The fabric of our world is changing by the hour. As the structure around us shifts, one can sometimes feel helpless seeing friends, family and businesses that they love face significant uncertainty. While self-isolating and staying inside, one of the largest roles that many of us can help fill is supporting local business.
As Michiganders acclimate to sheltering in place, it’s important we find the right beer to hibernate with. Something dark, something sweet, something boozy. Something to lend a reprieve from the newsfeed. Lo and behold, City Built Brewing Company’s 5 Hour Stout, a pastry stout brewed with obscene amounts of coconut and vanilla. It’s thick enough to put a bear to sleep so it should do the trick for those intent on napping away the next few weeks.
Amid the familiar IPAs, stouts, and lagers on the tap list at Eudora Brewing Company in Dayton, Ohio, sits an outlier, a Belgian charmer full of muscular grace. Le Cheval Magique is a Belgian Golden Strong Ale that balances expressive yeast character and formidable strength with deceptive drinkability. This “magic horse” is light on its hooves, but at 8.5% ABV, you’d best treat it with respect if you don’t want to get thrown from the saddle.
You enter the store and wait through the excruciating line, the fog of early morning clouding your eyes. You get to the counter and place your order, saying, “I’ll take a grande, nonfat, Porter with a side of vanilla.”
It may not be Starbucks, but Phase Three Brewing Company, in Lake Zurich, Illinois, is brewing a series of beers that blur the line between coffee shop and brewery. Maple. Vanilla. Chocolate. Hazelnut. Coffee. Each is incredible on its own, but when brewed into a beer, they can become amazing if approached correctly. Phase Three is remarkable, and is fighting its way into your glass.
Now more than ever, the craft beer industry needs good news One bright light in this period of uncertainty comes from America’s oldest brewery, D.G. Yuengling & Son, which recently celebrated International Women’s Day with the announcement of the Yuengling Women in Brewing Scholarship Program for spring 2020. The goal of the scholarship, a collaborative effort between Yuengling and the Pink Boots Society, is to advance the careers of female brewers in the U.S through educational opportunities. The scholarship also reflects Yuengling’s unique place in today’s brewing industry: Led by Jennifer Yuengling, vice president of operations and 6th generation family member, the D.G. Yuengling & Son of today is comprised of the brewery’s first generation of all-female leadership.
Every once in a while, a truly insane beer comes around and delights the masses. Chicago Craft Gin Week Is A Real Thing (CCGWIART) from Off Color Brewing is one of these beers—if the masses love a sour, that is. Off Color brews up some of the best beers in the Windy City, from their experimental Miller High Life collaboration, Eek!, to the delicious dessert that is Dino S’mores Russian Imperial Stout. With CCGWIART, the brewery has yet another unconventional (yet delectable) feather in its cap.
This was supposed to be a post about how the perfect March Beer was found; A bright St. Patrick’s green colored can that would help the run MSU was sure to go on in the NCAA tourney. But then the world decided to melt down. While unfortunately you can’t obnoxiously scream “GO GREEN” “GO WHITE” with your friends, it’s still possible to enjoy Big Lake Brewing‘s Sparti Parti IPA while barricaded in your own home.
HeadFlyer Brewing holds a special place in my heart. When it opened in April 2017 in my then neighborhood of Northeast (Nordeast) Minneapolis, the brewery instantly became one of my go-to watering holes for happy hours, celebrations and just the everyday beer. It’s one of my happy places.
Things are a lot different now than they were in 2017 in a whole host of ways. However, as they approach their third anniversary, the high quality, thoughtful and flavorful craft brew coming out of HeadFlyer remains steadfast.
So, as we face uncertainty and discomfort, I used this opportunity to turn to a beer that provides me solace — HeadFlyer’s Vanilla Bean Porter.
Growing up in Michigan, March was always a month of excitement and anticipation for me. After a long, cold winter, I always found myself eager to spend time outdoors on the first day of sunshine, and my spirits were lifted along with the slowly rising temperatures. In addition to the excitement that the spring season brings, the beginning of another one of my favorite “seasons” was filling me with anticipation this time of year: March Madness! However, as we all know, everything that we had planned on has abruptly been halted by COVID-19. School has been closed, spring break plans have been canceled and March Madness has taken on a new meaning. However, instead of complaining about how this has inconvenienced our lives, why not look at this opportunity as a chance to slow down?
I originally wrote this article with the intention of reaching for one of these light beers while cheering on my favorite basketball team. Instead, I’ll offer you six recommendations on light beers that you can enjoy while binge-watching Netflix, working on projects around the house or otherwise entertaining yourself during this unique time of social distancing.
Over the past three years, HOMES Brewery out of Ann Arbor, Michigan, has quickly become one of the most buzzed-about breweries in the country. Two shining examples of their proficiency with hoppy beers can be found in Cat Person and Peaked.
It was a dark day for Darkness Day. Yesterday afternoon, Surly Brewing Co. announced the brewery’s highly anticipated annual celebration of Surly Darkness is going on hiatus.
Surly discussed via email and social media why they’re pushing pause on Darkness Day, letting fans know the hiatus is a direct response to the current situation surrounding some of Minnesota’s craft beer laws.
Probably one of the smallest venues for a beer festival out there, the intimacy of Thalia Hall creates part of the charm of Uppers and Downers, one of the top festivals showcasing the versatility of coffee. Moving to a Sunday for the first time since the inaugural event, the day change didn’t impact the crowd size as once again beer and coffee lovers alike packed the Pilsen music venue for two sessions of coffee beers, cocktails, and more.
Every so often, when beer news abounds, we’ll get you caught up on some of the country’s biggest stories in beer. Today just happened to be one of those days where a whole lot happened, so without further ado, let’s …
It’s not a shock that I’m a fan of BottleHouse Brewery & Meadery. I’ve shared this love before when I wrote about one of their award-winning ales in 2018. Since it’s Stout Month, I felt it appropriate to share another stellar example from the Cleveland area and one of my personal favorites: Rising Star Stout.
I travel all over Chicagoland for my job, and work trips out to the suburbs offers me the chance to stop by a local brewery off the beaten path that I otherwise would overlook. Recently, I found myself lost in Bloomingdale, Illinois and it was here that I discovered the hidden gem of Wolfden Brewing, located in an old, haunted, building built-in 1851.
Maybe it’s the nostalgia of the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich we all enjoyed growing up. Or perhaps it’s because peanut butter and beer is an incredible combination- when executed correctly. Whatever it is, I can’t stop thinking about Saugatuck Brewing Co. Peanut Butter Porter.
The women of Mikerphone Brewing do not play the role of background singers at the musical-inspired brewery, but instead work harmoniously with the men; they are integral to the entire operation. And, on February 8, Mike Pallen and his skilled assistants handed over the brewhouse to the women of Mikerphone in order to brew Drippin’ So Much Sauce Double Dry-Hopped Double IPA. The beer will not only be tasty but also support The Wings Program, which aims to end the cycle of domestic violence and give aid to those who have suffered.
An Inaugural to Remember
It’s been almost two weeks since the Side Project Invitational, and attendees’ heads are still spinning over the experience. Subtitled as “A Festival of Barrel-Aged Stouts & Barleywines,” it was immediately advertised as not for the faint of heart. Strategically placed on Super Bowl Sunday, February 2nd, as the kickoff to Side Project’s annual Stout Week, it brought people from all over the United States to Maplewood, Missouri to see what all the hype was about.
When you walk into a White Elm Brewing Company taproom in Lincoln, Nebraska and ask for the Fluffaluffagus, you’ll notice a few things about this beer. First, Fluffaluffagus is very fun to say. Second, this is a beautifully dark beer that pours with a tall, tan head. Third, as you lift the glass to your nose for a sniff, you’ll note that it smells familiar. Perhaps like a cereal you ate as a kid. No (you go in for another sniff) not the cereal. It smells like after you ate the cereal, and all you had left was the reward of the marshmallows floating around in the last of the milk.
Suburban Chicago’s Imperial Oak Brewing will celebrate its 6th anniversary this May, and that will be the last one as a single-location brewery. Imperial Oak will open a second location about ten miles north of its current taproom this summer; the brewery purchased Brixie’s Craft Beer Bar, a family-run bar that first opened in 1934.
Imperial Oak (Willow Springs) joins several other of Chicago’s west- and south-suburban breweries that opened in a roughly fifteen-month stretch from late 2013 though early 2015 in expanding, and in the process have grow into name-brands. Imperial Oak, Hailstorm, Pollyanna, Noon Whistle, and Werk Force have all expanded their original spaces, and some are now adding second and third locations.