An interesting thing happened while prepping annual GABF coverage here at PorchDrinking this year. We noticed a growing trend of breweries bringing craft alcohol-free beer to the beer-lovers event. Now of course, alcohol-free beer isn’t new. Can you recall the times of “near beer” and O’Doul’s? And most recently Heineken introduced their version to the market. Out of curiosity we gave the latter a try, and to our surprise it tasted like a regular Heineken. Needless to say it was intriguing, so we did more research into the non-alcoholic craft craze.
We all know fall (at least in New England) doesn’t truly start until October 1. Sure, the calendar says September 23, but many of us are in denial for the last week of September, trying to soak up the last few warm days before everything cools off.
Within the touristy town of Hershey, Pennsylvania, sits a craft brewery by the name of Troegs Independent Brewing. Originally formed in 1997 and located in Harrisburg, PA, Troegs made the move to Hershey (the home of Hershey Chocolate Factory) in 2011. With a growing popularity within the region, Troegs became very well known for The Mad Elf Christmas Ale, and it didn’t take long for the brewery to gain momentum and demand. Brewing 10 year-round beers, Troegs also offers many options when it comes to seasonal brews and a never-ending list of “Scratch” beers that are brewed in an experimental six gallon brewing system and released regularly at their taproom.
The third Pils & Love Festival returned to Portland, ME this past July and, to honor the occasion, approximately 40 of the 60 participating breweries gathered to make a collaboration brew (a list of the breweries that participated is below). The festival was hosted by Oxbow Brewing Company and furthers a state-side version of Birrificio Italiano’s Pils Pride festival in Italy. Birrificio Italiano is known for its Tipopils, which puts a spin on a German pilsner by dry-hopping the beer, something prohibited by the Reinheitsgebot; the Pils & Love collaboration beer takes its inspiration from Birrificio Italiano’s classic.
It’s easy when you come across a brewery that has built a strong reputation for brewing a certain style of beer to continue trying their latest offerings. New Trail Brewing Company, out of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, has put together a strong …
Compared to every other season, autumn always conjures up particular styles of beer. Pumpkin beers, Märzens, and Ambers match drinkers’ palates like the changing shades of leaves. As the summer winds down during peaks of sweltering humidity, you wouldn’t think there could be a beer over 10% fitting for the season. Thankfully, us Virginians have access to a beer that perfectly represents the twilight of summer with Lickinghole Creek’s Coconut Quad.
As a crisp breeze blows in the early morning, it is clear that fall is in air. Although the sun still shines at high noon, the days are ever so slightly shorter and the nights ever so slightly cooler. With the change in season comes not only pumpkin-spiced everything and the return of flannels, but also harvest. One can enjoy that spiced latte at the farmers market while picking up the year’s best produce. However, it is not just gourds and sunflowers in bloom: The start of fall is also hop harvest season.
New York’s North Fork region has emerged as a destination for those seeking a getaway on Long Island’s East End without the glitz found in the nearby Hamptons. Though wine has been a draw to the area, beer is now becoming part of the attraction. More so than the Hamptons, the North Fork is the ideal place for a weekend getaway well into the shoulder seasons. Here are some ideas for a weekend getaway to the North Fork.
Brew Tree Brew Co. may be new to the craft beer scene, but they are doing all the right things. Having opened their doors October 2017, they’ve already cultivated a significant following. It’s a small farmhouse brewery located in Port …
I had to divide up this Two Days Two Nights feature due to how many great breweries I experienced during my trip. While Part One features highlights on Allagash, Industrial Way, Bissell Brothers and more, Part Two features a full experience of Portland’s trending Yeast Bayside brewery scene along with a particularly scenic trip farther north up the coast to visit some of Maine’s more interesting farmhouse breweries. So, let’s kick back off with the second part of Friday afternoon, which revolved around a trip to downtown Portland, home to the trendy Yeast Bayside brewing district.
When I told my friends and colleagues I was heading to Portland for the weekend, the most common follow-up was “Oregon?” And while the largest city in Oregon is well known for its established beer scene, I was actually headed to the burgeoning beer city of Portland, Maine, which boasts the most breweries per capita in the U.S. It continues to garner accolades as one of the best beer cities in the world. After a smooth two-hour flight, I was smack dab in the middle of one of America’s hottest beer cities, home to the likes of Allagash and Bissell Brothers along with a bevy of beer-focused neighborhoods like Yeast Bayside, delicious Maine cuisine and wonderful sunrises—all positioned neatly around Casco Bay. Here’s a look at how you can get the most of your experience in Portland, Maine. Part one of this Two Days Two Nights feature is below. You can read part two here.
One of my favorite things about craft beer is beer mail. There’s nothing more exciting than getting a box of beer from another part of the country and diving into the contents. I was particularly excited for this most recent arrival from my cousin on the East Coast. We kept up with each other’s beer adventures via Instagram, and I had been bothering her to send me some of the famous haze names that we all associate with New England–Trillium, Night Shift and Tree House. This latest box had a few of those (thank you!) but it was an unknown label that caught my eye. Today, I tried out Greater Good Imperial Brewing’s Pulp.
It is still the biggest news to come out of the craft beer industry this year: Boston Beer Company purchased Dogfish Head Brewery for a reported sum of $300 million. The move merges the two brands under the collective roof of Boston Beer Company bringing together the 2nd (Boston Beer Co.) and 13th (Dogfish Head) biggest producers of craft beer in the U.S. It’s a massive move that caused shockwaves throughout the craft beer industry and beyond. Craft beer is no longer in its startup phase: It is big business, which sometimes warrants massive moves that can shift the entire trajectory of the market with it.
Of course, Boston Beer Company bringing the Dogfish Head brand onboard also comes with the totemic leadership of its founder, Sam Calagione, who will sit on Boston Beer Company’s Board of Directors. Calagione has always been an outspoken and vibrant voice in the craft beer community who frequently zigs where others zags and takes pride in the innovative spirit on which Dogfish Head has built its market share. With the new merger comes a new role for Sam and a new path for Dogfish. In the days following, beer drinkers have voiced valid concerns that the Dogfish brand might get diluted or complacent post-acquisition. True to form, Calagione thinks otherwise and is rather bullish on what the merger can do for his brewery.
I asked Sam five questions about what life looks like for Dogfish Head in a post-merger world, what beer fans can expect from the brewery, the collaboration opportunities that are now available with Boston Beer Company and more. Here’s what he said.
As a New Englander, born and bred, it might be in my blood to be drawn towards lighthouses. With their metaphorical meanings and physical presence, there’s just something incredibly fascinating about them. Between Allagash’s rich history of great craft beer and my soft spot for all things nautical, their recent release of Two Lights had my attention.
Folksbier Brauerei opened in early 2017 on a quiet street in Brooklyn’s Carroll Gardens neighborhood, just a stone’s throw from Other Half Brewing Company. While Other Half has had explosive growth with their constantly changing list of hazy IPAs, Folksbier’s model is quite different with a more consistent lineup focusing on traditional ales and lagers. This is not necessarily keeping up with the latest trends, but maybe that’s changing slowly.
Richmond, VA is known to some as a mecca for craft beer in the state for lovers. Ardent Craft Ales was originally started as a cooperative of homebrewers who wanted to get out of their kitchen and brew a little more seriously. To do so, they rented out a garage with a half-barrel system and started brewing every Sunday in said garage located in the Churchill region in the eastern side of the city.
The craft beer explosion in unique to everyone depending on location. Once the contracts are signed, state distributors awash the bottle shop shelves with rows of new possibilities. These beers become exciting mysteries; sold as 1 to 2 bottles per customer to get everyone’s attention to the hot new kid on the block. Years will go by, some breweries will go away, but others stay thanks to their long lasting quality. Maine Beer Company fits all these descriptors when it arrived in my state years ago.
With the 2019 release of Summer Landscape, Industrial Arts Brewing Company moves into the second year of its Landscape Series. These seasonal beers are meant to highlight New York State ingredients, and are entirely produced with materials grown within the state. This latest version is another success for the brewery.
When I moved to Los Angeles to attend college, one of the first and most common questions I was asked was “Where are your from?” My response would be “New York.” That would typically be followed up by something like, “Oh, I love the city! Which borough are you from?” Which would prompt me to clarify that I was from Upstate NY. This would bring about the question, “Oh, so like Buffalo?” Nope. That’s about six hours away. I would then tell them I was from the Albany area, hoping they learned their state capitals in primary school. Sometimes, I’d even have to use my hand as a makeshift map of the state, pointing out the various cities they’ve heard of to identify the Albany area.
In the heat of the summer, a beer ideally hits on three marks: refreshing, light, and delicious. Sometimes there are exceptions, like when a somewhat seasonal style–for example, a Stout–can’t be left alone for several months out of the year. Guilty. Similarly, nobody will blame you for drinking your wheat or sour beers throughout the entire year, either.