#beershowcase – PorchDrinking.com
It’s a well regarded fact that the best beer to make you recall fond memories of Christmases of yore is a terrifically dark, malty ale. Perhaps it’s spiced, like Great Lake Christmas Ale. Maybe it’s minty with deep chocolate notes. Or it could be barrel-aged, resulting in a boozy, syrupy confection that’s meant to inoculate you from the inevitable holiday hangover. But what if, just this one time, you wanted to enjoy a Christmas beer that embodies the current haze craze? Well, we’ve found the beer for you.
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.
It’s great that St. Nick takes care of the kids. But, for grown-ups, it’s all about St. Bernardus. He doesn’t need to send his elf for your shelf because his smiling face and festive hat adorn every bottle of St. Bernardus Christmas Ale. One sip of the exquisite Belgian beer will surely bring an abundance of holiday joy to any beer fan.
We at PorchDrinking.com thoroughly enjoy the Holidays, and the beer that comes with it. From Winter Warmers to Christmas Ales, there’s something for everyone (even if they’ve been naughty). We have decided to showcase a different holiday beer each day the next couple of weeks. Some beers enjoy rich histories while some are new to the scene, but each one has a warm place in the heart of the writers who’ve chosen to showcase their favorites. Even better, for those writers “up north,” the beer is keeping them warm as Jack Frost nips at their noses.
A Christmas Classic beer showcase will publish each day until we approach Christmas. Hopefully we can add to this list next year and in the years to come. And because the Holidays are all about over-doing it, we’ve also added a few extra goodies to your PorchDrinking stocking.
At 8.3% ABV, “Old Jube” (as the folks at Avery Brewing like to refer to their Old Jubilation Ale) is strong and rich, but not overwhelming. Not a typical heavily spiced Winter Ale (it actually has no spices), it is rich, dark and malt-forward. Because of the avoidance of spices, the malts really get to shine. With a combination of five specialty malts (Two Row Barley, Honey, Bonlander Munich, Chocolate and Black), we get a flavor that is rich, velvety and a bit fruity.
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.
Many of you know the secret joy that comes from having something special, almost sinful, tucked away in a hiding place so cleverly disguised that nobody will ever discover. Whether it’s a cache of nostalgic trinkets, a hoard of candy or even a small collection of something not so innocent, at some point we’ve all had a stash that we kept all to ourselves. Luckily for Texas, Independence Brewing Company is more than happy to share their Stash with the rest of us.
As the winter months are drawing near and the cooler weather is becoming more of a constant, it’s easy to reach for these lighter, more “summer-y” beers to enjoy on the days that are just slightly warmer. The Veil Brewing Co.‘s Never Never Backdown Backdown is one of those drinks that will bring back the warm memories of summer with just one sip.
We all want to live our Best Life and HenHouse Brewing Company brewed a Blond Ale that embodies that exact state of being. The Chicken Gang is at it again brewing up some straight magical elixir to brighten your day and help you to accomplish all your goals. *Disclaimer: might not accomplish all your goals but doesn’t everything seem better if you do it with a beer in your hand?!
While searching the aisles of my local beer store, I thought about what types of beers do people want to hear about? Stout season is coming, and so is porters, browns and the big guns like barleywines and barrel-aged everything. But, not everyone likes those types of beers. So what are some easy drinkers that many people will enjoy but don’t see this time of year? The selection of sours I tried was on point, and I quickly realized how many interesting smaller sours are not that tart, but people will set it aside for the simple reason of what section it is. So here’s a list of delicious brews that only have a little acidic bite, but pack a great amount of flavor!
Some beers are just meant for certain seasons—or temperatures. While Oktoberfests and pumpkin beers are synonymous with fall weather and football, many other seasonal offerings can get lost in the fray. Dogfish Head’s Punkin Ale is a staple of the Delaware brewery’s seasonal lineup, yet it’s a newer, apple pie-inspired cream ale release that might start driving bigger headlines soon. First released last November, Dogfish Head’s Suddenly Comfy Cream Ale is back again with an earlier fall release and a bevy of unique fall flavors that makes it immensely memorable.
Chapman Crafted Beer is located in Old Towne in Orange, California. It’s a family-owned brewery that’s, in their own words, “community focused.” This includes brewing beers honoring the local university’s homecoming and the city’s festival.
This past weekend was one of the most highly rated beer festivals in Southern California: Collabapalooza. The ethos of the beer festival is a sense of community within the beer industry–in most cases, all of the breweries involved were friends with each other and the brewers were all trying each other’s beer while talking shop. As we got to talk to several breweries in the preview article on the beers they were bringing, we got to experience the selection of a ridiculous tap list contributed by all the breweries. Here are some standouts.
The beast has awoken, and this time it has emerged in the form of Southern Prohibition‘s newest core IPA offering. Teenagers of the 1980s, you’ll recognize the name and label art as a Grecian-based beat ’em up arcade game produced by Sega in 1988. Game on!
Within the touristy town of Hershey, Pennsylvania, sits a craft brewery by the name of Troegs Independent Brewing. Originally formed in 1997 and located in Harrisburg, PA, Troegs made the move to Hershey (the home of Hershey Chocolate Factory) in 2011. With a growing popularity within the region, Troegs became very well known for The Mad Elf Christmas Ale, and it didn’t take long for the brewery to gain momentum and demand. Brewing 10 year-round beers, Troegs also offers many options when it comes to seasonal brews and a never-ending list of “Scratch” beers that are brewed in an experimental six gallon brewing system and released regularly at their taproom.
The phenomenon of the art car has intrigued me for some time. Have you ever seen these things? Cars covered from bumper to bumper with colorful paint jobs and anything from mosaic tile to plastic figurines. Sure, some look like a hoarder hoarked on a hooptie, but there are certainly some examples that truly are mobile art. The layers of detail and creativity are impressive, and it’s that creative spirit that inspired Saint Arnold’s Art Car IPA.
There are not many breweries in the Sacramento, CA area that have a better track record of brewing IPAs than New Glory Craft Brewery. When you check the “about us” section of their website, the first sentence reads: “We reject the mainstream concept of ‘flagship’ or core beers.” A quick look at their current tap list includes 24 beers; 15 of them are either a Pale Ale, IPA, Double IPA or Milkshake IPA. I’m not sure how many different IPAs and hop-forward beers they’ve turned out since 2014, but it’s safe to say they’ve worked every angle of the style.
Over the past few years Mikerphone Brewing, out of Elk Grove Village, Illinois has become one of Chicagoland’s most popular and sought-after breweries. From their impressive list of hazy IPAs, to Stouts, to even beer slushies (yes, please!!), they have proven time and again that they can make any style.
We are in the midst of a craft beer revival in this country. The excitement and allure of the newest brewery or beer is tantalizing. However, this array of ever-expanding options can easily steal focus from the foundation of this revolution. One such brewery is Pike Brewing Company in Seattle. Pike Brewing was founded by husband and wife team Charles and Rose Ann Finkel in 1989. This October they will celebrate the brewery’s 30th anniversary.