PorchDrinking’s own discuss beer.
The Inaugural DC Beer Festival began as many DC events do: a trip on the metro that starts as any usual metro ride, and then the train cars slowly shift to carry only those destined for a day of fun (minus a few confused stragglers and tourists). I hopped on the train near my house with very few fellow festival-goers, but as soon as we hit Gallery Place, hordes of eager beer drinkers filled the train. The chatter en route confirmed their final destination: the Inaugural DC Beer Festival at National’s Park.
After attempting to pronounce the name of this beer, you’re definitely going to need a drink. Advertised as one of the oldest breweries in the world, this Bavarian beer is a a delicious and traditional German wheat beer. The Bavarian State Brewery Weihenstephan in Bavaria, Germany has literally been around for over a thousand years. It first started out as a monastery brewery of the Benedictine Monks and then later turned into the Royal State Brewery. Today, it is property of the Free State of Bavaria and is considered the oldest brewery in the world.
So, just a bit of background – I’m originally from the Chicago area, and I lived in the city for four years prior to moving to Denver in late 2009. I wasn’t really approaching the ranks of beer geek prior to my move, but I’ve been fortunate to retain a fantastic group of friends and family that still live all over the north side of Chicago and a job that affords me the opportunity to make a return trip every couple months. I’ve made it my goal to hit up the best bars and breweries the city has to offer each time I’m back.
Green Flash Brewery Rayon Vert
A while back I met a Green Flash sales rep during one of my random bar hopping adventures. Green Flash I have to say is a brand I haven’t followed too closely, but surprises me each time I try it. With the news of it being the latest western craft brewer to break ground on the east coast, as they plan to break ground in Virginia Beach in 2015 I figured I should get to know them better.
I generally follow the edict that beer should not be snobby. Drink it out of the bottle, hell bust out a solo cup if you must, but Terrapin’s Hop Karma Brown IPA is meant to breathe. It isn’t often you come across a Brown IPA. Generally the nutty malty flavors are a bit hard to manage with the bitter hoppy flavors, but Terrapin Brewing’s Hop Karma Brown IPA balances those tastes perfectly.
Smuttynose “Finestkind” IPA – 6.9% ABV, 75 IBU
At home this weekend taking care of a sick wife, I did not get to partake in the normal St. Paddy’s Day melee to which I have become accustomed, and am thus not feeling the residual effects of day-long Guiness-swilling and inadvertent ingestion of gallons of green food dye. Instead, I opted for the not-so-festive confines of my dining room and the company of an American craft beer, today’s companion “Finestkind” IPA from Smuttynose Brewing.
This weekend in DC will be one to remember for Beer Lovers. The Inaugural DC Beer Festival is coming to Nationals Park! The festival will run from Saturday, March 23rd to Sunday, March 24th. Sadly, tickets are sold out for Saturday festivities (with a wait list for the evening – 6-9pm – slot), but tickets are STILL AVAILABLE for Sunday, March 24th!
I revel every day at how lucky I am to live in this amazing state that we call Colorado. Much like the incubator that my home state of Kentucky is for fervent basketball fans, Colorado is the perfect climate for craft beer, and nothing fully captures brewing fertility quite like Colorado Craft Beer Week.
A few months ago, I was asked by Brent Cordle of Odell Brewing Company if I wanted to brew a beer on their pilot system with them. Of course I said yes. After a few emails back in forth with Cordle, the pilot system brewer, we decided on a floral IPA. I had recently had Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp No. 53, Floral IPA, and fell in love. The inspiration was rose petals, but we decided to also throw in hibiscus and lavender. For our hop additions we went we varieties that have more floral characteristics, Chinook, centennial, and a little cascade. Most of the hops were added later in the boil, adding more aroma and flavor than bitterness.
If there’s one thing I love about Belgium, it’s their ability to brew incredibly good beer. And of my favorites, Belgian or not, are sours. When you’re mouth uncontrollably puckers is about the point where I like my sour ales to be, and Petrus Aged Pale Ale from Belgium’s Bavik Brewery does a damn fine job of making your mouth implode (in a wonderfully pleasant way).
In an increasingly connected and digitally literate world, some things remain old-school. Which is part of the reason that ABC, NBC, CNN, the BBC, and seemingly EVERY news outlet ever was obsessed by conclave this week.
It’s so frustrating when you are lying in bed, exhausted, yet cannot fall asleep. This past Monday was a long day and I had been yawning non-stop but when my head hit the soft, fluffy pillow, I was wide awake. This was not a situation where I was tired but could not fully fall asleep; I felt ready to get up and get some work done but I knew I would be hurting the next day.
Wild Woods Brewery is one of my new favorite places in Boulder. In my initial visits to the brewery, I was very impressed with their six core beers (check out the review). But when the opportunity presents itself, I must try the small batch options. In my most recent trip, both Erin and Jake brewed Pale Ales individually and each showcase a different single hop variety. I got to try both beers head-to-head and here are the results of Jake vs. Erin.
While following clone recipes and recipes produced by others is a great way to get started and master your specific equipment, developing your own recipes is where the beauty of brewing really begins. The process of creating a beautiful masterpiece and sharing something that is solely your own with friends and family is incredibly exciting. Other than ‘saving money’ which, lets be honest is not true at all, we want to make something that we’re proud to call our own. That is the joy of homebrewing. This weekend I will be brewing an IPA and want to share my methodology in hopes that it will help in developing your recipe.
In honor of the upcoming holiday, I decided to pick up a 6er of Harpoon Celtic Red. I’m no Irish Red Ale savant, but this is definitely one I haven’t seen before. It’s only fitting though that it comes from Harpoon. They’re the largest craft brewery in New England, and they’ve been brewing in South Boston since 1987.
Anchor Steam – Anchor Brewing
Need a beer that will help convert your dad to the craft brews that we know and love? If I were you, I’d throw him an Anchor Steam and be on my way.
The craft beer industry is a collaborative world. When the great minds of two breweries come together, the results are often twice as good. The barrel aged project between Hair of the Dog and Deschutes that results in Conflux #1 is an excellent example of this collaborative style.
Most of the Midwest just got what (we hope) is the last snow of the season. Not that we had that many to begin with. Before the storm, I went to my local grocery in search of something dark and delicious, and ended up bringing Mt. Carmel’s Springtime Ale instead. That’s not to say that it wasn’t delicious; however, this was the darkest beer I could find, so I was severely let down by my grocer’s selection.
Lexington Brewing Company’s Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout – (8.0% ABV)
A snow day has allotted me the time to bring you another beer review this week (lucky you). And, as optimism amongst most writers on and readers of this blog spikes about the impending Spring, my job, nay, my duty is to drudge everyone back down into the pragmatic and dark depths of Winter. So hold your daylight savings horses one minute, while the white still blankets the ground because the only green I see on the horizon is that of St. Patty and his drunken band of rabble rousers. What does all of this mean? It is only quarter to Spring and we still have a good fifteen minutes of darkness before the wheats inundate our gustatory cells and leave those forlorn Bocks, Stouts, and Porters to hibernate for the summer.