Firestone Walker Brewing Company, California’s Central Coast brewing behemoth, has become a frequent visitor to the Colorado craft beer scene. With hazy memories of tasters at past beer festivals, I eyed a can of Mocha Merlin with hesitant hope.
Sure, the hearty coffee-infused stout is a beer intended for the cold season — a great beer to warm you up as you sip from your chalice in the (Game of Thrones’) Winterfell Great Hall — but why must winter ever end? Recent posts on various “beer check-in” websites show that the beer continues to be enjoyed, even as the weather turns more summer-like each day.
With warm weather approaching, the time has never been better to track down the best crushable IPA you can find. Monkish Brewing has easily established itself as one of the best out there at creating top quality New England Style IPAs, and this 6er will guide you through the best cans that have graced us with their presence so far this year.
Peanut butter and pretzels. French fries and ice cream. Gose and fruit. These are just some perfect sweet and salty pairings; and if you have never tried fries with ice cream go to the store now!! It’s just one of nature’s torrid love affairs that stands the test of time. Modern Times Beer Fruitlands marries this divine pairing in a delightful way.
I just moved to the UAE this past month for work. It’s an exciting and extravagant place to be — with the current and future tallest buildings in the world, white sand beaches, indoor ski resorts and camel’s milk ice cream dipped in gold. I thoroughly realized that I would be moving to the desert when I decamped from Los Angeles, and I don’t mean Jakku. I mean a craft beer desert almost as expansive as the Empty Quarter itself.
As I write this, the Oakland Athletics are celebrating their 50th year in Oakland. Sadly I wasn’t able to make it to the game, but luckily I snagged a few cans of Green Collar. While the players were at Spring Training, an all-star team was brewing. Serious A’s fans, Altamont Beer Works and Mraz Brewing teamed up to create this home run of a pale ale.
It is important to first realize that Bottle Logic Brewing was founded only five years ago in 2013 and they have been doing big things ever since. Their tasting room opened its doors just a year later, and in 2015 they were ranked up on BeerAdvocate’s ‘Best New Beer’ list. It’s no surprise that their initiative and passion has led them to plans for a tasting room expansion later this year to accommodate the beer heads that come from all over to try their stuff.
Bottle Logic has never been afraid to rewrite the rules and live on the edge with their beers. Their mantra is “Process and Science Reduced to Art and Magic,” and they have lived up to it without a doubt. Easily their most popular and most sought after series is the Stasis Project. Focusing on barrel-aged masterpieces, Stasis has released some of the most incredibly complex and sought after stouts in the secondary market. It may only be less than a week until Space Trace releases, but people are still reeling over the last and newest addition to the Stasis lineup, Roll for Initiative. I did not miss this release, and I knew before it touched my lips that this would be my next beer showcase. Here’s why…
Before I was a #LadyWhoDrinksCraftBeer, I was really into wine. Wine was so important that I contemplated studying to be a sommelier. One day, I discovered Flanders red ales and the rest is history! Over the years, I’ve discovered different types of brews that tickle my fancy and many that I could do without. I have an appreciation for tart, funky beers and Cleophus Quealy Beer Company’s Framboos hits the spot every single time!
Now that our northern California team has fully recovered from our cumulative San Francisco Beer Week (SFBW) hangovers, we would like to share some of our favorite beers and breweries from the Gala! If you are like us and received tickets to attend the Gala, you know it was a whirlwind of pours, great food and amazing talks. Here are some of our NorCal/Bay Area team members’ favorite things from SFBW 2018, and a recap of panel discussions on topics including women in beer.
I usually save stouts and porters for winter; you know, when it’s freezing and all you want to do is sip on something that’s full of chocolate, coffee and all things right in the world. But you’re going to want to drink this HenHouse Brewing Oyster Stout all year round.
Brian Sheehy and Doug Dalton own three Cask Store locations: the flagship downtown on 3rd and Market, and another spot in the old Rincon Postal Building near the Embarcadero, and Cask on College in Rockridge. Sheehy and Dalton own a handful of other great bars in the Bay Area, including Bourbon and Branch, Pagan Idol and Local Edition. They have been influential to the cocktail scene in this area for the past decade and many great bartenders who have gone on to open their own establishments came up through the ranks of this company. Cask Taproom and Wine Bar is the name of the new drinking establishment within the Cask on College Shop. I spoke with taproom manager and beer buyer Josha Baker about the history of Cask, herself, and the Grand Opening on March 23, 2018.
Move over Ménage à Trois, it’s all about the Four Way now. Alvarado Street Brewing collaborated with Hop Dogma Brewing Co., Humble Sea Brewing Co. and Discretion Brewing to create a four- way collaboration IPA for Beer THIRTY‘s 4th birthday celebration. Only 100 cases were released on March 7 at Alvarado Street, and then were sent up to Beer THIRTY on March 9 for the birthday bash!! As if this brew wasn’t enough, Beer THIRTY had sweet glassware to go along with it at the party.
I remember sitting on the patio of Ballast Point’s Little Italy taproom in San Diego a few years ago sipping on a fresh Grapefruit Sculpin. At the time, I marveled at how impressive that beer tasted – the combination of mellow bitterness and fruity overtones came together in perfect harmony. It was one of the best beers I’ve ever tasted, and it’s still a beer I weigh other fruited IPAs against. Introduced in 2005, Ballast Point’s Sculpin IPA has become a pace setter in the American craft beer scene — especially for West Coast IPAs.
Did you feel that tremor coming from Sonoma County?! The epicenter is Seismic Brewing Co. and you better brace yourself for a lot of aftershocks. When people think of Sonoma I am 90% sure they think of wine country, sun-soaked vines and not about the fantastic beer scene that is exploding up there. Namazu Oat Pale Ale is at the epicenter of that quake.
Never one to shy away from causing a commotion, Greg Koch, executive chairman and co-founder of Stone Brewing Company announced today that they have filed suit against MillerCoors over the improper use of the word Stone in recent rebranding and marketing efforts around the Keystone brand.
With so many exciting events over the San Francisco Bay Area, I had to break it down regionally. Each day, I will highlight an event that I will either attend or wish I could. Sadly, I can’t be in two places at once.
For most, the foray into the world of beer trading is swiftly met with an introduction to the secondary value world, as that perceived value tends to drive the trading market. Fortunately, there are still areas free from the shackles of “me first” mindset. Luckily, through my own beer journey, I’ve been fortunate enough to find a small group that acts as a family. While the group mostly allows us to maintain connections online and send each other beers as presents, surprises, and BIFs (beer it forward, essentially chain mail but with beer as presents); recently I have focused my domestic travels on meeting these people in person. With SF Beer Week in progress and more than a half dozen faces I had yet to meet in person, I “sailed off for the San Francisco Bay”.
“Ride, captain ride upon your mystery ship. Be amazed at the friends you have here on your trip.”
Friday was the only easy day to pick which event to go to, the Opening Gala in San Francisco. The other days, not so easy!! I wish I could clone myself in order to attend all of the events scattered around the Bay Area and Santa Cruz/Monterey area. Here are the events that we are looking forward to for Saturday, Sunday and Monday of SFBW 2018!
There aren’t a lot of breweries out there like Barebottle Brewing Co. in San Francisco; and when I say that, I mean a brewery that is community-inspired. Barebottle gives homebrewers the opportunity to compete for a chance to have their beer made- I mean, how awesome is that? A new theme is decided and challenges brewers to come up with a beer that fits those guidelines. From there, the head brewer at Barebottle brews up that beer and ta-da! You’ll get some sort of awe-inspiring creation that sets them apart from a lot of bigger breweries.
San Francisco Beer Week kicks off its 10th Anniversary on February 9, 2018. Like last year, this beer week runs a full 10 days, packed with events all across the Bay Area, ending on February 18, 2018. Get your livers and drinking boots ready. Make sure to check back for the PorchDrinking list of Can’t Miss Events for each day! Below you will find the 10 beers we’re most excited for, along with the full pour list (subject to change).
I’ve seen some environmental friendly breweries before, but nothing quite compares to the level of commitment to sustainability that 7Sisters Brewing has. The moment you walk through doorway you see a tasting room filled with repurposed materials. My favorite piece is their bar. It was built from school lockers and topped with zinc-wrapped wood from the shipping crate the lockers arrived in. Throughout the tasting room you will see lighting made from Cal Poly lab lamps and tables that used to be shop benches from LA technical college. Heading out to their patio you can see the patio railings that were repurposed from the wood forms used when pouring the concrete.