PorchDrinking’s own discuss beer.
When we speak about the 1990’s Chicago Bulls, John Wooden’s UCLA Bruins from the mid 60’s through 70’s, the 1950’s Yankees with Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Yogi Berra, or more contemporary examples like Geno Auriemma’s UConn Women’s Basketball teams from the mid 90’s to today, and from 2001 to today, the New England Patriots, we’re talking about iconic programs that have achieved greatness for such a sustained period of time and consistency, that they transcend normal recognition. They become spoken about in rarified air, as dynasties.
Brink Brewing in the College Hill neighborhood of northern Cincinnati just opened in 2017, but they already have seven medals and awards from the Great American Beer Festival. In fact, they’ve never failed to medal in the three GABFs since their founding. Last week they brought home gold medals for their Hold the Reins English Mild and Moozie Milk Stout, as well as top honors for Very Small Brewing Company of the Year, which is awarded to a brewery producing fewer than 1,000 barrels of beer annually.
We all know fall (at least in New England) doesn’t truly start until October 1. Sure, the calendar says September 23, but many of us are in denial for the last week of September, trying to soak up the last few warm days before everything cools off.
The Denver Beer Beat is a weekly roundup of brewery openings, special tappings, firkins and one-off batches, bottle releases, dinners, pairings, and more happening in the Front Range and beyond. Be sure to check in each Wednesday to discover anything and everything happening around Colorado’s beer scene. Now let’s get to this week’s can’t miss beer events.
For the second year, Jameson Whiskey sponsored and participated in the Great American Beer Festival (GABF). Twenty-two brewing partners used Jameson Irish Whiskey barrels to age beer and then pour the finished product for fans in the energetic, music-filled Caskmates Barrel Aged Beer Garden. For this Irish (craft beer loving) American writer, it was my (pleasurable) task to drink as many of the 45-plus creations and provide my feedback.
Prior to welcoming our beautiful baby girl into the world in May, my husband and I spent many weekends exploring Michigan’s amazing craft beer scene together. When we were dating, many conversations took place over our favorite IPA at the local brewery or while trying somewhere new that neither of us had ever been to. Craft beer is our passion and hobby, but this came to a screeching halt when our little one arrived. Suddenly, beers were replaced with bottles, and sleep became our most precious commodity. After a few weeks, though, we had a strong desire to find a way to incorporate our pre-baby interests into this new adventure we were on, and we set out to bring our daughter to her first brewery. Since then, we have learned a lot about what makes or breaks a night out on the town with a newborn in tow, and we felt a desire to share our wisdom with our fellow craft beer lovers to let you know that IT IS POSSIBLE to enjoy spending time with your little one AND to indulge in a night out with a good craft brew.
Non-alcoholic beers were an emerging category of beer at the 2019 Great American Beer Festival with several breweries participating in both the festival and the competition. While they played a small part in the overall event, their addition to the competition this year may be a harbinger of things to come if this trends continue in the right direction.
Within the touristy town of Hershey, Pennsylvania, sits a craft brewery by the name of Troegs Independent Brewing. Originally formed in 1997 and located in Harrisburg, PA, Troegs made the move to Hershey (the home of Hershey Chocolate Factory) in 2011. With a growing popularity within the region, Troegs became very well known for The Mad Elf Christmas Ale, and it didn’t take long for the brewery to gain momentum and demand. Brewing 10 year-round beers, Troegs also offers many options when it comes to seasonal brews and a never-ending list of “Scratch” beers that are brewed in an experimental six gallon brewing system and released regularly at their taproom.
Pastry stouts, hazy IPAs and rare sours tend to command most of the buzz at the Great American Beer Festival; the lines at brewery booths pouring those beers last week in Denver certainly attested to that. However, I chose a different tasting route for my festival experience. As I wandered the festival floor, I didn’t so much choose “the road less traveled” as much as an overgrown path forgotten by time: I wanted to taste as many obscure, historical beer styles as I could.
GABF offers a wonderful educational opportunity for anyone who wants to taste styles largely lost to history. Want to know what a gruit tastes like? Want to compare multiple export stouts or Dortmunder lagers beside each other? You’ll never have a better chance to do it than at GABF.
Another Great American Beer Festival, another 4,000 beers in the books. Somehow breweries have yet to run out of beer puns for their beer names, so we searched high and low throughout the 2019 GABF to find the wittiest titles or otherwise amazing names. Though some were award winners and others were poured on the festival floor, all are hilarious.
Here are the best beer puns and names from GABF 2019.
Step into Woods Boss Brewing near Five Points in Denver and you’ll be transported into a world of diverse beer styles set to the backdrop of a cozy rustic lodge. From crisp lagers to hop-forward IPAs and buzzing coffee beers to delicately balanced sours, brewers Jordan Fink and Ryan Logan have a great handle on craft beer for all palates.
The third Pils & Love Festival returned to Portland, ME this past July and, to honor the occasion, approximately 40 of the 60 participating breweries gathered to make a collaboration brew (a list of the breweries that participated is below). The festival was hosted by Oxbow Brewing Company and furthers a state-side version of Birrificio Italiano’s Pils Pride festival in Italy. Birrificio Italiano is known for its Tipopils, which puts a spin on a German pilsner by dry-hopping the beer, something prohibited by the Reinheitsgebot; the Pils & Love collaboration beer takes its inspiration from Birrificio Italiano’s classic.
This has been another great year for the home state of the Great American Beer Festival. Colorado breweries took home a whopping 40 medals and two brewery/brewer of the year awards at this year’s GABF. Of the 40 medals, 13 of them were gold medals, 21 silver and six bronze. Without further ado, let’s deep dive into this some of this year’s winners.
It’s easy when you come across a brewery that has built a strong reputation for brewing a certain style of beer to continue trying their latest offerings. New Trail Brewing Company, out of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, has put together a strong …
Chicago is once again home to Great American Beer Festival’s gold medal-winning Hazy IPA after Old Irving Brewing Co. took home top honors for Beezer. Last year, the first year with the Hazy IPA category, Alarmist won the inaugural gold for Le Jus. (And, in 2017, Hailstorm won for its Prairie Madness IPA which was the most-entered category by breweries that year.)
The 2019 Great American Beer Festival has crowned their newest batch of champions and standouts. This year, the competition portion of GABF saw 9,497 entries from 2,295 breweries across the country, not to mention an additional 113 Pro-Am entries.
In episode 63 of the PorchCast, the whole squad sat down with Ken Grossman, founder of Sierra Nevada Brewing, at the dawn of the Great American Beer Festival to talk about their 40th Anniversary.
As bagpipers marched into the Colorado Convention Center Thursday evening to officially usher in the 38th annual Great American Beer Festival the PorchDrinking team was feverishly sampling as many beers as possible, to discover hidden gems and standouts from night one.
Fans of Denver staple and craft beer OG Yeti from Great Divide already know the importance of starting with a quality base beer before throwing a bunch of variants out into the saturated market. With Yeti–one of the most recognizably branded beers in the country–there’s no shortage of variants, ranging from horchata and chai to the beloved barrel-aged chocolate and vanilla Stouts that have made their way onto store shelves at different points in time.
With so many solid variants available in stores, and even more available at Great Divide’s taphouse and RiNo Barrel Bar, how do you pick just one to review? And with so many other beers to choose from in the craft beer market at-large, how does a brewery stay relevant?
The Great American Beer Fest is an awe-inspiring menagerie of beer. Good beer, weird beers, surprising styles, and not nearly enough time to give them all a thoughtful pause. It can be overwhelming to know where to start, so we over at PorchDrinking have several different routes that we have planned out to make it easier for those who love specific styles. There isn’t really a wrong way to do GABF (except not drinking water, please drink water) so here is a way to dive in that is more musically inclined.