As winter rolls into Nebraska, it’s time to slow down and enjoy some locally-crafted stouts. Zipline Brewing Co. has released their winter seasonal beer, Milk Stout. This is their second year brewing Milk Stout, and locals are glad to see it come back. Last year the beer was so popular, they ran out earlier than expected. This year you should be able to find it on store shelves (and at one of their four locations in Lincoln and Omaha) into mid-March.
To wrap up their 2020-21 Deep Wood release, Revolution Brewing decided to go with two non-stouts, featuring an Imperial Rye Porter made in collaboration with Half Acre as well as a spin on their popular Ryewine Ale by putting it into Apple Brandy barrels.
With the market oversaturated with Hazy IPAs and adjuncts, how do you find that one beer that sticks out amongst the rest? You compare a beer menu to a first-round draft pick. Some are unproven and many times there is so much unknown from them. Folks tend to sort a beer list by putting the ones you know you will like on top and putting the others on the bottom. So when there is a rookie on the list, where do you put the unproven beer you might overlook because it doesn’t have that hazy, juiciness or adjunct flavors we see so much of today?
It’s cliche to say that 2020 was a year unlike any other but how else do you describe what was most likely the most challenging year in a long time. While breweries and organizations mainly cancelled or refashioned beer festivals and release parties, the beer continued to flow. In 2020, Illinois brewers still managed to produce an abundance of of notable beers.
In 2016, I wrote a piece about Pollyanna Brewing Summerly Raspberry Wheat that stated, “Pollyanna Brewing‘s rapid success is almost unfathomable until you try the beer — and then it makes perfect sense. Just shy of two years old, Pollyanna Brewing is already expanding its production.” Well, nearly five years after that story published, the brewery has opened two new locations and won a host of prestigious beer awards, including its Lite Thinking American Lager that won 2019 gold and 2020 bronze at the Great American Beer Fest (GABF).
January is often a popular month for craft beer drinkers to take some time off from the “hobby.” It’s important to be able to do so and to drink in amounts where you’re comfortable. We recently offered 30 Reasons Why You Should Skip Dry January in 2021, but if you are taking the time completely off, you can still help your local breweries.
January 2021 is here. Finally.
A time-honored tradition among many craft-beer drinkers every January is Dryanuary or, a month without alcohol. But this January, craft breweries need our help more than ever. And, let’s face it, we all need a beer more than ever. So what’s a good compromise between cutting out drinking altogether for a month and giving craft breweries our support? Let’s go with drinking more low-ABV beers. If you indulged in a lot of high-ABV beers over the holidays like we did, it’s time to cleanse the palate anyway.
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.
Rake Beer Project, in Muskegon, Michigan, is less than two years old, and whether you love them or hate being told to stay home to help curb a relentless global pandemic, they’ve probably slowed your newsfeed scroll at least twice in 2020. And, like it or not (trigger warning): they’re about to do it a third time.
At the onset of Covid-19 flipping Earth into The Upside Down, Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer was unfazed after being slapped with a belittling nickname, “That Woman From Michigan,” by (three guesses) “That President From New York.” Twitter deflected the shade and clapped back on her behalf: Photoshop helped place a pair of Cartier sunglasses (known as “Buffs” in Detroit) on Whitmer, and The Michigangster was soon rebranded “Big Gretch.” In a public display of support for the governor’s Stay at Home Order, Rake joined the party, threw a non-red hat in the ring, and made a beer in her honor.
Step into a local bottle shop and pick up a can of fresh fruit smoothie is what the label of Untitled Art Tropical Seltzer Smoothie should say. Instead, the brewery’s bright and cheery can is offset by a white stripe with vivid orange letters screaming SELTZER for all to see. The Waunakee, WI-based brewery collaborated with Stockholm, Sweden-based Omnipollo to create what can only be seen as a marvel of modern brewing.
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. What a year we’ve had in Michigan, eh? Nothing went the way anyone expected and for many, it went worse than they ever imagined. If you’re still standing, congratulations. However, one thing that definitely stayed as expected: Despite shutdowns and sickness and protests and kidnapping threats and endless elections, Michigan brewers once again made some of the best beer in the country in 2020. Which, of course, makes my job that much more difficult. I’m certainly not new to beer, but I am brand new to picking the Michigan Best in Beer Year-End Honors which, at 300+ breweries, is a daunting task, to say the least.
That being said, I still get the good news–and there certainly was plenty of it. So, I’ve compiled what I can of the best in Michigan. Here’s to an absolutely horrible, but completely wonderful, 2020.
~Jess, Michigan Editor at PorchDrinking.com
Good beer tells a story. A brewer could be inspired by a personal experience or possibly by their surroundings. For Riot, it is the latter. The city of Chicago has a dense and complex history. Chicago is known for major historical events such as The Great Chicago Fire, The Columbian Exposition (shout out to the amazing book Devil in the White City), and the Haymarket Affair. But, the story behind this Revolution Brewing beer is hidden in the depths of history.
As reported by CBS Chicago’s (WBBM) Marie Saavedra, Side Lot Brewery in Wauconda, IL (Chicago’s Northwest Suburbs) must pay The Hershey Company $8,500 by January 4th because of its Sugar Series beer release this past Halloween comprised of Hershey’s candies and the associated labeling that mimicked Hershey products. We spoke to the parties involved about the trademark dispute.
3 Floyds Brewing first announced an indefinite closing of their Munster, IN facility back in May, and it now seem as if that closure has become permanent. In a letter to investors, Three Floyds announced that the brewpub would be …
Twenty-two members of the Missouri Brewers Guild teamed up this fall to brew the Guild’s first-ever collaboration brew, aptly named “Missouri Loves Company”. The breweries met via video conference to discuss logistics, ingredients, and unite during a time when social distancing rules tend to keep people apart.
The 2020 version of West Des Moines, IA-based Barn Town Brewing’s Yer Killin’ Me S’mores! offers a nostalgic and supportive approach to Stout Season.
This Milk Stout debuted last year as a nod to “The Sandlot.” Founder Pete Faber and his team knew they wanted to create a s’mores stout and they eventually decided to reference an iconic scene from their childhood. Like all beers at Barn Town, the concept, branding and execution balance eccentricity and thoughtfulness in a purposeful way.
One of the most wonderful things about Michigan, given its vicinity to the Great Lakes, is the multitude of mini climates that make the state ideal for growing grapes, hops, wheat and, of course, cherries. However, despite a great deal of hullaballoo over Michigan cherries, it is far from the only fruit grown in the Mitten State. Mirabelle plums, apples, pears and quince are also grown throughout Michigan’s western fruit belt, as well as the luscious and lovely blueberry. It stands to reason, then, that breweries throughout the fruit belt region embrace the blueberry and other fruits as a way to make authentically-Michigan, fruit-based beers from locally grown fruit. Few are more locally grown than Waypost Brewing Company, a farm brewery that prides itself on its ties to the land.
“We define Waypost as a farmhouse brewery, and our beers are created to reflect the place and the people who make it what it is. Whether that’s the water, the fruit or the feeling on the farm the day the beer was brewed, we want our product to be a reflection of this truly unique place,” said Waypost’s co-owner and brewer, Hannah Lee.
Warped Wing Brewing Company’s taproom on an uneven brick side street in downtown Dayton, Ohio, is pretty quiet for early December. The hulking, 80-year-old concrete building that once housed the Buckeye Iron & Brassworks foundry is normally humming with beer drinkers, and on the early December Saturday when the brewery’s beloved Whiskey Rebellion bourbon barrel-aged Imperial Stout is released, the cavernous facility is always packed with celebratory fans. A line begins early that morning waiting for bottle allotments and extends through the cracked cement of the parking lot, past the building, and around the corner of the block.
This year’s release, of course, is different, though the enthusiasm for it is as vibrant as ever.
For many, the holidays are about giving back. It’s a time to support those less fortunate or to further a charitable cause. The holidays are also about connecting with your family and sharing your favorite beer. So, what if you could do both? What if you could drink an amazing craft beer and give back? Rescue + Recharge American Lager, a limited release for the holiday season, is this perfect kind of synergy — a partnership between FINNEGANS Brew Co. and Firefighters for Healing to create a great beer and support a wonderful cause.
A drier, barrel-focused release is the theme in Revolution Brewing’s 4th Deep Wood release of 2020 with three different beer styles hitting cans this weekend.
With the last two releases featuring adjuncts like cherries, maple, and honey, the release of Mineshaft Gap, Ryeway to Heaven, and Double Barrel V.S.O.D. go quite a different direction in the December Deep Wood installment.