#beershowcase Archives – PorchDrinking.com
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.
Dry January looked much different this year. Now, more than ever, local breweries need consumers’ support to survive. We continue to live through the pandemic and continuous major historical events. As a result, many have decided this isn’t the year to cut out drinking for a month (or at all).
However, for those who participated in alcohol abstinence, you didn’t have to sacrifice flavor. Recently, there has been a surge of non-alcoholic (NA) options in the market. Additionally, there are breweries solely dedicated to it. Meet Wellbeing Brewing Company, a Missouri-based craft brewery focused on non-alcoholic beers. They offer a range of NA styles, all consisting of 0% alcohol but thankfully–plenty of flavor.
Since the holiday chaos and rush has slowed down, it’s a good time for some reflection. We wrapped up some of our favorite beers and the biggest beer stories across our regions to end 2020. One story that caused a greasy splash was the collaboration between Waffle House and Georgia’s own Oconee Brewing Company for an official beer.
Now, a few weeks later, we’re wiping down the table and diving into the bacon-infused Red Ale that is Bacon & Kegs.
Marz Community Brewing Co. takes their name to heart. The Love Brew is a collaboration with a local Chicago mutual aid organization, The Love Fridge. With each 4-pack sold, $1 will go towards The Love Fridge community.
The Love Fridge is an organization that has placed community fridges throughout the city, inspired by similar movements in New York City, Portland and all over the world. They aim to offer a solution to food waste and food insecurity through community involvement. As millions of people lose their jobs because of the ongoing pandemic and with months ahead before any progress is made, our community efforts mean the most now.
Have you set a New Year’s resolution? Are you participating in #DryJanuary? If so, Athletic Brewing Co. out of Stratford, CT, has you covered. As the first non-alcoholic beer taproom in the country, they have a great line up of options that are both low in calories and contain less than 0.5% ABV. Whether you are a “hop head” and love IPAs or if you are a more malt-focused beer drinker, they have you covered.
Welcome to a new year: You made it. Although the past year turned out far, far different from anything anyone could have imagined, some things remain the same. One consistency, in particular, is the anticipation of a fresh start the new year brings. Whether celebrating with loved ones or hunkered down at home, every New Year’s Eve bubbles over with eagerness, hope, reflection and new goals.
In 2020, many learned the importance of self-care in a way that the onslaught of viral blogs and articles could never have accomplished. Self-care takes shape in many different forms and looks and feels different for everyone. With a year filled with unprecedented events and challenges, carrying that self-care energy forward is undeniably a part of this year’s beginning. One avenue some may take to accomplish this goal is to be more cognizant of the food and beverages consumed. If the idea of thoroughly drying out your cabinets does not “spark joy,” Allagash Brewing Company’s Little Grove sparkling session ales offer a lighter step in that direction.
Good beer tells a story. A brewer could be inspired by a personal experience or possibly by their surroundings. For Riot, it is the latter. The city of Chicago has a dense and complex history. Chicago is known for major historical events such as The Great Chicago Fire, The Columbian Exposition (shout out to the amazing book Devil in the White City), and the Haymarket Affair. But, the story behind this Revolution Brewing beer is hidden in the depths of history.
Bounty Hunters may like to consume more than Blue Milk. It’s also possible they enjoy some mystical ale fermented on Endor with its unique natural yeast and microbiota that must add a unique flavor to the ale not seen on planet Earth. The Bounty Hunters fill Star Wars lore and their stories have given us fantasy and fascination with the likes of characters such as the Mandalorian. Freelance Bounty Hunters must enjoy our planet’s exquisite craft beer on special occasions (never when piloting their aircraft!) and this is what we have chosen based on their backgrounds and personality. For the uneventful weekday an easy-drinking Lager, such as the Big Yellow Truck by Territorial Brewing, might commonly be found in the bounty hunter ships in the beer fridge or cooler.
In a saturated Denver craft beer market, Crooked Stave has managed to remain a standout brand for a decade. They’ve recently chosen to move out of the River North Art District and return to their brewing roots in the up-and-coming Sunnyside neighborhood with a recently refreshed taproom. They also recently added a satellite location about an hour outside of Denver up the road in Fort Collins.
In an industry which has been largely built around the search for the new and exciting, it can be refreshing to revisit some of the beers and breweries which blazed the trails for the modern day. Foothills Brewing, based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is a perfect example not only of one of these foundational companies, but also of one which has done an amazing job of staying relevant and responsive to the modern craft beer drinker. Perhaps none of their brews illustrates this better than their Coffee Infused Bourbon Barrel-Aged Sexual Chocolate, one of the state’s most anticipated yearly releases.
We all remember the first time we waited in an exceptionally long line for an exceptionally small pour of a notable beer. On a sunny SoCal day in May 2015, at The Bruery’s 7th Anniversary party, a beer from local upstart Bottle Logic Brewing named Fundamental Observation showed up like Lindsay Lohan as the new queen bee of The Plastics. An explosion of vanilla followed by the soft cuddle of high-end bourbon barrels, this beer was a delicious needle in the four hours of unlimited tastings haystack. With the next public release of this beer came a block-spanning line, providing a delicious 8oz reward for an hour of your time, and the first memory of waiting in extended anticipation for a single draught of excellence.
Fall seasonal standards such as pumpkin beers, Oktoberfest Märzens and Fresh Hop IPAs permeate store shelves as the nights begin to cool and autumn turns to winter. It is a welcome sight for many beer drinkers, whether you like to stick to classics or seek out something new. Whichever camp you are in, Zwei Brewing’s Dunkelweiss manages to tick both those boxes. It is both a traditional German Wheat Ale and an often-overlooked style that could become your next fall go-to.
The owners at Zwei Brewing, Kirk and Eric Lombardi, brew this Dark German Wheat Ale twice a year on a rotating schedule that includes their Bernsteinfarbenes Weissbier and Weizenbock. This year we are all fortunate to have it hit the taps during fall, which happens to be Kirk’s favorite time of year to enjoy it.
Put on that tracksuit, strap on the fresh kicks and queue up “Don’t Stop the Rock”–it’s about to get hype in here. When one of the top breweries in Texas announces a new year-round addition to their lineup, you gotta make some noise. Already providing multiple hopped-up offerings across the spectrum, Real Ale Brewing Co. still managed to drop something fresh that hits all the right notes with their Boombox Double IPA.
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.
Who says you can’t have your coffee and cakes… and drink them, too? The folks over at Hubbard’s Cave are here to prove that you can, in fact, do just that. This Chicago-based brewery has dished up something straight out of boozy brunch dreams and let’s just say: We’re here for it.
Young people and old folks across the nation may not agree on much these days, but we can agree that brunch is the best meal. Sure, you’ve got 2nd breakfast, elevensies, afternoon tea and 4th meal, but none of them can compete with brunch. Mimosas, Screwdrivers, and Bloody Marys are frequently the weapon of choice at brunch. However, for the beer fanatics, a coffee-imbued porter with breakfast focused adjuncts will be an enticing option.
Let’s be honest, pumpkin beers are hit or miss. That random six-pack you grabbed at the liquor store on your way to your buddy’s place for Friendsgiving? Likely disappointing. But good news, the highly underrated Launch Pad Brewery knows how to make a hit pumpkin beer and has been doing so for five years in their aeronautics and space-themed location in Aurora, Colorado. In fact, the business was more or less founded on pumpkin beer with Dave Levesque, owner and head brewer, brewing for pumpkin-themed parties before even thinking of opening a business. Launch Pad also knows how to make Russian Imperial Stouts, with a new release each month in 2020, and other big beers, including their “Eight Crazy Nights” of barrel aged beers starting December 16. Add this together with Espresso Torro from West Coast Roasting Co. and holiday pumpkin spice, and Launch Pad brings their delicious Pumpkaccino, Imperial Pumpkin Coffee Stout. It’s no wonder that this beer has made it to the final table at GABF multiple times. Eat your heart out, Starbucks!
Why do people love craft beer? You could narrow it down to a few major factors: Quality ingredients, community support and promoting a local economy. Those reasons are why people gravitate to craft beer, to be a part of something bigger. If any beer can hold all of that under its belt, it’s El Paseo Pale Ale from south side Chicago-based Lo Rez Brewing.
It’s that time of year in Chicago where none of us are quite sure what season it is. Our 8 A.M. outfit is often inappropriate by noon. ‘BYOB’ now means ‘bring your own blanket’. Our Instagram feeds are either flooded with complaints about snow or praise for a random stint of sunshine. Should you still grasp onto the very few remaining Oktoberfest beers floating around the city, the often-polarizing pumpkin offerings, or go full-on stout season? There’s no wrong answer. However, may I offer a recommendation? Apricot Sour IPA.