Since our launch in 2012, PorchDrinking has celebrated its anniversary each year by throwing a big bottle share for all of our industry friends, supporters, and staff because to us, bottle shares are the truest form of beer lovers coming together as a community. However, 2020 was an unorthodox year, and as much as we would have loved to mark our 8th anniversary with another share, we figured that passing bottles in an enclosed space during a pandemic probably wasn’t the best idea.
So to kick off the new year, we reached to a few of our industry friends to ask them what they’d bring to a “Dream Bottle Share”. For continuity’s sake, we asked each of our guest contributors to share four of their favorite beers from 2020 as well as four of their favorite beers all-time that they would bring to a hypothetical dream bottle share.
Across the globe, the market for non-alcoholic/low alcohol beer exceeded $9.5 billion in 2019, with an estimated compound annual growth rate of approximately 7-8% over the course of the next six years (Global Market Insights). By 2027, global sales in this segment are projected to surpass a valuation of $28 billion (Fact.MR). That’s some serious change in more than one sense of the word.
The North Pole goes dark for months at a time during the winter months, which also happens to be the time when the indigenous elves work their hardest. The elves, of course, serve the world’s most famous philanthropist, Santa Claus. But, with a harsh and brutal winter comes the need to kick back with friends and enjoy a good beer or two and that’s where North Pole Brewing comes into play. The brewery, and its head brewer Abigail Cornelious, have so far enjoyed resounding success.
The tradition of Hofbräu Munchen began on September 27, 1580, when Duke Wilhelm V founded the brewhouse in Munich. A little less three hundred years later on October 12, 1810, at the wedding of the Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen, the “first” Oktoberfest was celebrated. Two years later the Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier was brewed.
In 2003, the Hofbräu concept crossed the Atlantic Ocean opening a mini-brewery and restaurant in the style of the original Hofbräuhaus in Newport, KY, bringing the German beer to America.
With a rich history going back 600 years, Hacker Pschorr is truly one of the OGs of German beer. These guys were doing Reinheitsgebot almost 100 years before there WAS a Reinheitsgebot. This Munich-based brewery produces several dozen different beers, only a handful of which—including Münchner Gold—are distributed in the US.
The global pandemic has put a damper on our oom-pah-pahs and Zicke, zacke, hoi, hois. Indeed, Oktoberfest 2020 — whether it be in Munich or anywhere else — is not quite the same. Nevertheless, the six official Oktoberfest breweries in Munich have not ceased in creating their beers. The youngest of the six, Paulaner, offers not one, but two versions: the historic Märzen that’s available year-round and the Oktoberfest Lager served in Munich during the festivities. For extra fun, search for the special one-liter can and glass mug set.
One of the hardest decisions for the dedicated craft enthusiast has to be how long to cellar a prized bottle. How do you ensure that you see your beautiful bottles reach their final form? The balance of power between #drinkfresh and amassing a cellar so massive it would make the Sun King blush is a wobbly tight rope, indeed. Too often you find yourself paralyzed to open those most revered bottles, worrying that with a particular Cantillon or Side Project or Hill Farmstead we’ll never cross paths again. Or worse, you fear the chiding from fellow Ahabs for not inviting them along to take down the white whale.
“But, what do you drink?” This is the question I asked the bartender at one of the many estimable pubs I wandered into the first time I visited Bruges. Taking a pilgrimage to the holy land of beer to guzzle some Westvleteren long before it was shipped to American shores, I spent my days soaking in highly-touted Trappist ales and Belgian standards, but was looking for something a little more “Bad Sandy.” The Belgians, masters of brewing, had to have their version of “craft” local beers that didn’t travel outside of the land of waffles and moules frites.
While many dads will likely receive beer from their adult-aged children this weekend in celebration of Father’s Day, one Calgary-based brewery is taking the concept of dad-beers to the next level. Ryan and Collin Mortson, co-founders of Best of Kin …
I know that we’re all trapped inside with a wicked case of cabin fever, but there’s no reason that we can’t start daydreaming about our next beer-cation. I highly suggest heading north of the border and exploring the Canadian province of Ontario. It’s more than just Toronto, and you’d better let that fact marinate! That’s why I’ve compiled this 6er of Ontarian brews to get the planning started. Whether the economy opens up on Easter or long after, you’ll be ready to hit the road.
Pitter patter! Let’s get at ‘er!
When one thinks of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), craft beer is likely not the first (or thousandth) thing that generally comes to mind. This is the land of the $14 stale Heineken, a literal and figurative desert for decent beer. All of that changes February 29 – March 1, 2020 as HustleFest lands in Abu Dhabi. The first craft beer festival held in the capital city, the land of sand and skyscrapers will soon be host to some of the U.S.’s finest breweries; more than 30 beers will be making their debut in the UAE.
The fourth edition of the Indie Beer Cup will be held in Central America in the beautiful Costa Rica and vibrant Panamá City. This particular competition stands out amongst various events because it’s designed exclusively for independent brewers on an international scope.
With the inferior American adjunct Lager varieties produced by the industrial brewers and the explosion of craft brewing, lager-style beers have largely fallen out of fashion in the United States. Yet, while IPAs may be all the rage in the U.S., in Germany, Lagers still reign supreme and no one is producing better examples of these beers there than Private Landbrauerei Schönram.
Want to travel? “Traveling more” is a resolution for 25% of Americans for 2020. It’s not surprising, as travel is generally very fun and occasionally life-changing. Now is the time to look past some of your other, less-worthy resolutions (see you in 2021 eating healthy and saving money!) and commit to being Dora the Beer Explorer in 2020.
Sweden – a country whose northern tip breaches the Arctic Circle, making the summer days long and joyful and outdoor activities bountiful. Unfortunately, I decided to visit the capital of Stockholm in early November, and was greeted with 3pm sunsets and a Seattle-but-colder weather vibe. I didn’t mind, as it gave me ample excuse to visit the city’s numerous beer bars, leading to some enjoyable long, brisk, waterside stumbles. Swedes love their craft beer, and you will not find it hard to indulge yourself while taking in this extremely walk-able city.
By far, my favorite holiday beer is Brasserie Dupont’s Avec Les Bons Voeux (translated as “with good wishes”). It’s made year-round, but only brought to the United States during winter. The beer began as a treat to brewery visitors during the holidays and, as it only makes its way to the United States around the holidays, it remains a special treat for us.
It’s great that St. Nick takes care of the kids. But, for grown-ups, it’s all about St. Bernardus. He doesn’t need to send his elf for your shelf because his smiling face and festive hat adorn every bottle of St. Bernardus Christmas Ale. One sip of the exquisite Belgian beer will surely bring an abundance of holiday joy to any beer fan.
Everyone has improperly poured a beer in their life to the grimaces and eye-rolls of their drinking buddies and colleagues. The prime illustrator of a poorly-produced draft beer in any American bar or drinking table is the overwhelming presence of foam that inundates the glass and misbalances the minute equation between liquid and bubble. The copious head of white, quickly-dissipating bubbles – you can call it “dry foam” – is a sure sign that you’re not going to have an ideal drinking experience, regardless of if you’re drinking a Natty Lite or an award-winning IPA. But what if the overwhelming presence of foam was a good thing?
If you’ve had a properly-poured Pilsner Urquell straight from a Pilsner Side-Pour faucet, you’ll know that the presence of wet foam in your pour of a Pilsner is a good thing – and by design. So, what’s the difference between the foam in a typical beer and what is present in a proper pint of Pilsner Urquell? To find out, we asked the historic Czech brewer.
It was a dark, blustery evening and the city was rushing to make it home before the arrival of an autumn snowstorm. The first snow of the season loomed over Denver as clouds darkened and the wind whipped the coats of commuters as we experienced the second-largest two-day temperature drop on record. Winter arrived early in Denver–including at my local liquor store, where I picked out a Fantôme Hiver, enticed by the mischievous ghost on the label, to warm me up on that brisk night.
It’s a hard-knock life when you have beer-related engagements scheduled in two countries on two consecutive weekends. I recently found myself in Poland for the incredible One More Beer Festival before planning to meet up with friends in Munich for Oktoberfest six days later. Doing the wise thing and taking a full week of vacation, I started to scout out how I could spend the days between periods of copious beer consumption. Lo and behold, the world’s number one beer-drinking country per capita, the Czech Republic, happened to be smack dab in the middle of my two destinations. The gods smile upon me.