We’re finally feeling the weather changes here in Northern California. It’s beautiful, and my favorite time of the year. Not only because of the crisp air, but because it’s now barleywine season. Don’t get me wrong, I can drink barleywine anytime of the year; however, it’s difficult to find someone to crush the strong stuff with in the middle of summer.
I attended the 25th annual barleywine festival at Toronado in San Francisco a few weeks ago. 50 taps flowing, sweaty bodies crowding the bar, and the smell of future hangovers filled the room; I was in heaven. Soon I was sampling with other malt enthusiasts. A ton of great and not-so-great examples of the sweet stuff were tried, but one was particularly delightful.
As the craft beer industry continues to evolve and become more complex, Sierra Nevada switched gears and brewed an ale for a different beer lover. For the consumer who’s no connoisseur or who may not even care what the hell a hop even is, there’s Beer for Drinking.
It’s not barrel-aged, dry-hopped or infused. It’s beer. Plain and simple. And for many, that’s all they need.
It’s been a banner year for national breweries expanding their distribution footprint to include the Centennial State. Anchored by household brands like Bell’s and Founders, and recently Brooklyn Brewery, 21st Amendment Brewery from San Francisco becomes Colorado’s newest addition of national …
The devastation of the Camp Fire in Butte County, California has reached unmeasurable levels. The fire is now the deadliest and most destructive in California’s history. The need for support for those who have been left with nothing is essential. In dire times, though, the generosity of the craft beer community is a level of support to be reckoned with and this situation is no different.
Friends, I was lucky: I never went through a crappy beer phase.
When I reached the legal drinking age in the early 2000s, I drank a lot of really bad wine instead, believing myself to be refined. When I finally loosened up and decided to give beer a fair chance, a friend who worked at a liquor store pushed me straight past the macro shelves toward the craft beer section. I found the variety confusing (if I thought that during the first George W. Bush term, I can only imagine what it’s like for a newcomer today) so I asked him what he drank.
“Most nights? Sierra Nevada Pale Ale,” he said. “That’s my go-to.”
Summertime in Sacramento is hot. This coming weekend, it’s going to be triple digits and everywhere from the industrial park of West Sacramento, through the highway 50 corridor, up into the foothills, beer lovers will be flocking to their favorite brewery to find some shade and enjoy a brew or two.
If you find yourself at Bike Dog, you may notice a new subset of the ever-loved IPA, their Nameless Brut. Compared to the loud, bold and anything but subtle juicy IPA’s that have been all the rage for the past couple of years, the Extra Brut IPA is a super dry, clean-cut IPA that is crisp, clear and offers the perfect blank canvas to feature the almighty hop.
There was one week in Denver where I saw the weather go from 75 degrees and almost too sunny to 35 degrees and white-out snowing the following day. So, when I finally arrived home after a day of being surrounded by drivers without their headlights on, I needed a beer. I am very much a seasonal drinker. Nothing sounds worse to me than a light beer during the colder months or a thick, dark beer during the hotter months. Therefore, I was extremely thankful that I had a Firestone Walker Nitro Merlin Milk Stout in my fridge.
The recipe for each Alaskan Brewing beer is simple: Use authentic, regional ingredients; add creative ingenuity and throw in a dash of brewing history. Since 1986, Alaskan Brewing has enthusiastically embraced its Last Frontier location while simultaneously playing the role of craft beer pioneer.
As the 2017 Great American Beer Festival approaches, I bet you’re wondering what kind of delights you can expect to sample on the festival. A hazy IPA from that Vermont brewery that doesn’t distribute in your state? A rare whale stout aged in the most fantastic of barrels? A wild, enamel-stripping sour ale full of hand-picked snozberries? PorchDrinking has you covered!
GABF Routes: Big Beers | Funk, Sours & Wilds | Hoppy Beers
The annual Carlsbad Brewfest (Sept 9, 2017) provides 60 beers and 30 ciders from more than 30 of San Diego’s breweries/cideries to 1,500 guests. Beer aficionados will also enjoy live music performed by local band OSS “Oceanside Sound System,” a DJ, yard games, and food from local restaurants
Regardless of the time of year, when you’re spending time in the desert, it is important to stay hydrated, thanks to the dry climate and low humidity. The same concept applies to drinking beers in the desert—you want a beer that is refreshing and easy-drinking, particularly in the summer months when the daily temperature can easily exceed 110°F. This is a six pack that speaks to the lighter side of the desert culture.
In a world full of juicy IPAs, Firestone Walker (FWBC) is bringing Generation 1, an unfined and unfiltered West Coast IPA, to all its markets for a limited time (eight weeks). The beer is a product of the FWBC R&D program, located at the Propagator pilot brewhouse in Venice, California.
Summer may be coming to a close but that doesn’t mean the temperature has let up. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area we’ve been bombarded with unseasonably stifling heat and sticky high humidity. This has meant that light beer has been a major staple in my refrigerator. Lagers, pilsners, session IPAs, and Gose are not normally in my wheelhouse but I’ve come to appreciate their low alcohol crushability.
Tucked away in an industrial part of town near the old Fort Collins Airport, you’ll find a bright red building, originally an airplane hanger, and now a family-run brewery called Horse & Dragon Brewing. Inside, long community tables and round tops casually welcome you to put your phone away and have a seat. There are no TVs, live bands, or food trucks for entertainment. Instead, the brewery welcomes you to come in, grab a beer, chat with some friendly patrons or staff, and enjoy the moment. And immediately, you will feel welcome. There is an inexplicable vibe that Horse & Dragon exudes, that can only be attributed to owners Carol and Tim Cochran. Their love of craft beer and the Fort Collins community is poured into the brewery and here is their story.
In most small towns, it’s a given that everybody knows everybody’s business. This is a bummer when you’re trying to get away with something but is entertaining when someone else is. But for the Ark Valley Libation Society (AVLS), this small town phenomenon totally works in their favor. For this group of craft libation experts – four breweries, a winery and two distilleries – everybody’s business is everybody’s business.
Or as Andy Astor of Elevation Beer Company and AVLS vice president says, “Rising tides raise all boats.”
For the third straight year, Sierra Nevada Brewing has collaborated with a German brewery on its fall-seasonal Oktoberfest beer. In 2015, Sierra partnered with 600-year-old Bauhaus Riegele, now into its 27th generation of family-owned, independent brewing, In 2016, Sierra Nevada brewed with the more than 400-year-old, family owned Mahrs Bräu located in Bamberg, Germany. This year, second-generation brewer Brian Grossman, of Sierra Nevada, and fourth-generation Brewmaster Cornelius Faus of Miltenberg, Germany’s Brauhaus Miltenberger, have joined forces.
This week, it became official that Los Angeles will be the host city for the Summer Olympics in either 2024 or 2028. We’ll just have to figure out whether Paris or LA goes first; one way or another, the Olympics are coming to Southern California in the next 11 years. As we look ahead to people from all over the world coming together in LA to compete and peacefully celebrate unity, it’s a perfect week for LA’s brewers to unite at the second annual DTLA Breweries United festival (and it’s all for a good cause).
In Colorado’s crazy-competitive craft beer climate, what makes the difference between soaring success and sorry, we’re closed? Sometimes, in addition to making amazing beers, it helps to find a niche. Soulcraft Brewery in Salida, Colorado, found theirs, a little unexpectedly—in music.
A passionate group of local investors opened Soulcraft Brewery in November 2016 with every intention of simply being a local tasting room serving incredible beer. It wasn’t surprising that the locals responded immediately. It also wasn’t too shocking that tourists traveling to nearby Monarch Mountain Ski Resort responded big time. Soulcraft is right on Highway 50 with a bright neon sign shouting, “Brewery.” This is more than enough to entice adventure-seekers rolling through.
But then an intriguing thing happened. This music-loving town of just 5,500 residents had always had more soul than space. But Soulcraft’s location was in a large, former furniture warehouse so its rare spaciousness got people thinking. Dreaming. Could their tasting room become an entertainment destination? Oh yea.
The United States started as nothing more than an idea, a dream and a determination to overcome perceived empire-driven injustices. For the overwhelming majority of breweries, those values presented by our Founding Fathers echo the idea of independent brewing. Sure, there are brewing empires that could lure one to the economic promised land, but the pursuit of “hoppiness” for independent breweries is best served through self-determination rather than corporate funding. As the nation moves toward celebrating its independence, we at PorchDrinking.com wanted to discuss brewing independence with a few breweries who have thumbed their proverbial noses at the King Georges of the world and exercise their freedom to brew.