The Sunday evening before Memorial Day brought rain, but it let up when I was feeling most productive. When the clouds broke and the western skies opened, I walked to the laundromat, washed, and exchanged a dollar for dryer quarters.
For a brewing landscape as diverse as American craft beer, there appears to be only two camps which breweries occupy when it comes to location: remote, rustic, farmhouse-style outfits steeped in terrior, or urban and suburban operations in refurbished warehouses or corrugated steel garages hidden amongst industrial parks.
Beers are like years. There are a lot of them in the past, more are coming, and some are better than others.
There are four specific years that stand out in the annals of St. Louis’ rich beer history. 1852 is perhaps the most important, as it is the year Anheuser Busch was founded. In 1991, we saw St. Louis enter the world of locally owned craft beer with the establishment of the Schlafly Brewing Company. And in 2008, well, that’s a year that most St. Louis beer lovers would rather forget… it’s the year AB allowed itself to be bought and owned by Inbev. That was a sad year.
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!
You have finally reached your campsite after hiking 20 miles over rugged terrain with all of your gear on your back. A heavy band of sweat clings to your head as you finally drop your pack and begin to set up your shelter. Once you’ve eaten and settled in for the night, you reach into your pack and pull out a beer. Beer might not be as essential as food, water, shelter or clothing, but, in your modest camp, it’s nothing short of a luxury.
Since the most important criterion of a backpacking beer is portability, every beer on this list will be canned. Cans are much lighter than glass and don’t require you to pack a bottle-opener. You also do not run the risk of a can breaking and leaving dangerous shards all over the campsite. Last but not least, aluminum conducts heat faster than glass, which means they’ll get cold faster when you stick them in a creek. There are many to choose from, but, if you ask me, these are the best summer backpacking beers.
For the fourth year, Goose Island has teamed up with a band performing at the Pitchfork Music Festival to create a unique beer that represents the bands taste in beers. This year the brewery collaborated with Chicago’s own Twin Peaks to create Natural Villain, a garage/pilsner-style lager.
Suburban Chicago’s Miskatonic Brewing (Darien, IL) challenged patrons to a test their skills as a beer connoisseur during Chicago Craft Beer Week. Sure, it’s easy to log on to any one of the numerous beer rating sites and provide insight, but just how good are you? More to the point, as the writer who covered the event, how good am I?
It’s been said that the best things in life are worth working for – a new job, your dream car, that perfect house. The work put in makes the end goal that much more rewarding. While the motto normally applies to loftier, greater goals, the same can be said for New Glarus Brewing Co.’s Spotted Cow. Only available in Wisconsin, Spotted Cow has been a favorite of mine since I began making college visits to my brother Mark when he attended Marquette University almost 10 years ago and continues on today (except now it’s little brother Matt holding it down in The Good Land).
With so many breweries operating in Chicago, the ability to stand out is critical. Forbidden Root has been brewing beer for a couple of years now, and in February of this year they opened up a beautiful new tap room in West Town. The brewery uses botanics in its beers such as ginger, cherry stems, black walnuts and licorice to create unique flavor profiles.
Style: Pale Ale | ABV: 6.2% | IBUs: 50
Halloween is right around the corner and it is one of my all time favorite yearly celebrations. I love scary/horror movies and the month of October is just filled with them, but my all-time favorite horror movie genre is ZOMBIES! Living in Western Pennsylvania you can’t help but be a zombie fan, because the genius behind the genre, George A. Romero, attended college here and also filmed his his first zombie flick, Night of the Living Dead right here in Western Pennsylvania. Ever since then, zombies have been a huge hit in pop culture: movies, television series, clothing, sport events and beer. So what better way to bring in the zombie hoard than with 3 Floyds Brewing Zombie Dust?
As summer comes to a close and we make our way into fall, one thing becomes more imminent than anything: FOOTBALL. And what better way to celebrate the advent of a new season than with some brews? As a native Clevelander and lifelong Browns fan, I know the football season brings with it a roller coaster of experiences spanning across a wide spectrum. So, in anticipation of another grueling season, I present to you the 6 Stages of Cleveland Browns Fandom, as described by beer.
ABV: 6.0% | IBU: 38
If you have been as busy as I have been, going from meeting to meeting, email after email, and working past 5 most days, you need fuel. Now most of us have probably exasperated our coffee …
ABV: 8.0% | IBU: 16
Pumpkin beers have been a contentious issue on PorchDrinking over the past six weeks. Opinions certainly differ on the propriety of drinking pumpkin beer in August, but since we’re well into October, I hope I’m not in the minority in calling pumpkin beer season officially open for business. They’re not for everyone, these pumpkin beers. They tend to offend the Reinheitsgebot in nearly every way possible. Not only do they have adulterating spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves, but they’re usually chock full of “pumpkin”.
ABV: 4.2% | IBU: 11
I have a secret. I can’t stop buying Boulevard’s Hibiscus Gose. It’s been in Atlanta just a few days, and my hands keep grabbing the cardboard box the sixer comes in. I’ve bought three so far. I can’t control it. Hey, Boulevard, why don’t I just direct deposit part of my paycheck to you?
ABV: 8.3% | IBU: 60
I used to think this brew was best poured into a wide base tulip on a cool summer’s evening. I have changed my mind. This breakfast beer is best served with breakfast. It’s a big beer but not too big. Grab a mug, pour a Founders Brewing Breakfast Stout and grab a slice of coffee cake. Take a seat on your front/back porch with the morning paper. It’s time for breakfast the way it was intended.
ABV: 6.5% | IBU: 33
Stout brewed with dark chocolate and vanilla beans added.
Fat Head’s story began in Pittsburgh, PA, circa 1992, with the founding of Fat Head’s Saloon. In 2009 Fat Head’s expanded to North Olmsted, Ohio, teaming up with Matt Cole (an award winning brewer) to open Fat Head’s Brewery & Saloon. Success came quickly, with the brewery producing over 5000 barrels over its first three years and Fat Head’s beers winning many awards. They expanded to a full-scale producing brewery in 2012, located in Middleburg Heights, Ohio.
Every year on Miami University’s campus thousands of students voluntarily climb out of their slumber at approximately 4 or 5 a.m. for a pilgrimage up High Street. Their mecca lies Uptown where at 5:30 a.m. on the Thursday before spring break, every bar opens inordinately early to pour an Olympic pool’s amount of green colored beer. Today, March 16, is that day. A national holiday dubbed Green Beer Day (GBD).
ABV: 7.5% | IBU: N/A
I’m pretty skeptical of anything boasting an added fruit flavor. 9 out of 10, times it turns out to be a gimmicky mix of artificial tastes and colors—ultimately tasting nothing like the actual fruit. Fortunately, this is not one of those cases. As it turns out, Dark Horse Brewing Co. has put together an exceptional stout that balances a fantastic blueberry nose with dark, rich flavor.
ABV: 5.5% | IBU: 60
Okay, here’s the thing: I’m not exactly what you would call a “beer expert.” I couldn’t tell you the difference between an IPA and an APA, and I don’t actually know what IBU’s are—I just googled that number. That being said, I do enjoy beer and I really enjoy my pal Tristan—so when he asked me if I wanted to participate in the PorchDrinking website, of course, I had to say yes (after first checking to make sure he was serious).