If you donut know, National Donut Day is today (June 7)! For all you beer lovers out there who indulge in a donut every now and then, perhaps with an emphasis on the “now,” here’s a pairing that will make your taste buds dance in joy.
There’s always some fun in pairing various foods, sweets, desserts, etc. with various different types of beers. This particular pairing puts an emphasis on the sweet. The dough-y fried/baked goodness that is a donut is such a sweet treat to enjoy on all occasions. So, in preparation for National Donut Day, we hit up Voodoo Doughnuts and raided the beer fridge to create this perfect pairing.
Amidst stunning architecture and a scenic landscape filled with rolling hills, snowy mountain caps, and rushing rivers, lies a long-standing brewing tradition primed for new growth. Austria is home to over 300 brewers now who made 9.8 million hectoliters (there are roughly 0.85 bbls/hectoliter) of beer last year; its people drink more than 110 liters of beer per year – only behind the Czech Republic and Germany for most Europe. Vienna, Austria’s capital, is a fitting image of the current state of the country’s beer scene. Many bars only have taps from storied breweries like Ottakringer or Trumer available. Zwickel, Helles and Pils reign supreme. IPAs are little more than a passing rumor with beers over 6% routinely raising eyebrows. It’s a city fixed between consistency and curiosity. All of these market factors were on display when I visited the Wiener Bierfest recently, just steps from the historic St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
It’s been a few weeks now since we made a quick beercation to Chicago and Milwaukee.
We thought about compiling all 17 breweries we visited into a single post but decided that wouldn’t be any fun to write or for you to read. We considered highlighting our top five favorite breweries in each city, but thought that would be too cliche. Instead, in a moment of clever wit, we decided to feature three breweries: the first brewery we visited, the funkiest brewery and our favorite brewery in each city. We hope you enjoy “Eff” Milwaukee!
Among the long list of beer festivals each year, there are a handful that stand out as can’t miss events. There are even fewer select events that are “beer lovers bucket list” type events. The Firestone Walker Invitational is one such event.
For a decade, the Firestone Walker Invitational has been putting together a festival that brings together world class craft beer, food from the best chefs in California’s Central Coast, and some amazing music all in a setting that allows for beer enthusiasts to engage with the people who make the beer.
A few weeks ago as I walked into my office, I noticed a massive line stretching around the block. It was just after 7 a.m. in the middle of the week; clearly, these people had been waiting either overnight or since very early in the morning. It wasn’t freezing out, but it wasn’t warm. I later found out they were waiting for the BTS, the Korean music group, pop-up store to open up. I thought they were all crazy.
Lager, the beer that made St. Louis famous, is quickly making its return to my beer of summer. And being that this is my 50th summer on earth, I’m thrilled that Schlafly has decided to honor it as well as …
Sir Citra-ness was the first of a limited-release series, RIPL, from Longmont’s Wibby Brewing. RIPL stands for Rotating India Pale Lager, meaning that the brewery will produce small quantities of an IPL every few months. This allows for Wibby to showcase different beers and give their fans a taste of something new; all the while experimenting with their brews.
While most of craft beer’s largest watershed moments have involved Anheuser-Busch InBev’s (ABI) acquisition of an iconic, previously independent craft brewery, yesterday’s merger between Boston Beer Company and Dogfish Head Brewery marked an equally resonant moment for the industry, that didn’t directly involve its biggest player.
Las Vegas is the definition of excess. From swanky pool parties to bougie night clubs and incredible hotels, Sin City is never one to lack in any type of entertainment. I recently took my inaugural trip to Vegas and came back with more than a few stories—with one in particular I’m keen to share.
Vegas has a world-renowned dining scene that offers cuisine that appeals to every palate. Every hotel on the strip boasts a bevy of great fine dining options but tend to lack in their craft beer offerings. While many house robust wine lists that you can’t find anywhere else, the beer pairings are typically not up to par. So, when I checked into my hotel for the trip, the SLS Las Vegas, I pinpointed one dining and beer experience that I was excited to try: The Umami Burger, Beer Garden—and Sports Book (it’s Vegas after all).
Consistency is hard to replicate in any industry; it’s especially difficult in the craft beer market. Churning out a consistently excellent product that resonates with consumers and drives a positive bottom line is no small feat; even for the most established brewers, like Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery.
Amidst the sustained success of their hallmark IPA, Fresh Squeezed, Deschutes has brought new beers and new branding into the fold to better compete with a slew of newcomers and new beer styles. Amidst all of this market churn, it’s important to have a consistent element; which is where Veronica Vega, Deschutes’ Director of Product Development comes in.
In an alternate timeline of the Marvel comics, Thor, the God of Thunder, could have become the God of Craft Beer. Craft beer nerds who’ve also seen Avengers Endgame, might have noticed several cameo appearances by one of craft beer’s fastest rising brands, Athens, GA’s Creature Comforts Brewing, and now we know how that all came to be.
Germans love their beer, and they love to drink a lot of it, which means most German styles need to be crisp and fairly low in alcohol to support extended drinking sessions in those gorgeous beer gardens you keep drooling over on Instagram. When I say the words “German beer,” you most likely picture a glass of pale, brilliantly clear Pilsner, or perhaps a stein of amber-colored Märzen (Oktoberfest). Maybe you think of a curvy vase of cloudy Hefeweizen that’s the color of a wheat field. All of those refreshing styles can make a sunny day even better, but it gets pretty cold in Germany during the winter months, and one family of German lager styles—Bocks—have the strength to stand up to the season’s cruelest weather.
Sometimes you take the best things in life for granted. Chicago’s craft beer foundation is built on excellent ales like Anti-Hero and Daisy Cutter, but they no longer generate the lines and Untappd check-ins of past years. It’s not their fault—Chicago drinkers have so many great craft beer options at their disposal that it often becomes overwhelming. So how do you consistently churn out excellent flagships while appealing to the “newness” decree of today’s craft beer drinker?
One valid option is Revolution Brewing’s Hero series. With taproom-only releases, unique 6-pack offerings and comic-inspired variety packs, the Hero line has helped the city’s largest independent brewer stand out from the fray and consistently provide something new to the masses. Each new offering allows Head Brewer Jim Cibak a chance to flex his brewing muscles in new and exciting ways. His latest notable creation is Cryo-Hero. I spoke to Jim and the Revolution team about the new Hero variant, the complexities of that brewing process and what other exciting beers they have planned for the coming months.
A new chapbook by Scratch Brewing co-founder and brewer Marika Josephson lays out a blueprint for what it means to run a true farmhouse brewery in the 21st century.
“There is an ironic disconnect in craft beer in which drinkers care a lot about beer being made locally but don’t know or don’t care about where the ingredients themselves are from,” said Josephson when I interviewed her for a story for Civil Eats in November 2017.
The quote could serve as a thesis statement for her new chapbook Keeping the “Farm” in “Farmhouse Beer”, published by Good Beer Hunting in 2018.
In episode 59 of The PorchCast recorded during the Craft Brewers Conference, we were honored to welcome two legends who literally wrote the book on barrel-aged beers.
Reading more like a scene from National Treasure than your typical beer origin story, the recipe for AC Golden’s latest release, which was first recorded in the annals of history by Adolph Coors himself, was only recently uncovered in a dusty, old, forgotten brewer’s log, stored in the Coors archive room.
The nice thing about the craft brewing industry is that there’s always something new to drink and learn. Both happened to me at Allagash Brewing’s Saison Day at Off Color Brewing’s on April 6, 2019. I wasn’t expecting to find a beer on tap with a hazy color and a viscous texture that would showcase the bright and colorful Saison and Farmhouse ale creations from the likes of Off Color, Allagash, Side Project and Brasserie Dupont. But there I was, savoring every drop of Birds Fly South Ale Project’s Rustic Sunday, a deliciously savory yet fruity Farmhouse ale created via the Solera aging style. I had never heard of Solera aging before but after having one of Birds Fly South’s (BFS) brews, I knew I had to find out more.
Brewing beer is hard. Starting a brewery is even harder. Along with making the beer that keeps the lights on, there’s logistics, staff, space and marketing workflows that need to be addressed and accounted for. It’s a big undertaking that takes a certain sense of passion and entrepreneurship; many brewers often say it’s a calling. This was the case for Peter Bouckaert when he decided to open up Purpose Brewing & Cellars last year.
This past Sunday, The Post Brewing – Boulder hosted the last of their Battle of the Brewmasters Series. This was a special event for the Colorado local because their head brewer at the time of opening, Bryan Selders, came back to participate in this event. Before moving on to Dogfish Head, Bryan was also a mentor the current head brewer, Nick Tedeschi. In the opening, the two shared the experience they had together; as well as how each of their lives were impacted by the other.
While I can’t say anything bad about the Chicago beer scene (we DO have the most breweries per capita), everything else about this city is exhausting, to say the least. From the rampant corruption, violent crime, high taxes and crumbling infrastructure, there is no shortage of issues that make a resident of Cook County want to drink. When I am in need for some fresh air, fresh ale and small-town charm, my day drinking location of choice has always been my hometown: Griffith, IN, located right over the border, 30 minutes south of Chicago.
Griffith’s downtown has the charm of a small town, but also the amenities of some of Chicago’s most sought-after neighborhoods. It’s no wonder people are leaving Illinois in record numbers; many of them are moving here. Real estate is hot and the secret is out—Griffith is a pretty hip(ster) place to be. The town of 17,000 now boasts a small but bustling downtown complete with a bowling alley (with a large outdoor patio area), gourmet popcorn shop, meat market, coffee house, arcade bar, vegan hair salon and three microbreweries. All of the three microbreweries are within a short walking distance from one another with plenty of cool local businesses between to browse, shop or grab a snack to soak up some of Griffith’s fine local beer. On a personal note, I grew up here (my most of my family still lives here) so this small town and its breweries have a special place in my liver. It’s my pleasure to bring you a drinker’s walking guide of downtown Griffith, IN.