Photo courtesy of Cellarmaker Brewing.
ABV: 8.2% | IBU: 86
Cellarmaker Brewing Company burst on the San Francisco beer scene in 2013 and has been brewing some of the best beers on the West Coast ever since (especially their pales and IPAs). Cellarmaker tends to rotate through beers quickly, and rarely brings back the same beer twice, especially in short order. But, there are exceptions to every rule.
In June, Cellarmaker bottled their Double Dobis beer. Cellarmaker recently started bottling one beer a month, and they are always out of this world. Double Dobis was no exception.
Sometimes, you go to an event with the highest expectations and walk away disappointed. Not because it was bad, but because it couldn’t live up to your lofty expectations. The California Craft Beer Summit is absolutely, positively, without a doubt, 100%, not one of those events.
Downtown Monterey, not the famous Cannery Row with the tourist shops and refurbished sardine-packing factories, was in need of a revitalization.
Monterey, California is a beautiful town on the coast about 100 miles south of San Francisco. The most famous area of Monterey is Cannery Row, a refurbished factory district full of tourist gift shops, sea food restaurants and bars. However there has been a recent revitalization of the downtown district of Monterey, led by Alvarado Street Brewery and Grill. Alvarado Street Brewery and Grill, opened by J.C. Hill and his father John Hill, had a plan for downtown. The father and son duo, together with the Head Chef Jeremiah Tydeman, created a brew pub that brings phenomenal food and great beer together to give guests “the ultimate sensory experience.” ASBG should be on your list of breweries to follow, visit and enjoy. Their canned sours are extremely sought after, each release is a huge success. They typically sell out quickly so if you see them on the shelf at your local craft beer store, don’t hesitate. J.C. Hill, the head brewer, was kind enough to speak with me about their newest release called: Super Rad.
ABV: 8.3% | IBU: 75
Beer trading has seemingly taken off in the last year or so with the increased focus on limited release brews. Treehouse Brewing and Tired Hands are brewing hugely sought after beers from the East Coast, however a contender has arisen from California, making waves with their own New England style, hazy IPAs. That brewery is Monkish Brewing Company and that beer is Really Real Double IPA.
Guess who’s back, back again? The PorchDrinking team has rejoined forces to bring back our weekly What We’re Drinking series. As the evenings grow shorter, the temperature begins to drop and we all know that summer is quickly coming to an end. Because of this, we are drinking whatever the hell we want. We love our seasonal brews but let’s be completely honest here. We love #allthebeers. So cheers to another awesome week and hoping we can stretch a little more out of this summer.
How many times have you been on a brewery tour and thought, “I wonder what it’s like to actually brew this beer?” Or maybe you’ve been working your way through a flight of beers and you became inspired. “How awesome would this beer be if it had ___ in it?” I can gladly say, I have found the spot for you: Yolo Brewing Co.
Surviving as a brewpub in San Francisco for 20 years is tough. Switching to an organic brewpub for the last 10 years is even more difficult. Both of these milestones are reason to celebrate, and that is exactly what ThirstyBear Organic Brewery is doing this weekend.
Draft beer almost always tastes better than bottled or canned beer.* It’s fresher and hasn’t been exposed to heat, light, or oxygen—elements that can have a major negative impact on the beer’s taste and aroma. Despite the superiority of draft, we don’t always feel like going out for a pint. As a self-proclaimed introvert, I’m a prime example of a beer enthusiast who sometimes just wants to chill at home and watch a movie. Or read. Or drink a few beers while I cook dinner. This is when growlers come in handy. Typically 64 fluid ounces (the equivalent to 4 pints) or 32 fluid ounces (2 pints) breweries and taprooms will happily fill growler jugs with fresh, tasty, draft beer and allow patrons to grab quality beer to go.
ABV: 6.9% | IBU: 77
I have become something of a fresh IPA snob. With so many amazing hoppy ales to choose from these days, once you’ve tasted a super fresh IPA, it becomes difficult to stomach a dust-covered bottle that says India Pale Ale, but doesn’t include a bottled on date. Have you had a Stone Ruination bottled the same month you bought it? WOW. The difference is palpable.
Under normal circumstances, i.e.: Living in America, this is typically a non-issue – as many of the best beers have date codes. But moving to Switzerland, which is outrageous, and not living in a major city means access to true American-style IPAs have become limited. Cue the violin and tears.
ABV: 10% | IBU: 75
Imagine yourself in San Diego 20 years ago. The craft beer scene was in its infancy, in fact there were only five craft breweries in all of San Diego! Flash forward to today and there are over 115. As San Diego has grown over the years, so too have the number of craft beer breweries. One of the originals, Coronado Brewing Company is still producing fantastic beer. Started by brothers Ron and Rick Chapman, they are part of the OG original five! Their award winning beers are currently distributed in 19 states and 10 countries. Coronado was crowned as the 2014 World Beer Cup Champs for mid-sized brewery. They created an amazing 20th Anniversary Imperial IPA that is sure to grab your attention.
When Fieldwork opened in Berkeley a year ago, I was stoked, and not just because it was a 10 minute walk from my old apartment. I had read that the co-founder and head brewer, Alex Tweet, had done stints at Ballast Point and Modern Times, where he came up with beers like the Indra Kunindra, Booming Rollers, and yes, the Grapefruit Sculpin. When Fieldwork first opened, however, the beer was great, but I can’t say the taproom was exactly packed.
ABV: 6.7% | IBU: 75
In my first article for PorchDrinking.com, it only makes sense for me to write about a San Francisco IPA, more specifically Go West! IPA. Although the options are somewhat endless, with new breweries opening seemingly every week, I had to start with San Francisco’s oldest brewery. It just so happens, Anchor Brewing Company is located just a few blocks away from my home.
I love a little quirkiness with my beer, because with so many craft breweries in Seattle, a unique character is really what sets each establishment, and brew, apart. The Holy Basil Pale Ale by Outlander Brewery fits this measure well—it strikes just the right balance of eccentric and uniquely delicious.
Ah, summer is here. Can you smell it? If you’re like me and the sprouting weeds and blossoming trees have wreaked havoc on your once empty sinus cavities, probably not. Summer means many things to many people. To me, aside from the whole allergy thing, it means the pinnacle of outdoor hangout season is officially upon us. Don’t get me wrong winter can be nice for a bonfire, but as soon as Memorial Day has passed and the mercury has risen, the seasons for cookouts, barbecues (no, they’re not the same thing, more on that later,) pool parties, and tailgates are officially here! So, set aside those last few stouts in your beer fridge until the next snowfall and hope time treats them well. Grab yourself some summertime brews, gas up the lawn mower, pop some Claratin, and get ready for the best year of outdoor entertainment yet.
4th of July has arrived, my friends. We’ve got a long few days of PorchDrinking and sparkler-waving ahead of us, so stock up on your favorite summer brews and get ready to celebrate. Here are a few of our favorites. Break out the koozies and red solo cups… this weekend, we drink to Amurica! *clink*
Walking into The Pike Brewing Company isn’t like walking into a brew pub. It’s like walking into a beer museum.
The walls of Pike are lined – floor to ceiling, and in every nook and cranny – with antique posters, …
Some folks of cider make a rout
And cider’s well enough no doubt
When better liquors fail;
But wine, that’s richer, better still,
Ev’n wine itself (deny’t who will)
Must yield to nappy ale.
-John Gay (1685-1732), “Ballad on Ale” from Songs and Ballads
I couldn’t let Northern California have all the fun. Check out my California Summer Sixer list with the best of what Southern California breweries have to offer this summer season. All beers listed are currently available with an ABV of 5.5% or lower. The average ABV for this sixer is also 4.7% – perfect planning, if we say so ourselves.
Fill with mingled cream and amber,
I will drain that glass again.
Such hilarious visions clamber
Through the chamber of my brain.
Quaintest thoughts, queerest fancies
Come to life and fade away.
What care I how time advances;
I am drinking ale today.
-Lines on Ale (1848), by Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849)
There’s a lot going on this week friends. Of course, it’s Shark Week! Olympic trials in swimming, track and field and gymnastics have started. And my favorite holiday is less than a week away. That’s right, Independence Day is my favorite holiday! I look forward to it each and every year. To me, the Fourth of July signifies everything that makes summer amazing. Yes, it’s a day to celebrate our Independence and the birth of Democracy. But it’s also a day to soak up those special moments spent with friends and family into the wee hours of the evening, enjoying cold brew after cold brew as you kick back, relax and take in all that is summertime. (The Fourth of July also kicks off what I call my “birthday week” which culminates on 7-11. Gifts of craft beer are always appreciated! )
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.