Inside the Tank
The Coronavirus pandemic has touched every part of the nation, from how we meet, work, play, and come together. As an industry that relies heavily on building relationships with consumers, craft brewing has been especially hit hard. We have reached out to find out what its like to try and keep business thriving while the country remains largely indoors. Paul and Rachel Szlaga of Brewery Faisan, located in an eclectic Detroit neighborhood, were nice enough to take some time out of operations to speak with us about what it’s like to be operating in the midst of the uncertain.
Noon Whistle Brewing beers have become staples on the shelves of craft beer shops all over Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. From pale ales to stouts to sours to their well-known Gummy New England IPA series, the brewery has an extensive portfolio of beers.
We sat down with owner Mike Condon and their other owner and brewer Paul Kreiner to learn more about this small, but growing (1,900 barrels in 2017 and pacing for 4,100 barrels in 2018), brewery and do a deeper dive on some of their thoughts on topics related to the craft beer industry.
A lot has changed over the past year for Empirical Brewery. They moved to self-distribution, the brewpub, just a stones throw away from the taproom, is in full-swing, and they are moving from bottles to cans. There’s a lot of great beer coming out of the small taproom in Andersonville so we went out there and spoke with CEO Bill Hurley and Head Brewer/Taproom Manager Jacob Huston about Empirical, craft beer in Chicago and the industry in general.
Pair O’ Dice Brewing Company quietly produces some of the best beer in Florida while managing to honor everything about the state it calls home. Florida boasts a variety of mainstay attractions and industries that are signature representations of the state. After all, it may be the Sunshine State, but it’s equally well-known for amusement parks, beaches and oranges! You can add Pair O’ Dice Brewing Company to that list as well. Just across the bay from the huge city of Tampa, Pair O’ Dice is taking a focused approach to beer.
One day on Twitter I asked our followers which brewery we should visit for the next Inside the Tank. Almost immediately my notifications went off with people telling me to visit Open Outcry Brewing. I’ll admit I had never even heard of the brewery, but the support they got on Twitter got me curious.
Whenever I thought of Alarmist Brewing, its Entrenched IPA can stuck out. It’s probably the brewery’s most highly available beer and is distributed in the city. Located in the Sauganash neighborhood of Chicago – an area I typically don’t visit often, I had never been to the brewery before.
Three friends, Jonathan Fritz, Stephen Bossu and Samantha Lee, went to the University of Illinois together and did some home brewing together. After college they went their separate ways, Stephen and Samantha got married, but they ultimately came back together and last year opened up Hopewell Brewing Company in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago.
Back in January we chatted for a bit with Neil Fisher and Colin Jones of WeldWerks Brewing Company at the Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines festival in Breckenridge, Colorado. The guys were nice enough to step away from their crowded booth and give us a thorough walkthrough of their upcoming 2017 plans, dropping so much exciting news and knowledge on us that we decided to pluck this interview out and do a feature.
St. Louis’ brewing legacy does not start nor end with Anheuser-Busch. Not by a long shot.
According the bible of St. Louis beer, “St. Louis Brews” the list of major breweries included many names still known around here a century later. Names like Busch, Lemp, Falstaff and Griesedieck, still ring familiar to beer drinkers, generations after their heyday. But you know the saying, “what was old is new again.”
That is exactly what is happening with the rebirth of the famed Griesedieck family brewery.
Situated on the north side of Chicago, Aquanaut Brewing Company features a small line of year-round beers, but has plans to launch more seasonal and one-off beers as well as opening up a taproom in the future.
Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of sharing a delicious five-course meal paired with Foolproof Brewing beer selections while sitting across from head brewer Steve Sharp. I fell in love with their craft creations, which are distributed to the Northeast, but unfortunately not in my city! Still — I believe in this brewery and am spreading the word through an insightful interview with Foolproof’s founder Nick Garrison. Cheers!
Walk into nearly any bar in American and you’ll likely spot a beer served with an orange slice. Immediately Blue Moon Belgian White comes to mind. First brewed by Keith Villa at the Sandlot Brewery attached to Coors Field in 1995, Blue Moon Belgian White was originally called Bellyside Belgian White and bars served it with lemon. Things have changed over the years and I met up with Villa at the Great American Beer Fest to talk with him about his brewing background, the history and growth of Blue Moon as well as his thoughts on the craft beer industry.
Odd13 Brewing has had themselves a year, from the meteoric rise in success of their New England-style IPAs to their Robot Librarian hazy IPA collaboration with Fiction, WeldWerks and Cerebral, to the expanded distribution and new can releases featuring their iconic comic book themed illustrations. We sat down with founder Ryan Scott, as well as head brewer, Eric Larkin, to talk about their big year.
How would craft beer have evolved in America if we had a centuries-old farmhouse brewing tradition like Belgium? Head brewer and co-founder of Stickman Brews, Ethan Buckman, focuses his creativity on creating beers that could have existed in this alternate brewing history. He brews hop-forward American-style ales, which he then ferments farmhouse-style with different strains of Brettanomyces and wild yeasts in open-top fermenters. The resulting beers blur style guidelines in exciting new ways. Ethan doesn’t like to assign styles to his brews because he doesn’t feel there are any regularly used styles that accurately describe what he is trying to create.
He is probably right.
Walk into a bar in Chicago and you’re more than likely to see the colorful fist tap handles at the bar. Those fists let you know that Revolution Brewing is on tap and have become synonymous with Chicago craft beer.
Video Created by PorchDrinking.com Videographer Travis Weger
Voted Best New Brewery in America via a USA Today reader poll, WeldWerks Brewing Company has quickly become one of the hottest new breweries not just in Colorado, but in the U.S. Our team sat down …
Spiteful Brewing, started by Brad Shaffer & Jason Klein, has put out a lot of different beers since they began brewing back in 2012. The beers are well-known in Chicago for their unique labels and creative names. When we walked into their brewing space for the first time I was shocked at how small of an area they work with. In fact their current space is only 1,600 sq. feet, but luckily will be moving into a new space with nearly 7,500 sq. ft – a tremendous upgrade.
With so many breweries operating in Chicago, the ability to stand out is critical. Forbidden Root has been brewing beer for a couple of years now, and in February of this year they opened up a beautiful new tap room in West Town. The brewery uses botanics in its beers such as ginger, cherry stems, black walnuts and licorice to create unique flavor profiles.
Half Acre Beer Company is a mainstay for any Chicago craft beer enthusiast. A consistent array of year-round, seasonal and special-release beers make one of the oldest craft breweries in the city a fan favorite. Matt Young just officially became …
Video Created by PorchDrinking Videographer Travis Weger
After a little over two years in operation, Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. has quickly become one of the hottest new breweries in the country. Our team sat down with Brewmaster, Patrick Ware to talk …