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Midwest

Strong BA Series | Off Color Brewing Barrel-Aged Dino S’mores

December 7, 2020 |

Barrel, chocolate, marshmallow all packaged up in Off Color Brewing’s notable 250ml bottles — it’s Barrel-Aged Dino S’mores season, and this year’s version is not to miss.

The popular Russian Imperial Stout comes in a non-barrel-aged version and typically a couple of variants as well as the barrel-aged version. This year’s BA beer spent 13 months sitting in Wild Turkey 101 bourbon barrels and the beer took to the barrel like a fish to water.

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What We’re Drinking | December 4, 2020

December 4, 2020 |

December is here, so let’s light the trees and count down the days until 2020 are over. This week started with a wintry mix, which is rare in Georgia, but brought a week’s worth of surprises. An elf seemingly wandered from the North Pole to my house as decoration. From the string lights on most surfaces, to the garland-wrapped bar car, I think I’m only missing the sleigh and reindeer. Maybe those are coming in the next few weeks? Until we get there, here is What We’re Drinking.

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Speciation Artisan Ales | Magic Trait BBA Sour w/ Blackberry & Blackcurrant

December 2, 2020 |

As an organism’s genetic sequence twists and changes, sometimes happy accidents occur, forever altering the course of a species. Fish switched fins for feet, lizards grew wings and took to the sky and here we are with livers, fine-tuned for processing the world’s delicious beer. Read More

Braxton Brewing’s Annual Dark Charge Release Goes Virtual

December 1, 2020 |

Like every event in 2020, Braxton Brewing Company’s Sixth Annual Dark Charge Day is going to look different this year: The annual release of their Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout, Dark Charge, will be held online.

The good: Instead of waking up early on a Saturday with your BA Stout loving friends and waiting in line in the cold, you will be able to purchase Dark Charge variants from the comfort of your couch. The bad: There will be no big celebration at the Covington, KY taproom.

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Energy City Brewing | Bistro Grande Pumpkin Cheesecake

November 30, 2020 |

With innovation and experimentation at the forefront, Energy City Brewing in Batavia, Ill. has something new brewing every week. Without an operating taproom and in the middle of a still-surging pandemic, they have still found a way to keep the sophisticated beer drinkers’ attention and stay relevant in times of uncertainty. While their mainstay offerings continue to be popular around the Chicagoland area, their one-off offerings, available only for curbside pick-up at the brewery, are the main attraction, drawing people all the way from Chicago to make the long drive two counties over for a chance to get their hands on this week’s concoction.

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Indulgent Beer Series | Humble Forager Brewery – Voyager’s Getaway

November 27, 2020 |

It’s arguable there’s no better way to indulge yourself than by taking a getaway. To unplug, decompress and reset is truly a gift. However, our getaways look very different this year, if they’re happening at all. Luckily, Humble Forager Brewery, whose mission is to offer thoughtful, specialty beers wherever adventure takes you, is providing ways to indulge during this difficult time, including a new Pastry Porter

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Lifelong Friends Open Indian-Inspired Brewery in Chicago

November 26, 2020 |

When longtime friends Ray Schrand (Gator) and Bhavik Modi decided to open yet another brewery in Chicago—a city with close to 80 breweries—they knew their brewery needed to set itself apart. Thankfully, they didn’t have to do a lot of thinking.

Azadi Brewing Company opened its doors November 14 inside Pilot Project Brewing in Chicago’s Logan Square. That day also happened to be Diwali, India’s biggest and most important holiday of the year. Azadi opened with two beers on tap: Kavi, a Cardamom Golden Ale; and Gir, a Kesar Mango IPA.
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Santa’s Cookies & Milk Stout Release from The Open Bottle & Hailstorm Brewing

November 26, 2020 |

Forget golden rings. On the fifth year of holiday collaboration, The Open Bottle and Hailstorm Brewing gave to us, Santa’s Cookies & Milk Stout. And, it’s adorned in gold labeling, with a special glass to match. The stout is decadent, creamy, full-bodied and somehow still crushable; a real holiday treat. Yet, the real gift goes to Tinley Wish because a portion of sales aids the south-suburban Chicago organization that gives aid to needy families.

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Begyle Brewing 2020 Barrel-Aged Imperial Pajamas Preview

November 25, 2020 |

The 2019 GABF Gold Medal for Chicago’s Begyle Brewing Barrel-Aged Imperial Pajamas gave credence to those who boasted of its excellence, and the award did wonders for its popularity. However, medals only go so far; Chicago’s beer crowd can be downright snobby about BBAs. The annual Imperial Pajamas release enjoys increasing fanfare because of its consistency, quality and a taproom party consisting of hour-by-hour variant tappings. Sadly, the global pandemic prevented Begyle from throwing its annual gathering. Nevertheless, the three packaged Pajamas stand as exemplary BBAs and evidence of why the program now hangs with the big boys and girls of the strong barrel-aging beer world.

This year’s three Imperial Pajamas release consists of the classic in Heaven Hill barrels, a vanilla variant and a special version aged in Booker Bourbon barrels. “We’ve had a lot of fun with release day variants, the way we handled those hourly releases allowed us to explore many different flavor combinations over the years. With our first foray into canning a barrel aged variant we chose vanilla as it is one of the most versatile ingredients we use in several of the variant combos we have done in the past. From the feedback we’ve gotten vanilla was always the most popular flavor, whether it was just vanilla, or vanilla combined with other ingredients,” said Kevin Cary, Begyle co-founder.

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Ultimate 6er | A Beer For Each Family Member This Thanksgiving

November 25, 2020 |

With a deep love for family and friends and food, Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday (until someone brings up politics). It also means that afterwards, I can blast All I Want for Christmas Is You as much as I want and no one can say anything. 

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Little Fish Brewing Comes to Dayton

November 24, 2020 |

Little Fish Brewing Company is coming to Dayton, OH.

When the news broke last week, beer fans across the Gem City let loose a celebratory cheer. The Athens, OH-based brewery known for its mixed-fermentation sour and farmhouse-style beers (they just won their first GABF medal for Cleft) has been distributing bottles to the Dayton market for years and has long been one of the most respected breweries in the state. Still, the two-and-a-half-hour drive along Ohio’s winding back roads was always a lot for Dayton beer fans who wanted to visit the Athens taproom. Now, Little Fish will be just a short walk from downtown.

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The Blackest Friday with Black Calder Brewing Co.

November 24, 2020 |

Black Calder Brewing, a new brewery opening in Michigan, launches on Black Friday. As the first Black-owned brewery in Michigan, owners Terry Rostic and Jamaal Ewing recognize how significant this is for representation and diversity in craft beer. PorchDrinking chatted by email with Rostic and Ewing to find out more about Black Calder Brewing and what to expect from the brewery.

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What We’re Drinking | November 20, 2020

November 20, 2020 |

You probably don’t need and don’t want a reminder, but Thanksgiving is next week. Which means that it is basically 2021, because we all know how fast this time of year goes by. While I’m a firm believer that it’s “always Stout season,” breweries are starting to release all the Stouts that we can handle over the next few weeks! That might be one of the only silver linings to end 2020. Travel plans and family/friend hangouts have likely been postponed, for the better. Be mindful about supporting local as the weather continues to challenge outdoor options for your favorite breweries and restaurants. Some of our local favorites are present this week, so here is What We’re Drinking.

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Pipeworks Brewing & Manny’s Deli Collaborate on Beef-Focused Pastrami on Rye Ale

November 19, 2020 |

In a year that feels like it will never end, waiting almost a decade must feel like an eternity. Yet, some things are worth the wait. Case in point: the return of Pipeworks Brewing Co.’s Pastrami on Rye, which returns this month with a fun twist: a collaboration with local Chicago pastrami staple Manny’s Deli. First brewed in 2010, the eclectic ale is back again in 2020, thanks in small part to the beer-focused musings of one of our own writers: Mike Zoller (aka Instagram’s @ChicagoBeer) and the creative, collaborative spirit of two local Chicago businesses. Here are the details on what Chicago beer lovers can expect for the return of Pastrami on Rye. 

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Familiar Beers Return for Latest Revolution Deep Wood Release

November 19, 2020 |

A trio of familiar faces make up Chicago’s Revolution Brewing’s third Deep Wood release of barrel-aged beers with pickup beginning this weekend at the brewery’s taproom.

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Indulgent Beer Series | Choc Beer Co. Wild Brew Spelt Saison

November 19, 2020 |

Sometimes you need a beer, and sometimes you need to treat yourself to something special. This Wild Brew Spelt Saison, the result of a 2013 collab between Oklahoma’s Choc Beer Company, the Fellowship of Oklahoma Ale Makers (FOAM) and Prairie … Read More

Ultimate 6er | Fantasy Football

November 18, 2020 |

We’re getting ready for playoffs in most Fantasy Football seasons, and despite how your record looks, I’m sure that you could use a beer or six to finish out the season. Some of us are blitzing through our schedule with no issues, while others of us are cursing because of bad luck with matchups despite the points you consistently score. Read More

Indulgent Beer Series | New Holland Brewing Company Dragon Milk Solera

November 18, 2020 |

New Holland Brewing Company Dragon’s Milk is something of a legend. Not only was it one of the first Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stouts, but it has crushed the competition since it’s release, remaining the #1 best selling BBA in the United States. It was unsurprising, then, throughout the years, when the brewery released its Dragon’s Milk and Dragon’s Milk Reserve lines, all focusing on variations of the original stout. However, legends evolve, and often the result of that evolution is unexpected. The newest addition to the original line, Dragon’s Milk Solera, shows just that. Although it fits the high expectations of a Dragon’s Milk beer, it’s not a stout.

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Indulgent Beer Series | Hubbard’s Cave Coffee & Cakes

November 17, 2020 |

Who says you can’t have your coffee and cakes… and drink them, too? The folks over at Hubbard’s Cave are here to prove that you can, in fact, do just that. This Chicago-based brewery has dished up something straight out of boozy brunch dreams and let’s just say: We’re here for it.

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Indulgent Beer Series | Foreign Exchange Brewing Kittywampus Brunch

November 16, 2020 |

Young people and old folks across the nation may not agree on much these days, but we can agree that brunch is the best meal. Sure, you’ve got 2nd breakfast, elevensies, afternoon tea and 4th meal, but none of them can compete with brunch. Mimosas, Screwdrivers, and Bloody Marys are frequently the weapon of choice at brunch. However, for the beer fanatics, a coffee-imbued porter with breakfast focused adjuncts will be an enticing option.

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