I’ve been to over 550 breweries so it is pretty rare for a taproom to “wow” me at this point. When I walked into Salud Cerveceria for the first time a little over a year ago after moving to Charlotte, my jaw dropped.
Situated on a main highway leading into Athens, Georgia, Akademia Brewing Company has been the first stop for many visitors seeking the local beer since it opened in October 2017. Akademia is currently Athens’ only brewpub, with food complemented by a variety of beer styles, from a Helles Lager to an Imperial Stout. The tap list changes regularly, but they offer crowlers for anyone who wants to take beer to-go, as well as four-packs of their core IPAs, wheat Ales and new releases.
What’s better on a Sunday afternoon than kicking back with a craft beer? This rye farmhouse ale by Birds Fly South will make you wish that every day was a “Rustic Sunday.” Read on to discover what makes this beer so approachable, crisp, and tart, and why it calls for soaking in every moment on laid back, lazy afternoons.
Heading into March, it’s likely that some of your New Year’s resolutions are still going well, and routines are finally getting back on track. Whether your normal schedule is an organized onslaught of meetings, deadlines for work, or even procrastinating with assignments, we can finally slow it down and grab a beer to enjoy throughout the workweek. Fittingly, one of my go-to grabs anytime is Everyday Black Porter from Printer’s Ale Manufacturing Company.
From the road, Printer’s Ale Manufacturing Company might look like any number of other breweries in warehouse industrial spaces that have sprung up across the country en masse over the last decade. The exterior boasts a well-kept lawn which connects to a covered, picnic table-filled canopy, strands of lights hanging from the exposed rafters and around the space. There’s also a dedicated area for lawn games, spaces for local food trucks, and plenty of hop bines, which add a touch of authenticity to the brewery’s aesthetic. Step inside the taproom, however, and a two-hundred-year history of innovation and tradition comes alive on an imagistic timeline that wrap around the interior from wall to wall.
It’s not often that I find myself traveling back to my old college town of Gainesville, FL but when I do I make it a point of stopping into at least one of the breweries on each trip. First there was Swamp Head, but then First Magnitude Brewing Company came onto the scene in 2012 and the Gainesville brewery scene continues to grow. I was delighted at my first stop in First Magnitude’s tasting room: It was just so versatile and inviting! There is a large warehouse-style brewing area where they have some picnic tables, an intimate (and air-conditioned) indoor tasting room and bar and a spacious outdoor area where kids can play and their parents can sit and catch up under the shade. I sat down with Ursa, their flagship IPA, and took in the surroundings.
Beer hunting is most fun when digging up long-forgotten, buried treasure. Recently, I had the pleasure of discovering Olde Hickory’s Flanders Red Ale. This beauty was aged for 30 months—a full two-and-a-half years!—in bourbon barrels before bottling on Halloween 2016. I found it in late 2019, hiding in plain sight on the shelf at Carrboro Beverage Company. That means this Bad Larry was aging for more than five years before I picked it up. Today, I have the pleasure of sharing it with you, our lovely PorchDrinking readers.
Lexington, Kentucky’s West Sixth Brewing (named brilliantly for the street corner on which it resides) started as a humble little brewery back in 2012 when Kentucky was barely a blip on the craft brewing radar. At the time, Kentucky had only 14 breweries and ranked near the bottom of the Brewer’s Association 2012 list of US breweries per capita at 43.
Craft brewing in Kentucky has exploded since then, with West Sixth being particularly successful, albeit through an unconventional definition of success. Their focus on community, sustainability, ethics and keeping things local has served them well. To learn more about why this model has worked for them and to get their thoughts on the future of the industry as a whole, we posed five (okay, six) questions to West Sixth’s Creative Director, Kelly Hieronymus, and co-founder Ben Self.
I tend to be the type of beer drinker who plays favorites. For several years, I fell into a rut of good-beer-drinking. I knew what I liked and that’s mostly what I drank. But my eyes have been opened to the massive range of variety in today’s craft beer scene. In my home state of Kentucky, craft brewing was a little slow to take off but has really hit its stride over the past few years. Lately, I’ve been on a mission to seek out new Kentucky-brewed beers. On a recent visit to Liquor Barn in Lexington, I was perusing the aisles, trying not to get taken in by the label gimmickry that has become prevalent in craft brewing.
I failed. My eyes were immediately drawn to one particular beer, mostly because the label was, well…rather disgusting. I’m all for humor in beer labeling, but, really? Then I noticed the brewery: Louisville-based Against the Grain.
Resident Culture is arguably Charlotte’s best brewery. They were just ranked in the Top 10 North Carolina Breweries on Untappd for 2019 and they were named the 2018 10th Best New Brewery in the World from RateBeer, just to name a few of their many accolades.
Located in the Plaza Midwood neighborhood, Resident Culture opened their doors two years ago. Their motto, “Stay Funky,” is encapsulated in their beers, can artwork, swag and in the taproom itself.
If you’re craving a crisp, refreshing beer that keeps up with your lifestyle, or if you’re just in the mood to try something distinct and new, then reach for a Hook Point Brewing’s flagship beer, Flat Hat American Ale.
Coffee is a vitally important part of my life. Those long cold Chicago nights staying up late with an infant calls for coffee by the pot full, and if my body wasn’t dependent on caffeine before, it sure is now. I’ve always been a big fan of coffee stouts, and Uppers and Downers is one of my favorite Chicago beer festivals during the winter months. As breweries are experimenting more with how coffee and different beer styles and mesh, quite a few different and unique offerings are becoming more readily available, such as Kentucky Coffee Barrel Cream Ale, and it’s a goldmine for both coffee and beer lovers.
Christmas as a kid is a wonderland of gifts and anticipation for gifts; Christmas as an adult is travel and worrying about travel. The gift we receive is—once we’ve finally reached our destination—a whole new world of local beers at our fingertips. I went to the beautiful shores of Sarasota, FL where I spent most of my time in the pool sipping JDub’s Brewing Company’s Passion Wheat, pretending it wasn’t winter. The Passion Wheat definitely helped maintain my self-delusion.
There is a slight half-season, somewhere between the end of summer and the middle of autumn, where you can start to see your breath as you walk the dog in the mornings. This same season is somewhere after the panic …
There are a lot of beers on the shelves that hang in the periphery of my vision in my regular quest for hops. I may notice a few of those beers from time to time—the traditional styles—and ponder for a second about trying them but instead, I predictably settle on a sixer of some flashy new IPA or stout. Then, one fine day, I decided to break the cycle. I now see the error of my ways, for where I was once blind, now I see. Pilsners can be downright delicious, too, and Live Oak Pilz is the best example I’ve ever had.
A wolf hidden in sheep’s clothing, Aardwolf Brewing out of Jacksonville, FL has a wide portfolio of beers that are constantly hitting the mark. In a state that never receives snow and has summers that can be extremely humid and hot, Lagers are the beers that are perfect for any time of year.
Much like America’s best beer festivals, today’s elite level music festivals have begun prescribing to the notion that top tier events must elevate what they offer to provide attendees with a fully holistic experience. Such is the case with Louisville, …
In 2015, the CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective was born out of Oskar Blues Holding Company in what began as a financial partnership with Fireman Capital Partners, a Boston area private equity firm. The Collective brought together a group of like-minded brewers who still maintain their independence under the Brewers Association’s definition of a small and independent brewery, but have also become part of a unified entity that has allowed for greater collaboration of ideas, resources and distribution networks. Just two months after the formation of CANarchy, Oskar Blues brought Michigan’s Perrin Brewing Company to the fold and have since added four others.
About an hour’s drive west of Richmond, Virginia, the small city of Charlottesville offers an ideal weekend getaway for beer lovers. Being a college town, summer is a great time to visit with many of the college kids home for break. Here are some ideas on how to spend a weekend here.
A brewer’s influence can expand well beyond the beer you buy in a taproom or the cans you see on shelves. Craft brewers today realize that their presence in their local communities can inspire positive change and network effects that help their neighbors and taproom regulars alike. Athens, GA-based Creature Comforts Brewing Co. is one of the breweries defining what it means for a brewer to be authentically connected to their community. In early 2018, Creature Comforts hired Matt Stevens to be their Community and Culture Director; his job description includes running their Get Comfortable and Get Artistic charity initiatives.
To most Americans, Kentucky is known primarily for bourbon, basketball, horse racing and fried chicken. However much like the rest of the country, one of the Bluegrass state’s fastest growing commodities is a result of the recent rise of craft beer. In just the past decade alone, brands like Lexington’s Alltech Brewing, Country Boy Brewing, West Sixth Brewery, and Northern Kentucky’s Braxton Brewing have emerged as formidable players in the state, all producing over 14,000 barrels of beer in 2018.