Sometimes you have to just stop and smell the roses, as the age-old saying goes. Or perhaps you have to stop and let the ducks go by. That’s what happened to Sam Morrissette, co-owner and co-founder of Kettlehead Brewing Company.
What happened to Sam to give him the idea to name a beer after passing ducks? Let’s find out!
Machine House Brewery has been brewing traditional English-Style Cask Ales in South Seattle since 2013. Initially located in Georgetown, Machine House has spent summer 2023 relocating its brewery operations and taproom to the Hillman Neighborhood, just south of Rainier Valley’s Columbia City.
Georgia’s craft beer community continues to grow as breweries open and expand throughout the state. Over the last few years there has been a shift happening in the Georgia market that prioritizes location expansion rather than production or building expansion due to Georgia’s limiting distribution laws. Atlanta’s own Fire Maker Brewing Company is the newest brewery to follow suit as news of expansion spread throughout the state.
Hazy IPAs have been the most popular style in craft beer for half a decade now, so if the nascent non-alcoholic (NA) segment of craft was going to gain a foothold, it was critical for this style to be a big part of that movement. Fortunately, numerous NA producers are now brewing excellent Hazies, and the style seems to adapt well to the NA format. Non-alcoholic Hazy IPA is thriving, and drinkers are appreciating the chance to enjoy their favorite hoppy style without the effects of ethanol.
Back in May 2023, three Chicago breweries, Maplewood Brewery & Distillery, Ravinia Brewing Co and Metropolitan Brewing, joined forces to create the Brewer’s Triangle. Now, as we are heading into September, we will be in full swing of Oktoberfest season in no time. To celebrate, the Brewer’s Triangle will be holding an all-day event at the three breweries on Saturday, September 23 starting at 11:00am.
Craft beer is not the only industry to see a huge boom recently in both production and popularity. As drinkers today are always on the hunt for something new and exciting, the versatility of honeywine has found large appeal with a range of different demographics, and has led to the opening of countless full-production meaderies across the United States. Schramm’s Mead has been a top producer of honeywine for a decade now. They’ve helped to pioneer the continued growth of the style as well as set the benchmark for quality and success. We had the privilege to sit down and talk with Ken Schramm, co-founder and head meadmaker of Schramm’s, to learn more about their roots, program development, and some of the other pivotal factors he has pioneered that have further impacted the sweeping mead revolution that our country is seeing.
For the better part of the last decade, the craft beer world has been fascinated with developing the most innovative trends, finding the most unique and bizarre ingredients, and employing the newest techniques that would further push the boundaries of beer. From Pastry Stouts, to Cold IPAs, cryo hops to hop thiols, the obsession over that “new new” has been a driving force behind the resurgence in beer fanaticism.
Sour ales brewed with fruit have grown in popularity in recent years, and they have proven to be particularly attractive options for non-alcoholic (NA) craft brewers. Fruited sour ales—particularly kettle sours that don’t take nearly as long to brew as some more complex historical sour styles—offer a playground for brewers to experiment with flavor outside the strictures of traditional guidelines. They also offer some unique advantages for the non-alcoholic brewer. As NA craft beer surges in popularity, it’s not surprising to see these non-alcoholic fruited sours being offered by many prominent brands.
It’s been long overdue to have another brewery join us in the Spotlight. So without further ado, enter Moksa Brewing Company out of Rocklin, CA. Established in 2017 and opening their doors in 2018, Moksa is another very young brewery that has had a lot of success in a very short period of time. Seeking to showcase beer and brewing as its own unique art form, Moksa has never hesitated to push the boundaries. We had the privilege of chatting with Head Brewer Cory Meyer, focusing on the growth and successes of their barrel program, some of the ins-and-outs of their processes, and their hopes for the future.
Here ye, here ye! Another PorchDrinking Blind Tasting has been conducted! This time 24 of Colorado’s Best Pale Ales were submitted from breweries from all across the state. All beers were non-adjunct and needed to mostly follow the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) guidelines of the Pale Ale style.
For starters, the goal of the Blind Tasting Series is to find the best beer of each style in the Centennial, regardless of the beer’s label, the brewery’s marketing or notoriety.
During this craft beer boom, the industry has provided so much more than just a new and exciting wave of beer styles, techniques and breweries. It has also created an outlet and newfound respect for the arts. Artists all over the country have found support and work from breweries looking for anything from taproom murals to label art to small batch glassware and other merch. Many breweries have even involved the arts at their events as a continued means of support. In fact, this was a huge focus of The Eighth State Brewing’s Altered States Festival in Greenville, SC. One field of artistry in particular that has really popularized itself in the craft beer community recently has been woodworking.
Fulton Brewing, one of Minneapolis’ original craft breweries, is expanding its well-known IPA offerings by introducing Hop Kingdom — a brand family of various IPA styles inspired by and made for Minnesotans.
In an exciting development, St. Louis’ own 4 Hands Brewing Company has announced a collaborative endeavor with Universal Studios Entertainment, World Events Productions (WEP), LLC, and a selection of the country’s best breweries.
Voltron was a popular animated television series that originally aired in the mid-1980s. Produced by World Events Productions, the show centered around a team of young pilots controlling a group of robot lions that combine to form Voltron, a gigantic robot warrior. Voltron, often called the “Defender of the Universe,” battles evil forces to maintain peace across the galaxy.
Since the Roadhouse Brewery Group completed its acquisition of Melvin Brewing Co. last December, the future of Melvin Brewing’s Eureka location in the St. Louis area has been uncertain. This week, both Melvin Brewing & the St. Louis Brewers Heritage Foundation revealed new details on the future of Melvin Brewing Eureka.
Together Is Not Always Better: How Consolidation In the Middle Tier Is Impacting The Future of Craft Beer BrandsApril 28, 2023 | Julie Rhodes 1
For most craft breweries, the trajectory of brand growth follows a somewhat traditional path – starting with taproom sales, progressing to selling in the wholesale channel, and then alignment with a beer wholesaler to grow the distribution footprint. Sounds simple enough on paper, but if you drill down into the nuances of selling beer wholesale, things get complicated very quickly. The US is unlike any other country in the world when it comes to the three-tier alcohol distribution system. Some states do not allow suppliers to self-distribute (sell directly) their products to licensed retail accounts, yielding asinine practices like selling beer to yourself for your own taproom. Some states are also dubbed “franchise” law states where if your brand aligns with a distributor you must endure a contractual arrangement that makes changing distributor partners harder than selling beachfront property in Arizona. And we haven’t even begun to address the large big beer elephant in the room and how many large beer distribution houses are aligned with one of two big players in the US beer market. For many craft brands that are just getting started or fall into the category of small to medium-sized producers, strategizing how to enter the wholesale channel is a formidable challenge, including contending with a host of other legislative, litigious, and anti-competitive issues in the middle tier that have surfaced over the past few decades. As if growing craft beer producers didn’t have enough to contend with these days in the form of rising costs of goods, labor shortages, inflation, and the squeeze from alternative beverage choices in the marketplace, woes like wholesaler consolidation, unfair trade practices, and antiquated beverage alcohol regulations are making the middle tier the next big battleground for craft beer brands.
Back with the first of four scheduled Blind Tastings for 2023, the starting style on this year’s slate is Light Mexican Lagers. The goal is to find some of the best Light Mexican Lagers around Colorado. For this Blind Tasting, a group of eight judges evaluated 35 Light Mexican Lagers. Beers were submitted from breweries of all different sizes from all across Colorado.
PorchDrinking’s Blind Tasting Series is presented by On Tap Credit Union.
Yesterday, the Brewers Association announced its Industry Award recipients for 2023. The five recipients are Ret. Representative Peter DeFazio, Ben Edmunds, Jessica and Richard Fierro, and Julie Rhodes. All will be officially honored at a ceremony on May 8, 2023, at the Craft Brewers Conference. Starting in 1987, the Brewers Association presents the Industry Awards to individuals that “inspire, defend, and innovate within the craft brewing industry.”
A brewery that has made a huge splash on the Chicago craft beer scene over the past year has been Funkytown Brewery, who brews at Pilot Project Brewing in both Chicago, IL and Milwaukee, WI. Owners Richard Bloomfield, Zachary Day and Gregory Williams chatted with PorchDrinking in February 2022 as a part of our AleBlazers series, so naturally we needed to catch up with them and see how the last year has been and where 2023 is taking them!
Pilot Project Brewing, a brewery incubator based in Chicago, with a second location in Milwaukee, WI, is a collaborative space where multiple breweries are able to enter the market without certain barriers that traditionally plague startup breweries. Their newest addition is Flora Brewing, Sarah Flora’s brewery that started contract brewing recently, though many know her from her homebrewing videos over the past six years. Flora Brewing will be launching four beers, with the release event set for Saturday, April 29.
For those across the Midwest, Ale Asylum Brewery in Madison, Wisconsin, was a staple of their beer fridge until they closed in July of 2022 after 16 years of operation. Less than a year later, however, their bold flavors are set to make a comeback under the Karben4 Brewing flag. Karben4 owners, brothers Ryan and Zak Koga, are excited to re-launch these staples of Madison craft beer in the same city that they operate their brewery.