#beershowcase – PorchDrinking.com
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 .
There is one craft brewery that I pass everyday on my way home from work each night. 4 Hands Brewing sits on the edge of downtown St. Louis inside a 20,000 square foot brewing facility featuring two tasting rooms and 3,000 square feet dedicated to barrel aging. They produce five year-round beers and a growing list of seasonal and barrel aged beers.
ABV: 6.6% | IBU: N/A
It’s cold. Goddammit, it’s cold. For those of you not so blessed to be living below the Mason-Dixon Line, you’re likely in the midst of what’s been a long, cold winter. As the mounds of snow continue to grow and you begin to forget that the sun exists; winter tightens its icy grip this time of year. So, how can you fight back and stay warm? Should you bundle up with extra layers or rely on hand and toe warmers in gloves and socks? While those options are smart and practical, I tend to go another route. I avoid the cold by staying inside with beer, such as Mikkeller Chipotle Porter, the fuzzy slippers of the soul.
ABV: 5.4% | IBU: 18
Do you have a propensity to get a little fresh with blondes? If you do, go to Helles… Samuel Adams Fresh as Helles Lager, that is.
Ahh, the Munich classic provides familiar tastes that comforts one like a blanket on a cold winter’s night, and when the beer is constructed by a modern craft brewer there is the added bonus of exquisite quality and innovation. Sam Adams Fresh as Helles is that combination of classic comfort with a modern craft-beer spin.
Cover Photo credit: 961 Beer (via Facebook)
Uncertainty and cultural disharmony runs amuck in the world today, but not among beer aficionados. A typical beer nerd’s Instagram feed includes posts from New Zealand, Brazil, Mexico, the UK, Ireland, the U.S. … and Lebanon! Yes, that Lebanon. Sandwiched between Syria and Israel, the region’s history is noted for its tumultuous nature and not one that would appear to be conducive to brewing. But, the region is also rich with beer history – predating the The Peloponnesian War by a few thousand years — and now it has microbreweries. The first one arrived a few years ago, named 961 Beer, and the porter it brews is as good as the area’s beer history is rich.
Avg. Reading Time: 2 min
ABV: 5.4% | IBU: 20
If you’re like me and not ready to put summer behind you yet, try a lighter beer that would be a good transition from summer to fall. The Begyle Blonde, a deep gold colored American Blonde Ale, is a perfect beer for the transition of the seasons.
ABV: 5.8% | IBU: 12
The mere utterance of Harlem likely evokes a myriad of imagery; it’s a section of New York City that’s oozing with history. The name and label artwork adorning a bottle of Harlem Brewing Company Renaissance Wit speaks to that wealth of history – beer history, music history, cultural history, and everything in between. But, when reviewing a beer, one must refrain from being swayed by the story attached to a beer or brewery. Instead, the beer must be judged on its own merits, and that is what this showcase aims to do. Nevertheless, there’s no reason history and culture can’t be included in the discussion. Craft has always been more than just about beer, and this wheat beer personifies that concept.