Welcome to the 5th installment of the Beer & Book Club series. This time of year always makes me yearn to be outside communing with nature but can’t always take the time to do so. This book transported me to the Pacific Northwest. So grab your day pack, throw this book & cans of Oneida inside and hit the trails!
ABV: 6.8% | IBU: 85
Seeing that the times are what they are, you know with politics, fake news, real news, climate change, brewery buy outs, you may think that Modern Time’s hoppy amber Blazing World was named after… modern times. Not exactly. “Yeah, we definitely never intended it to be that timely of a name,” said Modern Times communication coordinator Dan Reed.
Despite how depressingly timely the name may be, the “hoppy, dank, amber” is truly an uplifting beer. “The stickiest of the icky,” as Reed described. “It’s a luxuriously hoppy amber loaded up with intemperate quantities of Nelson, Mosaic and Simcoe hops, which are some of the fruitiest, dankest hops sweet, sweet money can buy,” Reed added.
Right before you reach the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport, there is an industrial area packed with offices. Tucked off to the side is SLO Brew‘s The Rock, the second brewery location that opened earlier this year. Son of Dr. Stanley Hoffman, one of the pioneers who established the Paso Robles wine region, Mike Hoffman founded SLO Brew in 1988 with Kathy Ireland. It was the first brewpub on the Central Coast since prohibition. The current owner, Hamish Marshall, a beer loving Aussie who fell in love with SLO, took over as owner in 2010.
Image Source: Anchor Brewing
Anchor Brewing is a brewery for which most ardent craft beer fans pay reverence, for if not for Fritz Maytag betting a good portion of his inheritance and defying all logic in the late 1960s, well, who knows? Maytag had a vision, and that vision has manifested itself in a terrific brewery that was integral in awakening a nation from its brewing doldrums. In 2017, the brewery isn’t sitting around resting on its laurels, demonstrated by the new Anchor Brewing Blood Orange Blonde Ale. How can something be both blonde and blood orange? Leave it to Anchor Brewing to solve this colorful conundrum.
The first time I heard about the Firestone Walker Invitational, I wasn’t quite sure I understood the gravity associated with it. It peaked my interest for sure—a festival with food and music, hosted by a brewery with the reputation like Firestone Walker. It’s exciting but really there are plenty of beer festivals happening all the time. Then I saw who was participating, and the weight of the event started to gain clarity.
Part of being an adult is understanding what your priorities are in life. That is exactly why my wife and I are heading down to Paso Robles, California for the Firestone Walker Invitational one day after closing on our house. Yes we could spend the weekend moving out from the in-laws and settling into our first house, but we can do that anytime. And this is the Firestone Walker Invitational, a beer festival described as “An epic yet intimate gathering of 50+ leading brewers from around the nation & world celebrating craft beer in our hometown of Paso Robles.”
The annual Beer Under Glass (B.U.G.) at Garfield Park Conservatory serves as the formal opening to Chicago Craft Beer Week (#CCBW), and brewers are more than happy to provide special offerings for the unique event. One such brew exemplifies the true meaning of craft beer — industry first, beer first, a collaboration between two “competing” breweries, Alesmith Brewing Company and Chicago’s Around the Bend Beer Co. This special brew will enjoy its first pouring at B.U.G, and then during select events (and sold in stores) thereafter.
Welcome to the third installment of the Beer & Book Club series! I love the idea that each month a new individual can highlight a great read and a delicious brew to go along with it. When one pictures the craft beer world a few common themes repeat: beards, barrel-aged and hops (lots of hops). That is why for my first Beer & Book report I wanted to highlight some serious girl power.
Featured photo courtesy of Mraz Brewing Company.
For this PorchDrinking Playlist we reached out to one of our favorite California natives, Mike Mraz, owner and head brewer for Mraz Brewing Company in El Dorado Hills, CA. We had the pleasure to meet Mike a few years back during the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, CO. It was a wonderful experience to walk the great halls of the Colorado Convention Center with such a knowledgeable master of beer. An expert craftsman showing us the way was both thrilling and a tad bit intimidating. Mike welcomed us into his crew for the weekend, resulting in an adventurous time. The following year we hung out again, inspiring a portion of our Are You GABF Experienced? playlist.
Featured photo credit: Almanac Beer Co.
A Tale of Two Blancs
San Francisco-based Almanac Beer Company emphasizes sustainable farming practices through using locally-grown grains, fruits and herbs from some of the agricultural hubs of Northern California. The brewery’s Farm to Barrel series speaks to Almanac’s specialization in beers brewed with local terroir from neighboring California farms. What is surely a tribute to this practice, Almanac’s fruit-forward beers consistently burst with depth and flavor. This showcase profiles one of Almanac’s most recent award-winning beers.
Photo courtesy of 21st Amendment Brewery
The new, ultra-refreshing spin on the original Brew Free! or Die IPA has arrived this March like a full-flavored lion pouncing on its beer-drinking prey. The brewery that made watermelon beer famous has gone the citrusy IPA route with its new year-round offering — real blood oranges and plenty of hops.
Sadly, San Francisco beer week is over. It was another incredible week, full of amazing events and new and innovative beers. Pounds were gained, work was neglected, but it was all worth it. From the Opening Gala to the last day, Beer Week was loaded more than any prior year. Each day had more events for any one person to handle, but that is the beauty of Beer Week.
Photo courtesy of Fremont Brewing
Californians, we have good news. No — great news. Hold onto your hats, because Fremont Brewing has announced that their brews are now being distributed throughout Southern California.
Featured photo contributed by The Bruery
The Bruery’s forecast calls for a 100% chance of rain… Chocolate Rain that is, and we couldn’t be more excited. What began as a single cask of beer that was released in 2009 for a Black Tuesday release event has since become a, wait for it, legendary brew that members of The Bruery’s exclusive beer societies have enjoyed. But for the first time on March 24, Chocolate Rain will be pouring for all.
*Cover Photo courtesy of San Francisco Brewers Guild (Gama Nine Photography)
The final days of San Francisco Beer Week take us to the weekend. It’s hard to believe 895 events were packed into 10 days. The final three days presently have 108, 98, and 53 events happening, respectively, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Still plenty of beer to be imbibed these last few days. Here are the events that we are looking forward to.
Feature Photo Credit: alpinebeerco.com
2017 is starting to look extra hoppy! Nestled in the Cuyamaca Mountain foothills, Green Flash Brewing Co. subsidiary, Alpine Beer Company in San Diego County will be introducing a few changes that include some new year round beers, limited releases and, for the first time, the release of two beers in cans.
ABV: 6.6% | IBU: N/A
It’s cold. Goddammit, it’s cold. For those of you not so blessed to be living below the Mason-Dixon Line, you’re likely in the midst of what’s been a long, cold winter. As the mounds of snow continue to grow and you begin to forget that the sun exists; winter tightens its icy grip this time of year. So, how can you fight back and stay warm? Should you bundle up with extra layers or rely on hand and toe warmers in gloves and socks? While those options are smart and practical, I tend to go another route. I avoid the cold by staying inside with beer, such as Mikkeller Chipotle Porter, the fuzzy slippers of the soul.
Photo courtesy of San Francisco Brewers Guild
OK, you’ve made it through the weekend… and survived. You went to all the events we recommended and then some. It isn’t even mid-week and you’re thinking you can rest up for a few days to finish SFBW off with a bang on weekend two, right? WRONG! February 14-16 are loaded with some can’t-miss events, so stop whining and get out there!
Beer is a love language all on its own. This Valentine’s Day, show your love language by indulging in one of these chocolate-infused craft beers oozing with rich, sweet chocolate goodness. This Ultimate Round Up will help you find the ultimate chocolate beers. You can forgo the chocolates and roses this year. We won’t judge.
Cover photo courtesy of San Francisco Brewers Guild (Gama Nine Photography)
Friday, February 10 is the only day where it is an easy decision on which San Francisco Beer Week (SFBW) event to go to, as there is only one event. The Opening Gala is an event not to be missed with over 135 breweries pouring incredible first time beers like G & T Gose and rare beers including Pliny the Younger. Day Two, Three, and Four of San Francisco Beer Week aren’t as easy with 129, 90, 75 events happening respectively. Here are the events that we are looking forward to for Saturday, Sunday and Monday of SFBW.