#APA – PorchDrinking.com
About 60 miles south of Downtown Chicago, in a town of roughly 18,500 people, one will find a superbly crafted American Pale Ale (APA). You remember APAs, right? Craft beer drinkers used to consume multitudes of them a few decades ago. Well, they still exist, and they are as good as ever, exemplified by Brickstone APA from Brickstone Brewery in Bourbonnais, IL.
Two months ago, I had the pleasure of traveling to Boston with my wonderful girlfriend. It was our very first time going and we were able to stay with our amazing friend, Jackie. The great thing about Jackie, besides having two super adorable dogs and living in Salem, is the fact that she is a beer lover just like us. So we spent the better time of five days exploring the East Coast for craft beer and fresh lobsters; yum! Nothing pairs better on a hot day than fresh caught lobster and a cold beer. Throughout our mini vacation we were able to try numerous new breweries and even attended the Microbrewery Invitation. All brews considered, one brewery stood out to us above all others: Trillium Brewing (including its Skimpy Sparrow American Pale Ale, or APA).
8.1% ABV | 19.1 degrees Plato (OG)
Avery Brewing Company Ale to the Chief is around for a third term. Don’t worry, there’s no dictatorship here — it’s all about democracy. In that spirit, this isn’t the first time we’ve written about Ale to the Chief. Four years ago, PorchDrinking’s own chief wrote a blurb about Avery’s Ale to the Chief, but there’s a new political and beer climate around, it’s time for a new voice. It’s time for my voice. It’s time for change!
ABV: 5.4% | IBU: 55
When I think about amazing craft beer, Nevada never really came to mind until a couple years ago when I found two amazing breweries out of the state mainly known for Vegas and deserts. During the 2014 Great American Beer Festival, I stumbled (figuratively, not literally) across both Brasserie Saint James and Joseph James Brewing. Joseph James Brewing’s Citra Rye APA has got quite a bit of praise, including a GABF medal in 2013, Men’s Journal Best Beers in America, and from craft beer drinkers like me.
ABV: 5.3% | IBU: 42
It’s been more than two years since Odell Brewing Co. has released a new year-round beer. I assume that’s because the brewery prefers to achieve near-perfection with a beer before putting it in customers’ hands. Having just tried their newest release, Drumroll American Pale Ale, I’m 100% on board with that strategy.
ABV: 4.3% | IBU: 38
Got time for a story? Great, have a seat. Last week something tragic happened: my neighbor finally mowed their lawn. Up until last Tuesday, by comparison, my lawn looked fine. However in an effort to keep up with the Jones’, now that my neighbor’s yard was cut, edged, and beautiful, it was my turn.
High Hops Brewery | The Power of Zeus APA
High Hops use Zeus hops from their field to create this powerful pale ale. The hop is named after Zeus the Toad, who greeted the High Hops folks after they planted their very first Zeus plant! An American Pale Ale, the Power of Zeus is drinking so well right now on the proverbial porch. If you like dark caramel, grilled bread, pine and spruce resin, white flowers, big citrus peel flavors and a honeyed finish, then you need to get this pale ale in your face!
IBU: 45 (it took me forever to find this and and the site had no proof so… Grain of salt with this one)
While I first knew Evil Twin Brewery was amazing after my first Ashtray Heart, The New York Times’ article on the major rift between its founder Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergso and his twin brother Mikkel Borg Bjerso of Mikkeller Brewery is what solidified my love of this gypsy brewery. Throughout the article, Evil Twin comes off as a loveable troll – exposing the ridiculousness that occurs when cool festers to snobbery and the quest for prestige makes you forget that in the end, this is an industry making tasty drinks for customers to enjoy and get buzzed from. It’s what inspired me to start ordering beers and buying six-packs blindly in order to expand my horizons. In my opinion at the very least, Evil Twin is the hero craft brewing deserves AND the one it needs right now. It’s got the brains and the heart. Which brings me to Hipster Ale.
Pinewood Social isn’t really a place you go to drink beer. In fact, ordering beer there always feels like a little bit of a cop-out, like I don’t understand what the restaurant does, or at least what the restaurant does best: cocktails. But, guys, sometimes I just want a beer. And I want an APA or an IPA or some combination of a PA with an IPAEDLFSOIWEUR. You know, sometimes you just want a beer?
ABV: 5.79% | IBU: 55.2
I’m sitting at a bar in suburban Louisville waiting for my sister to get out of a bible study. This is a true story. I’ve dropped her off in hopes of finding a place to write this post, but there didn’t appear to be many laptop-friendly bars around, and the bar I’ve landed in doesn’t have any local beers (uhhhh?).