#BeerRelease Archives – PorchDrinking.com
Forget golden rings. On the fifth year of holiday collaboration, The Open Bottle and Hailstorm Brewing gave to us, Santa’s Cookies & Milk Stout. And, it’s adorned in gold labeling, with a special glass to match. The stout is decadent, creamy, full-bodied and somehow still crushable; a real holiday treat. Yet, the real gift goes to Tinley Wish because a portion of sales aids the south-suburban Chicago organization that gives aid to needy families.
The 2019 GABF Gold Medal for Chicago’s Begyle Brewing Barrel-Aged Imperial Pajamas gave credence to those who boasted of its excellence, and the award did wonders for its popularity. However, medals only go so far; Chicago’s beer crowd can be downright snobby about BBAs. The annual Imperial Pajamas release enjoys increasing fanfare because of its consistency, quality and a taproom party consisting of hour-by-hour variant tappings. Sadly, the global pandemic prevented Begyle from throwing its annual gathering. Nevertheless, the three packaged Pajamas stand as exemplary BBAs and evidence of why the program now hangs with the big boys and girls of the strong barrel-aging beer world.
This year’s three Imperial Pajamas release consists of the classic in Heaven Hill barrels, a vanilla variant and a special version aged in Booker Bourbon barrels. “We’ve had a lot of fun with release day variants, the way we handled those hourly releases allowed us to explore many different flavor combinations over the years. With our first foray into canning a barrel aged variant we chose vanilla as it is one of the most versatile ingredients we use in several of the variant combos we have done in the past. From the feedback we’ve gotten vanilla was always the most popular flavor, whether it was just vanilla, or vanilla combined with other ingredients,” said Kevin Cary, Begyle co-founder.
If you ask, most veterans are willing to share at least some details of their military service with you. However, Locavore Beer Works co-owner Jason Reinhardt isn’t allowed to say very much.
Flying Dog Brewery is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a new Double IPA called Great Job!, tongue-in-cheek self-congratulation for 30 years of, as its own press release puts it, “Good Beer, No Shit.”
The Maryland brewery is the 35th largest in the country by volume and continues to be the biggest player in the state. Flying Dog’s 20th-anniversary beer, Raging Bitch, quickly became the best-selling beer for the brewery where it remained for nearly a decade.
With National Voter Registration Day just behind us and a mere seven weeks until the 2020 Presidential Election, there couldn’t be a more appropriate time for a brewery to highlight the need for all U.S. citizens to get out and vote. 903 Brewing, based in Sherman, Texas, is in the process of brewing its second bipartisan call-to-action I Voted beer. The blueberry-raspberry-cherry Berliner-Style Weisse follows the raspberry-blueberry sweet Cream Ale that kick-started the project during the May Primaries.
The I Voted beers sport equally red-white-blue packaging and are designed to encourage voters of all persuasions to make themselves heard on Election Day. With the original batch of I Voted having sold out swiftly, 903 is releasing an expanded run of its new Berliner-Style Weisse. The latest release will hit supermarket shelves in mid-October in time for early voting, and should be available for Election Night consumption.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery is on a mission to fight climate change, one beer at a time. On September 19, Dogfish Head and Indigo Agriculture, a company intent on “harnessing nature to help farmers sustainably feed the planet,” released an Earth-friendly Re-Gen-Ale to its local beer fans. As explained by Dogfish Head, the beer serves as the first traceably-sourced beer to address climate change through agriculture using Indigo Carbon, a program that provides growers with a financial incentive to store carbon in their soils.” The beer release arrives in time for Climate Week (Sept 21 – 27).
Located in Seattle, Washington, Fremont Brewing first opened its doors during the 2008 financial crisis and is no stranger to making high-quality beer in the middle of a recession. Quality, sustainability and ingenuity have been the mainstays of brewing at Fremont over the past 11 years, a tradition they continue even as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on… and “ingenious” is the word that comes to mind when sampling their latest release: the 11th Anniversary series. These two Stouts debuted in mid-August and are already sold out on their website (but don’t worry: limited cases are still available—see below for details). Their classic barrel-aging process, with a twist, makes these beers something special.
Walk into Lady Justice Brewing on East Colfax in Denver and you know exactly what they’re about. It’s emblazoned on their logo, it’s on every can they sell, and it’s the motto they live by every day.
“Great Beer, Better World”
The craft beer industry has diligently adapted taprooms, business processes and safety protocols to better serve patrons and adhere to current safety guidelines caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Welcoming patrons back to drink outdoors (and, in some states, indoors) at a brewery’s location is a momentous task that cannot be understated. Being permitted to once again drink beer on-draft during Chicago’s Phase 3 and 4 reopenings has let some of Chicago’s beer drinkers experience a sense of cautious normalcy. One area of the craft beer scene that would typically draw crowds—and headaches—is a much-hyped beer release, like Revolution Brewing’s release of their latest Cafe Deth variant, Supermassive Cafe Deth. What does a beer release look like in the new normal? How do you execute one both safely and effectively? To find out, we asked Illinois’ largest independent brewer about how the release went.
Pure barrel flavoring. No extracts. No syrups. No sugar bombs. The Imperial Oak Brewing Quiet Giant (strong) Barrel-Aged American Imperial Stout series, now in its sixth year, celebrates the artistry of barrel-aging in its purest form.
Yes, there are varieties with adjuncts, but only as complementary flavors. “Why put a beer in a barrel for a year and then completely cover it up? That’s why the two-year [BBA] is still my personal favorite. But, I do like our variants. They aren’t going to knock you in the face. That’s not our thing. None of them are going to be a chocolate bomb, coconut bomb..that type of terminology. I like adjuncts. But, I want it to be subtle and complement the beer,” said Brett Semenske co-owner and brewer.
Quiet Giant arrives each year for its anniversary, which this year enjoys the theme: Six years, Six Feet Apart (details can be found at the end of this story). The party slogan speaks to the challenges presented to breweries in 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic. But, Illinois’ case numbers are declining, patios are open and the beer remains consistent as ever. Going forward, most can expect five variants to arrive each May (this year in June due to the COVID-19 lockdown), with more two-year BBA for 2021. However, this year, Imperial Oak also has a one-time special beer from its Savage Oak room, offered in bottles.
Not every beer from Bay Cannon Beer Company has a name. In fact, most brews available in the West Tampa, FL taproom are simply listed with their ingredients. “It’s about the beer,” said Matthew Juaire, co-founder and COO. He, along with fellow co-founder and head brewer Joe Simmons, believe that beer names are trivial and the focus should be what’s in the beer and how the beer tastes.
In the face of adversity and trying times, it is always an encouraging sight to witness those who press forward and beat the odds. Solaris Beer & Blending in Murrieta, California, is one of such stories. Though they have no tasting room and are still under construction, the brewery was able to put the proper licensing in place in the midst of a pandemic. And despite having limited weekly releases as their sole income, the quality of Solaris’s offerings are nearly unparalleled, especially given the size of their operation.
One of the first beers Solaris released was Pink Flowers – Rose Petals, part of their Sour & Flower series. This sour golden ale was brewed with rose petals, Turkish apricots, kumquats and conditioned on French oak.
This beer was bought, saved and finally drank with hope. Hope that baseball will come back in some capacity this season. However, the light at the end of the tunnel seems to be getting further away as the MLBPA and MLB struggle for power in their latest negotiations. So while waiting with bated breath and crossed fingers we can at least pop a few crisp beers and reminisce about some of our favorite McCovey Cove bombs.
Over the past three years, HOMES Brewery out of Ann Arbor, Michigan, has quickly become one of the most buzzed-about breweries in the country. Two shining examples of their proficiency with hoppy beers can be found in Cat Person and Peaked.
February 8 marked the much anticipated Brewbies Festival at Bagby Beer in Oceanside, CA. For 11 years, the Brewbies organization has worked to bring breweries and the public together in support of breast cancer awareness. Working with the Keep a Breast Foundation, the festival has donated more than $540,000 to breast cancer research to date.
Every year that a brewery makes a thriving success of brewing more amazing beers, it is an accomplishment not only for themselves, but also for the industry and their patrons. Karl Strauss Brewing Co in San Diego, California, celebrated its 31st anniversary with their Changing of the Barrels event. This anniversary party not only features their flagship lineup but of course also highlights some superb beers that have been sleeping in barrels, awakened specifically for this moment
Few breweries have the storied past of Anchor Brewing in San Francisco, California. Brewing beer since 1896 and bought by Fritz Maytag in 1969, Anchor has been a staple in brewing history for more than a century. One of their longest-running beers is the seasonal Christmas Ale, available from November to early January.
On Black Wednesday (Nov 27), BuckleDown Brewing in Lyons, IL (just outside of Chicago proper) will release the third edition of its Significant BBA (Bourbon-Barrel-Aged) Imperial Milk Stout. The three-year-old program has transitioned from bombers to cans, and has grown from one bottled variety to four canned offerings: the base and three variants. Each year, the brewery has used different barrels to store the beer with this year relying on Few Spirits, located in Chicago.
Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead celebrations are vibrant, unique events that inspired TUPPS Brewery out of McKinney, Texas to release a beer in honor of the holiday. Day of the Dead is a juicy, hazy Pale Ale dry-hopped with Galaxy, Citra and Mosaic, resulting in a citrus aroma and stone fruit flavors. At only 5.5% ABV, it’s compared to a crushable version of their wildly popular TUPPS DDH series. To capture the spirit of the holiday, all of the cans were designed by local artists. I caught up with Head Brewer Chris Lewis to talk more about the beer and what’s on the horizon for TUPPS.
Fresh off its Silver Medal at the Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer (FoBAB) for its Rye Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout, Crystal Lake Brewing has unveiled its 2019 Boathouse Reserve barrel-aged series, which will formally be released on Saturday, November 23. …