#beershowcase Archives – PorchDrinking.com
In just five years, New Orleans’ Urban South Brewing has made a huge impact in the beer world and is currently one of the fastest-growing breweries in the U.S. With more than 200 beers released to date, multiple awards under their belt and newly expanded distribution across Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi, Urban South are riding high and celebrating their fifth anniversary in style with a 15-beer collaboration project that includes some of the biggest names in U.S. craft beer. Drekker, American Solera, Aslin and Pontoon are all involved in this highly ambitious project that includes beer styles ranging from mixed-fermentation Table Beer to Fruited Pastry Sour to TIPA.
Once a phrase linked solely with Oatmeal Stouts, the term ‘breakfast beer’ is now applied to beers ranging from Milkshake and Smoothie Fruited Sours to Oat IPAs. Of course, what you may or may not consider to be a true ‘breakfast beer’ invariably depends on what you choose to have for breakfast, but the link between oat content and breakfastiness in a beer remains undisputed.
Cinco de Mayo has come to mean less about its history and more about parties filled with fishbowl margaritas, music and taco platters, and maybe that’s not such a bad thing. The Mexican-American relationship has undoubtedly been a strained one over the centuries. Indeed, such events as endless immigration issues, the Bracero Program and the U.S.-Mexican War (and subsequent Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo where Mexico ceded 55 percent of its territory to the U.S. — present-day Arizona, California, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Nevada, and Utah) mark the struggles between two countries. So, sure, there are plenty of real-life, geopolitical issues that can be discussed. And, yes, some confuse Cinco de Mayo with Mexican Independence day, instead of its true meaning: the date of the Mexican army’s May 5, 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (also known as Battle of Puebla Day). But, why not let it be a celebration of Mexican food and culture, even if it’s a bit cheesy (pun intended)? Maybe it’s good to forget the meaning and just have fun. At PorchDrinking.com, that means enjoying Mexican Lagers, demonstrated by the nine writers who recently showcased the style — enjoy!
Label art can tell you a lot about a brewery. It’s a bonus in such a saturated market to not only have label recognition for your devotees but also grab the attention of the bottle shop browser. In Northern California you can spot the iconic Anchor Steam from across a liquor store, you know the pastel puns of Humble Sea will always be pleasing, and in the East Bay, the metal-inspired labels of Ghost Town Brewing are always eye-catching.
The American craft beer industry is still a relatively young movement — it started in the 1970s. The youth of our industry really shows when compared to the longevity of beer globally. Sure, the craft beer industry turns 70 this year, but prohibition is still in recent memory. Early pioneers of our craft moved mountains and steam-forged a path that led to Boston having its very own Lager and spectacular views from the coast of Maine.
There’s been no shortage of activity happening recently and it’s a welcomed sight. Sports are back, industries like music and film are starting to expand again. Vaccinations are becoming available and there’s a positivity that we’re almost to the other side of the pandemic. We’re not there yet, though, so in the meantime, stay resilient, grab a beer, and check out what we’re drinking.
Austin Beerworks La Verdad is undoubtedly a champion of Texan Mexican Lagers. Its annual release heralds both Cinco de Mayo and the arrival of our sweaty summer season when lying by the pool or floating lazily down the Guadalupe is as much exertion as the weather allows any time after midday here in Central Texas. Now in its fifth year, the La Verdad was last year’s lockdown savior and kept us from parching even when we weren’t allowed in the water.
We’re still smashing the avocados for guacamole and cracking open Mexican Lagers this week here at PorchDrinking. Cinco de Mayo approaches; for most people, this holiday is simply a reason to drink tequila or cervezas all day. To hell with knowing the origins of, well, anything, right? However, we’re here to help you stock the cooler rather than to hand out pop quizzes. So, check out our series for Mexican Lagers you need to pick up for the upcoming holiday.
The newest Mexican Lager in our series for your day of lounging poolside or grilling is Noche de Mar from Estuary Beans & Barley in St. Johns, South Carolina, near Charleston.
Mexico Calling from Cruz Blanca Brewery is the beer that Mexican lagers should aspire to be. In recent years, there has been an influx of breweries trying their hand at making a craft version of one the most macro styles of beer on the market. What you’re left with are good beers that end up tasting nothing like a Corona, Dos Equis, Modelo or whatever the brewer drew inspiration from. The beers tend to end up with some punny name consisting of Spanish words that a brewer learned during his high school spring break in Cancun.
The folks of the North start to rejoice this time of year because it means warmer days ahead and the start of the baseball season. It also means we’ve made it out of the brutal winter and into beers of the warmer seasons. The thick and dark beers are still around. But, we are starting to see a seasonal change to juicer beers that one can enjoy on patios or sitting in the stadium of your favorite baseball team — Back Channel Brewing Titles is the ideal beer for that.
A beer exuding New Zealand terroir, the latest release of Firestone Walker Luponic Distortion No. 18 consists of four hops from the island country: Nectaron, Nelson, Motueka and Riwaka.
“It’s a celebration of our new grower and merchant relationships that we’ve forged over the past couple of years in the Southern Hemisphere,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “It’s the first time we’ve had enough supply to go all-in on a blend of 100% New Zealand-grown hops.”
Flagship beers are the unsung heroes of a brewery. They’re the load-carrying backbone of a beer list. With every new, flashy, ridiculously-hopped IPA or adjunct loaded, melted ice cream cone passing as a stout, they’re also the first to be forgotten. Like a true workhorse, flagship beers do their job. They get packed in cases or filled in kegs to be shipped off to a sea of local grocery stores and faceless sports bars while getting snubbed by the cool kid, craft beer stores in town. Flagship beers may never get any taproom-exclusive hype, but they’re evergreen. They pay the bills, and keep the lights on.
What region of the country has the most defining iconic food? Is it New York or Chicago pizza? Philadelphia cheese steaks? Minnesota Hot Dish? Texas or Kansas City BBQ?
My nomination goes to the southwest, specifically the Hatch, NM region and their green chile. It is, in fact, green CHILE (not chili, or chilli). They take it so seriously that the New Mexico legislature passed rules requiring those products involved in the chile food and beverage trade to be labeled with “New Mexican” or “Not grown in New Mexico.”* “Red or Green?” (styles of chile) is even the official question of the state. Like I said, serious stuff… does Philly codify their cheesesteak labeling into law?
If you were to ask a random person to name something unique or distinctive about Rhode Island, chances are good that “Family Guy” would be the first thing they would offer. That is, of course, assuming that they didn’t mistake it for Long Island, or believe that it was a part of Massachusetts, or confuse it with the similarly named Isle of Rhodes in Greece. Such is the fate of being the smallest state in the country, with a population smaller than many large cities in the U.S.
In case you’re stuck in warp speed like this year seems to be, April is upon is. The shenanigans of April Fool’s Day are over, and it’s the end of the week. You deserve a beer! If there’s any doubt in your mind still lingering here’s your free pass: IT’S BASEBALL SEASON (let’s go Braves). If you still need a reason to pop a top, then grab one from the fridge while you check out What We’re Drinking.
We know them. We are them. Fierce Female by Scorched Earth is a West Coast Style IPA brewed to highlight the contributions of women within the industry and around the world. This year, Fierce Female was reimagined. This beer recognizes strong women past and present, while also empowering the next generation of fierce females.
All craft beer heads remember the glory days of in-person bottle releases and time spent waiting in line with like-minded and equally dedicated beer fans. Coolers opened to reveal rare finds that would be shared amongst the crowd to make the wait more enjoyable for the craft beer elite. While times have certainly changed, those memories remain. San Antonio, TX-based Weathered Souls Brewing Company’s latest members-only beer release is reminiscent of those glorious whales that would breach within the crowd dedicated enough to be First In Line.
Halfpenny Brewing Co. is not your grandpa’s English pub. Yes, just like the old country, Halfpenny has an impressively giant wooden bar and a strong community atmosphere but, unlike those old dusty establishments, this brewery has ample lighting, clean bathrooms, and fantastic beer that isn’t limited to ale. It’s almost as if this modern pub was planned this way. Oh wait, it was.
Owners Chris Reigrut and Chris Garner have been brewing since 1996 and decided at some point that they would open a English and German beer inspired brewery together before they turned 50. Mission accomplished. In 2014, these high school buddies opened the doors of Halfpenny and many people (including grandpa) enjoy their variety of worldly beers, including Homer’s Oatesy Oatmeal Stout!
Brandon Jones is no stranger to barrel-aging and storytelling, using both his words and beer as the medium. Jones is a brewer, beer blender and self-proclaimed “funk wrangler” at Yazoo Brewing, one of the godfathers of the Nashville’s craft beer scene. When Brandon isn’t wrangling funk, he’s sharing recipes on his blog, EmbracetheFunk.com, where he talks about spontaneous fermentation, wild yeast and bacteria—all of what give wild ales their unique and “sour” profiles. On Embrace the Funk, Brandon states his modest goal of making the world of sour beers a bit more approachable.
Memory is a powerful tool, and it shapes how we remember events, stories and people. It’s impressive how the brain forgets the day, yet can call back perfect details of a random afternoon with a loved one 20 years ago. The simplest images can cause these nostalgic moments that leave you thinking back on fond memories.