletown USA, Green Bay has been home to the Packers for ages (the team will celebrate its centennial next year). The team is also a massive business boon for the city thanks to the tourism and additional business opportunities it brings to the small port city.
Packers football Sundays have also become big business for Green Bay’s small, but growing, craft beer scene. Two breweries, Badger State Brewing and Hinterland Brewery, are strategically positioned within a quick walk from the hallowed grounds of Lambeau Field. Stillmank Brewing Company is a bit farther away, but still sees a good deal of added foot traffic during any Packers’ home game weekend. We spoke to the owners of each brewery for an assessment on how the Packers have impacted their business.
We at PorchDrinking.com thoroughly enjoy covering craft beer trends and showcasing the newest beers. But, before terms like Brut, Milkshake, New England and even BBA entered the brewing-industry lexicon, beer fans were thrilled to taste Ambers, Pale Ales and some mysterious beer that may or may not have arrived from India. So, for one month, we are going to take time to remember some of those OGs of Craft Beer — the brews that made it all possible.
An OG beer showcase will publish each day for the next several weeks. It would be a daunting task to cover them all (we are discussing less than one-half of the beers on our list), but our writers selected beers near and dear to their heart, ones that were often gateway beers that lead to our love of craft. We hope you enjoy our homage to the abridged list of classics.
In just over four years of operation, Broomfield’s 4 Noses Brewing has grown to become one of Colorado’s fastest rising young breweries, and last year announced full distribution throughout the state through distributor Elite Brands. The family-run brewery has already undergone a series of more subtle branding updates, but are now embarking on their most significant brand refresh to-date. We caught up with Marketing Manager Stacey McMahan to discuss what went into the updated can label designs.
Look in the hand of any avid craft beer fan and you’ll most likely find a can of glistening beer. Right now, the shift towards aluminum primarily revolves around the traditional 12oz and tallboy formats, but that trend is evolving as consumers continue to voice their beer opinions through their wallets. The next frontier for cans is one that has been on-shelves for some time. Unsurprisingly pioneered by Oskar Blues back in 2012, the 19.2oz can, often called a stovepipe, is a behemoth of beer, giving drinkers over 1.5 standard servings of beer. It’s not a format for everyday use, but several brewers across the nation are finding interesting niches for the big can format.
We asked them about the growing trend and if they think the can is here to stay.