#beershowcase – PorchDrinking.com
I’m going to start this off by saying I am not a fan of the holiday season. Suddenly, I’m expected to be merry and in good spirits, which is just not the way I work. Bribe me with a winter warmer and we might be able to talk, slip me an Imperial Stout and we will be best of friends. Like a lot of you, alcohol makes this season bearable. To quote National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, “I had a lot of help from Jack Daniels.”
Although I love all styles of beer, I do look forward to this time of year when Oktoberfest is celebrated through festivals, beers and good times. I picked up a bottle of Coppertail Brewing’s Oktoberfest to try and this one was a great way to end this Oktoberfest with a bang.
Some of my favorite Fall things are the leaves changing colors, pumpkin spiced foods and beverages everywhere, cooler weather, and of course pumpkin beers! Half Moon Bay Brewing Co brews up their Pumpkin Harvest Ale seasonally to delight the taste buds.
Once again, for the fourth year in a row, we get to try Strangely Epic, a blend of two celebrated beers from Strange Craft Beer Company and Epic Brewing. The beer was first created in 2013 for Denver’s Collaboration Fest. Crafted at both breweries and named Strangely Epic and Epically Strange (for where each beer was brewed and blended), the collaboration brews release is eagerly awaited each year.
Alright hop heads, gather around! This is a good one. The flavors are apparent in the aroma alone, leaving you the only option to drink this brew from Terrapin Beer Company right away to find out how delicious it is. This bottle was poured into a pint glass on a rainy afternoon and enjoyed on the back porch. A beautiful golden amber color appeared with a thin head. I felt really fortunate to get this and was confident I would enjoy the beer.
While preparing for Hurricane Irma, I opened the fridge to find this interesting treat by Funky Buddha Brewery and realized it was the perfect beer for a time like this. An explosive beer, this rotates yearly in the Little Buddha Small Batch series. Fire in the Hole takes on a whole new level of spice. This red ale brewed with raspberries and habanero is too intriguing of a combination to pass up. Fire in the Hole was a drinkable distraction from all of the hurricane preparation. It is available throughout Florida in bottles and on tap for a limited time.
Sometimes tap rooms can act as testing grounds that can bring unassuming beers to the forefront, allowing for crowd pleasing favorites that otherwise wouldn’t be canned and distributed to share in some of the spotlight. Upslope Brewing’s Tap Room series is just that, offering a rotating series in which larger batches of popular tap room beer is brewed — split between kegs and cans, and then once it’s gone; that’s it for the year. Previous releases in 2017 have included Strawberry Mint IPA, Peanut Butter Porter and Hefeweizen. I was able to get my hands on its Champagne Saison with Nelson Sauvin, a beer that I like to call “fancy beer for outdoorsy folk.”
If asked what first comes to mind when you think of Left Hand Brewing, I would guess Milk Stout and Nitro top that list. As much as I enjoy Milk Stout and the Nitro lineup of beers, one beer in Left Hand’s vast portfolio that might be overlooked is Fade to Black, their winter seasonal.
Lone Tree Brewing Company opened in December of 2011 as the first private craft brewery along C-470 in the Lone Tree/Highlands Ranch area. Since then several more breweries have opened, but Lone Tree has continued to grow strong. They recently introduced their Branching Out Series of seasonals and continue to grow their selection of canned beers. These include their Mexican Lager, Red Ale, Double IPA and Peach Pale. This spring they also started canning their seasonal beers and the first to be canned is the Cucumber Wheat, a delicious refreshing thirst-quenching summer love.
The Chicago metro area certainly has a multitude of beers available for consumption these days, given its now 175+ breweries in operation. But, every once in awhile, a beer comes along that inspires a beer writer such as me to, well, write about it. This time, the beer comes from the mad geniuses of Chicago’s Dovetail Brewery. The Dovetail motto, “We brew like monks (minus the vows),” notes its dedication to traditional, continental European-style brewing methods and that is why the Dovetail Hefeweizen is one of the best you’ll ever have.
Image Source: Anchor Brewing
Anchor Brewing is a brewery for which most ardent craft beer fans pay reverence, for if not for Fritz Maytag betting a good portion of his inheritance and defying all logic in the late 1960s, well, who knows? Maytag had a vision, and that vision has manifested itself in a terrific brewery that was integral in awakening a nation from its brewing doldrums. In 2017, the brewery isn’t sitting around resting on its laurels, demonstrated by the new Anchor Brewing Blood Orange Blonde Ale. How can something be both blonde and blood orange? Leave it to Anchor Brewing to solve this colorful conundrum.
“In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue,” but a few months before Columbus landed in the Caribbean, an Austrian brewery that came to be known as Stiegl arose in the town of Salzburg. Five and a quarter centuries later, the world has dramatically changed, but Stiegl is still there and still delivering beer in its hometown by horse and carriage. The one thing that is new is the Stiegl Zitrone Lemon Radler, its newest summer-friendly, highly sessionable U.S. import.
It’s not every day I see a 12 oz. can of beer sold with its own box. It reminds me of drinking a PBR tall boy out of a brown paper bag on NJ Transit. But, that’s Pabst and this is BrewDog Paradox Rye, a 15% ABV cask-aged beast of an imperial stout that, I suppose, gives it the right to be stored in a tiny cardboard container. Coming from the brewers of taxidermied squirrel fame, this could be regarded by many as nothing special, but as per the norm, I am a total sucker for clever beer marketing. Thus, this little box of madness pulled me right in.
When Epic Brewing first released its Sour Brainless on Peaches in late June 2015, the brewery’s sour program was officially launched. I remember going to the first release at the Denver taproom, where I was able to hand-dip the wax on my bottles, enjoy free peach ice cream from Little Man with flame roasted peaches, and also get my first taste of Epic’s sour peach. In the two years since the initial release, Epic’s sour initiative has quickly matured into an innovative and well-respected program.
I don’t need to introduce Call to Arms Brewing to most of you, because you’ve likely already heard all about it. I don’t need to tell you their Khores Ballroom Beer has become a staple in Denver, Golden and the rest of the world. I certainly don’t need to remind you Khores is delivered from a humble, though up-and-coming brewery modeled after an English-style pub in Denver’s Berkeley neighborhood.
ABV: 6.8% | IBU: 62
I literally spent the afternoon driving around town and following Twitter to find a Lone Pint Yellow Rose on the shelf for this piece because I think it is one of the most perfect beers brewed in Texas. Named after a popular Texas heroine, Yellow Rose is always in short supply due to the overwhelming popularity of this Single Malt and Single Hop (SMaSH) IPA beauty.
Photo Credit: Noon Whistle Brewing via Facebook
The Noon Whistle Brewing story resembles one enjoyed by innumerable craft breweries, especially in Chicago. The brewery first sought to create a niche within the booming craft beer market by becoming Chicago’s premier session-beer location. But, now in its third year, abundant success has forced the Noon Whistle Brewing crew to adapt its vision, both to accommodate its growing business, and also satisfy a desire to brew a variety of great beer. Noon Whistle has transitioned from audience-seeker to a trusted name brand.
The continued meteoric rise of craft breweries affords beer drinkers an opportunity to enjoy special releases with unfathomable regularity. But, once in a while, a classic “gotta have it,” beer rolls around; be it Pliny the Younger, Utopias, or in this case — KBS.
Since 2002, Founders Brewing has been putting its coffee-chocolate-malty stout in whiskey barrels and then storing them below its Grand Rapids home for a year. Each spring, just as tulips emerge from the soil, KBS escapes the caves so it can be enjoyed by throngs of fans. Welcome to spring; welcome to KBS season.
Featured photo courtesy of Oskar Blues Brewery
ABV: 7.2% | IBU: 70
Stouts and porters are most often the base styles for coffee beers and so my ears perked up when I heard about Oskar Blues‘, Hotbox Coffee IPA. The pairing of a hop heavy brew and coffee seem to be just the jolt I need out of a Spring Seasonal this year .