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.
With the Olympics in full swing, I thought I’d take a few minutes to share some of the amazing beers I was lucky enough to try during our Christmas vacation to Rio de Janeiro. Brazil is one the most culturally diverse countries on the planet with huge influences from Africa, Europe and Asia. Brazil’s Portuguese ties are obvious, but as I was learning more about the country before our trip I was really surprised to find out that Germans are the fifth largest nationality to immigrate to Brazil*. The German population rooted themselves in the southern region of the country and have made their mark nationwide on Brazilian beer.
Last Friday began the 2016 Olympic Games from Rio. During the opening ceremonies we were entertained by a show of Brazilian culture, Olympic spirit, and women were able to drool over that overly oiled half naked guy from Tonga. For the next couple weeks we will cheer on athletes such as Gabby Douglas, Shalane Flanagan, and Michael Phelps. We will learn about sports we have never watched before and root for athletes we only hear about every four years.
Header image courtesy of Hops About Beer
Style: Imperial Stout | ABV: 12%
This past weekend marked a milestone for me in my beer drinking journey. I have been diligently tracking every beer that I have drank for the past three years, and thanks to my liver and the app Untappd, I have finally reached 1000 unique beers!
It’s Summer Olympics time. Sure, a flight to Rio is expensive. So, stay home, turn on the T.V. and have a flight you can afford — an international beer flight. Anthony Norkus, who specializes in imported beer for the 127-year-old Chicago-based Louis Glunz Beer explained, “The international/import beer market is aggressively trying to stay relevant as much as the American craft breweries. Due to this we are seeing a lot of innovation coming out of breweries that are hundreds of years old.”
ABV: 6.9% | IBU: 77
I have become something of a fresh IPA snob. With so many amazing hoppy ales to choose from these days, once you’ve tasted a super fresh IPA, it becomes difficult to stomach a dust-covered bottle that says India Pale Ale, but doesn’t include a bottled on date. Have you had a Stone Ruination bottled the same month you bought it? WOW. The difference is palpable.
Under normal circumstances, i.e.: Living in America, this is typically a non-issue – as many of the best beers have date codes. But moving to Switzerland, which is outrageous, and not living in a major city means access to true American-style IPAs have become limited. Cue the violin and tears.
The world of eSports is vast and glorious; on the brink of mainstream acceptance through the understanding and mutual respect put into the time and skill of learning video games. There are games with underground followings like Counter Strike: Global Offensive and genres such as MOBAs that have reached the zenith of national sport. But today’s Ultimate 6er is centered around a breed settled when the quarters were slammed on the arcade cabinet in the days of yore: Fighting Games.
The Fighting Game Community or “FGC” has had a vigorous history through years of rigorous reinvention and a fervent, dedicated fanbase of thrill-seeking gamers. Beyond the coordination and strategy of other gaming tournaments, Fighting Games have an unmistakably thematic flair. The ups-and-downs of comeback, the mind game of predicting your opponent and the study of position create a viewing experience unlike any other. It’s just two players, two controllers, two characters drowning out the thousands of passionate fans to play the best match possible.
Netflix is the little technology business that could, going from movies-through-the-mail to one of the largest streaming services in the world. Available on every smart device and video game console available, Netflix has a reported total of 81 million people – with 46 million being in the US alone. It’s replaced cable for most of us, opening up a treasure chest of hidden gems and old classics in the most digestible manner possible. Netflix is now a powerhouse in the audio/visual world after acquiring exclusivity rights with Disney, but also through releasing their own original content.
For this week’s Ultimate 6er, we’ll be looking at several of the heavy hitters in the Netflix Original Lineup. Don’t fret if you don’t see any of your favorites here, but these have some of the best beer combinations you could hope to ever watch with your favorite show. So let’s Netflix and Chill (more like cooler) for some summer streaming!
ABV: 6.7% | EBU: 65
I took four years of French in high school. I was an AP student, as in Advanced Placement. Oh yeah, really serious about it. So serious that 15 years later, I remember how to say hello, goodbye and count to 10. The fact that I’m living in the French-speaking part of Switzerland is in fact clearing out some deeply recessed cobwebs of learning in my brain. But judging by the label text, this tasty XXA IPA from Bier Factory is brewed in the GERMAN-speaking side of Switzerland. Damn.
ABV: 8% | IBU: 22
Unibroue beers are juxtaposed with history and mythology. In an important way, the juxtaposition is quite literal; the bottom refermentation process that most of its French Canadian beers undergo produces a look and style that defies modernity. These unfiltered beers are a refreshing alternative to both the sterility and uninteresting nature of your local Safeway favorites, and one note style-box beers. Maudite is no different. It’s murky look and yeasty odor inspires curiosity. Part of it, I’ll admit, is bias. Its compatriot, La Fin du Monde, is one of my personal go-tos. And with a name that translates literally as “the Damned,” there are plenty of reasons why this beer deserves a pour.