Sand between the toes, hammocks, sunshine, rustling palm trees and now Church Street Brewing — that could describe your next Caribbean vacation. The suburban-Chicago brewery is taking its beer to the tropics!
Ever since a 6th grade math teacher corrected the spelling of my name, I’ve had an itch to visit Denmark. Even though we all know the rhyme “I before E, except after C”, the majority of folks named Niel in the States spell it backwards – Neil. But not me, regardless of what Mrs. Something-or-other seemed to think. I later learned that my family has roots reaching back to at least the early 1800s in the Danish countryside, the origin of this funny spelling. Which made me wonder, “Is there a land full of Niel’s that spell their name the right way?” Fast forward 20ish years and I now live within an hour’s flight of the homeland. And though I didn’t find anyone sharing my first name, I did find lots of good beer.
I remember being forced to read Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities in high school. To explain the tome’s epic verbosity, I subscribe to the myth that Charlie was paid by the word and have been permanently scarred by the experience. I mention Dickens because he would likely have been an inspiration to the British poet for whom this beer is named – Thomas Hardy. Hardy was a writer of world-renown but unfortunately, thanks to his compatriot’s writing style, there’s zero chance of me putting down Stephen King to pick up Jude the Obscure anytime soon. His namesake brew however, Thomas Hardy’s Ale, that’s a different story.
“In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue,” but a few months before Columbus landed in the Caribbean, an Austrian brewery that came to be known as Stiegl arose in the town of Salzburg. Five and a quarter centuries later, the world has dramatically changed, but Stiegl is still there and still delivering beer in its hometown by horse and carriage. The one thing that is new is the Stiegl Zitrone Lemon Radler, its newest summer-friendly, highly sessionable U.S. import.
Featured Image Credit: Heineken.com
We all have different opinions and different views of the world, but it is key that we learn to have open and honest discussions about those differences. If no one is willing to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, you end up with a divided nation full of people who are more interested in stalling their opponents’ agendas than in finding a path toward the common good. The new “Worlds Apart” video from Heineken posits that beer can be key to discovering that common ground.
Many years ago I was fortunate to participate in a group study exchange to Italy, where five Americans sent overseas for a month to see how our Italian counterparts live. Each of us were housed separately, with families, to allow for real immersion into the culture. On the whole, we were stuffed with homemade pasta, preservative-free (read: hangover-free) wine and an incredible amount of warmth and big smiles. While I did not indulge in any brews from Birra Amarcord, the bottle of Mora I recently consumed brought me back in a flash thanks to it being an Imperial COFFEE Porter.
ABV: 6.6% | IBU: N/A
It’s cold. Goddammit, it’s cold. For those of you not so blessed to be living below the Mason-Dixon Line, you’re likely in the midst of what’s been a long, cold winter. As the mounds of snow continue to grow and you begin to forget that the sun exists; winter tightens its icy grip this time of year. So, how can you fight back and stay warm? Should you bundle up with extra layers or rely on hand and toe warmers in gloves and socks? While those options are smart and practical, I tend to go another route. I avoid the cold by staying inside with beer, such as Mikkeller Chipotle Porter, the fuzzy slippers of the soul.
Two years ago, I heard a shocking story. My brother’s then-girlfriend had never seen the original Star Wars.
It seems impossible that one could grow up in America and not see these epic films. I’m not even close to a full blown Star Wars nerd, but I still love those three original films from the ’70s and I am always stoked when a new one comes out. (Well, not the Jar Jar Binks one; that sucked.) I have yet to see Rogue One, but when I saw this bottle of A New Hop: Hopi Wan Galactic Ale from Federation of Malted Republics (FMR), there was no choice but to buy it.
Cover Photo credit: 961 Beer (via Facebook)
Uncertainty and cultural disharmony runs amuck in the world today, but not among beer aficionados. A typical beer nerd’s Instagram feed includes posts from New Zealand, Brazil, Mexico, the UK, Ireland, the U.S. … and Lebanon! Yes, that Lebanon. Sandwiched between Syria and Israel, the region’s history is noted for its tumultuous nature and not one that would appear to be conducive to brewing. But, the region is also rich with beer history – predating the The Peloponnesian War by a few thousand years — and now it has microbreweries. The first one arrived a few years ago, named 961 Beer, and the porter it brews is as good as the area’s beer history is rich.
There’s a new name in the world of beer: Rick Astley.
Yes, Rick Astley. The “Never Gonna Give You Up” guy. The Rickrolling dude. He’s gonna make his own beer.
To represent Switzerland as one of PorchDrinking’s 12 Beers of Christmas, I’m not sure there is a more perfect fit than Samichlaus Classic from Schloss Eggenberg. I was told of this brew by a friend back in the States. Upon learning I was going to become a pretend Swiss resident, he told me about Samichlaus. Not the fat guy in a red jumpsuit – more on that later – but the beer. He said something about it being released once a year and having several years’ worth sitting in his cellar awaiting a vertical tasting. Seeing it on the shelf at the local beer store, I wasted no time buying it. But then wasted lots of time staring at it wondering when I should drink this fabled brew. Along came the 12 Days of Christmas article and my problem – when to drink a beer – was solved.
Our 45th President of the United States has been officially declared to be the one and only Donald J. Trump. As we all know, Trump is a man of great class putting his seal of approval on everything from casinos, buildings, steaks and water bottles. But what kind of beer do you get for the man who has everything? Remember everyone, George W. Bush appealed to people as “a president you could sit down and have a beer with.” So what would come in the cabinet of America’s Blue-Collar Billionaire?
ABV: 8.5% | IBU: ALOT
BrewDog continues to impress me with their beers. In fact, every one I’ve had thus far has been excellent even with styles I don’t normally go for, such as lagers. They also appear to be complete lunatics, which I appreciate.
Readers, please see the end of the article for PD’s sources on this rundown of an awesome, beloved tradition.
Who doesn’t love a royal wedding? It wasn’t all that long ago that millions of people around the world tuned in to see William and Kate get hitched. The infatuation with royal nuptials goes back beyond recorded history, and the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria, later to become King Ludwig I, to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen was no exception. From this wedding celebration grew an annual festival, which would evolve into the largest folk festival in the world: Oktoberfest.
This summer, I realized a decade-long dream: visiting Iceland. My wife and I spent two weeks exploring and experiencing waterfalls, glaciers, geysers, craters, lava fields, tiny towns with tiny restaurants, cracks in the earth, puffins, whales, lots and lots of blonde people, wide-open vistas, and, most importantly, Icelandic beer. (All of which has been chronicled here.)
With 775+ breweries in attendance and 3,500+ beers available for sampling, the dazzling array of choices at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival could overwhelm even the most seasoned beer enthusiasts. Are you looking for all the sours? IPAs? Barleywines? Look no more!
Continuing one of our favorite GABF traditions, we reached out to every brewery attending the festival this year to get a preview of what they will be pouring. We hope our exclusive pour list preview will give you a head start on planning the best route possible through the maze of GABF breweries in order to gain the best beer for your buck.
In a small coastal town just outside of Cape Town, South Africa, Cape Brewing Company confidently wades into the infant market of African craft beer. While the rest of the continent shifts from homebrewing or no beer at all, to macro brewing (with the help of SABMiller and Heineken), Cape Brewing Company keeps up with the beer market as we know it, with a range of styles and rotating seasonals to keep craft connoisseurs happy.
ABV: 6.0% | IBU: 50
I’ve been on something of a Scotland kick lately. An excellent recent read, Burning Down George Orwell’s House by Andrew Ervin, got me started. It involves a disenchanted executive who heads for a small island off Scotland to find George Orwell’s house and drink lots of whiskey. While there, he gets caught up with a local werewolf legend. I’m also visiting the island next summer for the whiskey and beauty of the place of course but also for my first alcoholic love–beer.