PorchDrinking’s own discuss beer.
Now that I am finally back in the friendly confines of Boston and away from people graciously shoving beer into my face, I’ve had the chance to detox a little bit, and I’ve been able to gather some quick memories from a wonderful visit to the Great American Beer Festival. This won’t be some cohesive, extensive recap, but rather the random memories of GABF that I’ll look back on for years and years to come.
New Belgium Accumulation White IPA
When thinking of Winter seasonals, one usually gravitates towards stouts, porters, and Christmas-y spiced ales. However, New Belgium sees your traditional winter seasonals and raises you a White IPA.
Marshall S. Thompson and Eric Feldman both fell in love with the Bushwick neighborhood in Brooklyn: the people, the burgeoning arts scene and its differentiation from Manhattan. They also both were avid homebrewers and wanted to make the jump to go pro.
Ska Brewing – Hoperation Ivy #23 Wet Hop IPA
Ska Brewing boasts a limited release every fall in the form of a harvest, wet hop IPA. It’s moniker – a word play on their love of ska and the ska-punk band, Operation Ivy. If you are not familiar, they are recommended if you like Rancid, Against All Authority and Common Rider. This year they have opted for an “all-Colorado” batch of Hoperation Ivy in which they commandeer fresh Colorado hops from High Wire Hop Farms in Paonia, and grain from Colorado Malting Company in Alamosa. This harvest IPA is a real treat. Big on hops but well balanced with malty sweetness. Bright, lively flavors of pine, spices, citrus, wildflowers, and spruce are rested on a substructure of creamy, smooth malts.
It comes to no surprise that people go absolutely bazonkers over pumpkin beers. As soon as that first chilly morning sends us racing indoors for a a sweater, as soon as that combination of cinnamon and spices wafts through the …
Beer: St. Bretta (Fall)
Brewer: Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project
I hate to admit that I had never really heard of Crooked Stave until the end of this past August. I was attending a homebrewer’s competition for a local non-profit and was invited to guest judge. (Apparently my credentials at PorchDrinking and my affinity for beer were enough to give me the exclusive rights to judge.) When I arrived, I learned that I would be the only judge that night as the two brewers from “Crooked Stave” would not be able to show.
9.0% ABV, 55 IBU
Workingman’s Dead on CD, bought for $5 from the used bin at the local record store my Freshman year of high school. For a short period of time, they were the only band that existed in my provincial teenage mindset.
Last week we introduced PorchDrinking.com’s Inaugural GABF Fantasy Brewery Draft. We assembled a tremendous collection of national and local writers who selected breweries and earned points from medals won by those breweries during the GABF awards ceremony which took place on Saturday. Here was the scoring guide we went by:
ABV: 8.5% | IBU: 25
This small-batch, double pumpkin ale eluded me last year, so imagine my surprise when I found a bomber of it at the Kroger in little ol’ Athens, Ohio over the weekend. I was ecstatic! And I have to say, it did not disappoint. Made with 28 pounds of real pumpkin per barrel, from the moment I opened the bottle all I could think was “this is fall.”
What do New Glarus, The Bruery, Three Floyds, Sun King, Surly, Bells, Destihl, The Lost Abbey, Cigar City, Funky Buddha, and New Holland all have in common? Aside being a tremendous lineup of breweries in their own right, they also served as one of the most ridiculous 20 minute murderer’s row starts to a Great American Beer Festival I’ve ever encountered.
Saturday we live tweeted the 2013 Great American Beer Festival awards ceremony where breweries were recognized by the Brewer’s Association for their accomplishments by style in this year’s competition. The big winners this year included strong showings from Beachwood …
Chicagoan or not, we all know of The Great Chicago Fire. Recently, I mentioned breweries like Revolution and Haymarket Brewing who incorporate a bit of Chicago history in their beers from time to time. Spiteful Brewing, a fantastic …
For the craft beer enthusiast, simply drinking a great beer sometimes isn’t enough. Director Mike Mann and his crew at The Beer Diaries, have taken their love for craft beer to the next level. The team produces a series of internet tv shows, …
This past weekend I volunteered pouring beers at the Portland Fresh Hops Festival. The event is an annual tribute to our love of lupulin-laden libations that are crafted within hours of the hop harvest. While the vast majority of breweries showcased their share of lagers and pale ales, IPAs and CDAs, there was one beer that really stood out to me. Logsdon Farmhouse Ales’ Fresh Hop Seizoen piqued the interest of my taste buds in a way that no other fresh hop beer has. After about ten 4 oz. samplers of hop-forward beers, a subtly-hopped Belgian Saison was just what the doctor ordered. The Fresh Hop Seizoen from Hood River, OR is 7.5% ABV and really opened up a new perspective on fresh-hopped beers for me.
While a lot of breweries are now stating suggested food pairings for their beers on either the bottles or their website, we here at PorchDrinking have decided to make similar pairing suggestions, but this time with activities. So we polled our staff: “What are your favorite beer and activity pairings?”
From our extensive pour list, a few of our resident beer geeks have put their heads together to compile a list of “must-try” beers at GABF. These are beers that we have either tried ourselves and give the highest praise or are from breweries that we have come to know and love who’s beer intrigues us enough to hype it up! So here we go, make sure you taste your way through some of these beers at GABF, and if you manage to catch one of our staff at the same booth, be sure to throw up a high-five!