PorchDrinking’s own discuss beer.
In the dead of winter, there is a kind of cold that seeps deep into your bones. It chills you and won’t let you go unless you combat it in a very special way. So what’s a freezing Porch Drinker to do? Why grab a barrel-aged Deconstruction Ale from Odell Brewing Co. This golden ale has a complex, unique flavor that is hard to compete against.
Here at PorchDrinking.com we love festivals. We are festivarians. Beer festivals, music festivals, bacon festivals, you name it! The opportunity to rub elbows and share stories and experiences with like-passionate people makes us giddy. On the horizon this weekend is the Avery Strong Ale Fest in Boulder, Colorado. The beers will be big and our smiles will be even bigger. Join us on the porch in preview!
This is part 2 of an ongoing series on homebrewing. For part one on equipment & pre-brewing prep, please go here.
Now that you have the right equipment, you need some ingredients for your first batch. If you are reading this article, you most likely know the four main ingredients in beer: Grains, Hops, Water, & Yeast. Quite simple, but within each of these categories there are a lot of options. While you might be intimidated by all of the selections, your first batch should be a simple one. I know you are probably excited to make the most amazing vanilla caramel mocha latte milk stout, complete with all sorts of fancy spices and ingredients, but that is not the way to start. You can’t be a five star chef without learning the ropes along the way, and the same can be said about being a brewer.
Remember Four Loko? Well, while I definitely don’t remember the nights I drank this fruity poison, I definitely remember the hullabaloo it caused in the news, for parents, and for the general public. And after only a few years of availability, it was no surprise when this drink was permanently banned from store shelves. Although the taste wasn’t all that great (kinda a mix of gasoline and Capri Sun) it was indeed a great concept. After all, it was a drink that got you drunk after one can (probably a little too drunk) and it gave you enough energy to stay up the entire night. However, I think we can all agree that Four Loko needed to be taken down at least one notch. Well, prayers have been answered, and whether one of my new favorite breweries, Sixpoint in Brooklyn, NY, meant to or not, I believe they created a more natural (and less terrifying) version of a Four Loko beverage. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, 3Beans. And don’t worry, it taste NOTHING like Four Loko.
When I looked outside at the forming white blanket my only concern was what brew could satisfy my cold spirit? I want big + I want malty + I want boozy. Luckily, I had a New Belgium Cascara Quad in my fridge. I’d been saving this (inexpensive) gem for the right time and today’s much needed snow offered a sweet reason to make it mine.
Spring is in the air today in Cincinnati. It’s nearly 50 degrees out there, the sun is shining and the future is looking bright. A day like today is no time for a step back into wintery stouts and my usual heavy beer of choice. It’s time for something refreshing, like the taste of spring that’s teasing us today.
Those of us who live in Colorado are lucky that we have such an amazing craft beer scene available to us. Most can find a local brewery within a few miles of them at any given time. At this particular moment, I am appreciating this fact as I’m in my company’s plane somewhere above Kansas on my way home to Denver, and craving an amazing craft beer. Copper Kettle Brewery, located at 1338 S. Valencia Street, in Denver near Parker and Mississippi, will be my first stop after I land. They opened with the intent to be the local “Cheers” brewery for those who live near them. Don’t let this fool you though, as they make some amazing beers and have won a few medals at GABF since their inception in 2011. Their most well-known beer is their Mexican Chocolate Stout, a spicy brew you will not forget. A gold medal winner at GABF in 2011 in the Herb and Spice Beer category, you will want to try this one when you visit.
A spontaneous road trip from Denver to Estes Park may turn into a random brewery trip if you’re lucky. More than 15 breweries sit between the two and it’s always a good idea to take advantage of that. On Saturday, I stopped at Oskar Blues Brewery in Longmont. The colder weather out here in Colorado has opened up a lot of stout options over the last month. Hearing that Oskar Blue’s had one called Ten Fidy Imperial Stout left me intrigued.
If you live north of the Mason-Dixon Line, chances are the weather still stinks. But instead of listening to the overgrown rodent we call a “groundhog” for our meteorological forecasts, we can turn to an equally non-scientific sign that spring is just around the corner: pitchers and catchers are reporting to spring training.
I recently went on a first date to BrewRiver GastroPub in Cincinnati. Although it’s been open since last July, I just hadn’t found the time or the right company to enjoy it with until now. BrewRiver—aptly named since it sits along the Ohio River—gets on board with the local trend for all the right reasons. Their site states, “Supporting ‘local’ isn’t just about local food and drink. It’s also about the idea that when we support one another fully, there are no boundaries to consider and no lines to cross.” When I read that, I had a feeling I was in for a good experience.
Having just gone to the Cincy Winter Beerfest the evening before, I had a plethora of beers from which to choose for this review; however, there was a beer on hand that I have been waiting to open since Christmas, a gift from my brother in-law, who also has a predilection for good beers and a gives the best gifts: Trappist Achel Extra Brune.
I recently decided to buy only craft beer, but sometimes I still get in the mood for something yellow, bubbly and light in alcohol. If you’re trying to kick PBR for a better option, try some beers that always work for me. Here is my Ultimate 6er for the Macro Convert.
A few weeks ago, Fort Collins Brewery hired a Marketing Director for the first time. Honestly, I was pretty surprised a brewery with such a huge facility and a giant reach across the country didn’t have an in house marketer. I was lucky enough to be invited to meet the new director, Charles Stanley, over a pint of Fort Collins Brewery Doppel Bock.
I have now been to two beer festivals in the Queen City both planned by Cincy Beerfest, and they do a good job of putting on an event from the two most important aspects – social and liquid.
Yeah you read that right… it’s a beer dispensing arcade game. Just when you thought the only people who played video games were World of Warcraft addicts who drank Bawls Sodas and wore adult diapers, McKinney ad agency created something that having you dusting off your joystick and adding gigs to your hard drive.
Crystal Springs Brewing Company – Boulder, CO
South Ridge Amber pours a beautiful deep amber color with nice reddish hues streaking through the glass when held to the light. The beer has high clarity and proudly displays a dense aromatic head. Aromas of grapefruit, ripe bartlett pears, pine and fresh cut wild flowers are present.
As micro and nano breweries continue to open in the front range faster than dandelions in the spring time, so does my desire to discover them. Wild Woods Brewery is nestled in a small industrial-zoned area of Boulder that hosts large business powerhouses the likes of Ball Industries. While the brewery is off the beaten path and nearly impossible to find if it weren’t for their small garage sale sized ground sign with ‘Wild Woods Brewery’ and an arrow hand-drawn with a Marks-a-lot, it is exactly what owners Erin and Jake have dreamt about for the last five years.
With the culmination of Cincinnati Beer Week, local beer aficionados headed to Duke Convention Center for the grande finale: Cincy Winter Beer Fest February 15-16. I went Friday night to snap some pictures knowing basically what was in store— a lot of beer, some new favorites, probably a little bit of hilarity— and when I left I had a night full of lessons captured on film. Here is a list of the top 5 things I learned at Cincy Winter Beer Fest, in photos.
Phew. Now that Valentine’s Day is over, we can get back to the actual loves of our lives: BEER. With all the stress of trying to find the perfect card, dinner reservation, gift…. oh wait, I didn’t do any of that.
We would like to wish our staff writer Karen Lai a very special congratulations on her engagement last night. Karen started with PorchDrinking when we first formed and is considered Tristan’s faux-sister. Earlier this year she wrote about cooking Chocolate Pretzel Beer Toffee with Rivertown Brewing’s Hop Bomber Pale Ale. Here’s that post and once again a very special congratulations to Karen and Sam!