#belgian – PorchDrinking.com
Bruz Beers in Midtown, just northwest of Denver proper, is pumping out some delicious, true-to-style beers. With several medal wins in brew festivals including one at GABF this year, they are aiming to brew high-quality beers across all Belgian beer styles. Quads, Saisons, bottle-conditioned Sours, and everything in between keep brewers Charlie Gottenkieny and Dave Olson (formerly of Ursula Brewing), and Brewery Operations Manager Ryan Evans very busy!
This time of year nothing’s more American than watching a baseball game with a beer in hand. Everyone knows the power of singles, doubles and triples in baseball’s major leagues, but few are familiar with Belgium’s similarly-named heavy-hitters. Belgian-style of Dubbels and Tripels often cause confusion since they aren’t as intuitively familiar as counting the bases in the ballpark.
Starting with the basics, the majority of craft beers fit the category of a single, or table beer as the Belgians would say. These beers typically fall into the 4 – 6 percent ABV range and encompass a wide range of styles and flavors.
“Stickman Brews focuses on American twists of Belgian-inspired beers among other things.”
Smack dab on the middle of the homepage on their website, you will come across this self-description written in all caps. Obesity Epidemic, a Belgian-style stout, truly backs up that claim. This beer fuses those two cultures in perfect harmony.
Within the craft beer culture, there is this quest to get your hands on the next great beer. To search and find those rare tappings or trendy styles requires strategy. This never-ending adventure to figuratively and literally quench that thirst, in itself, is enjoyable and opens a door for you to make new friends, memories and drink some phenomenal beers. This has helped drive the growth of the booming industry and encourages positive creativity among brewers. Although once I have tasted and checked a specific beer in on Untappd, the short-termed memory fades into the abyss and I am immediately on to the next one. That is why I like to take a step back every once in a while, revisit my roots and remind myself of why I even wandered down this trail in the first place.
Experimental flavors, quality products, great taste: these are all elements that consumers don’t just seek out, but expect it in their craft beer. With summer upon us, consumers want refreshing ingredients and lots of flavors! One company who delivers upon these standards for the craft is Victory Brewing Company.
A lot of people have the wrong impression of Alaska. As I sat underneath the sunlight at a time that most places would be pitch black, I poured myself a beer from the appropriately named Midnight Sun Brewing Company and realized the fact that the state is barely glanced upon as a destination for beer lovers from the lower 48.
ABV: 7% | IBU: 20
Just like their namesake, the Rat Pack Belgian Dubbel is a classic and timeless beer made by Old Irving Brewing. When you close your eyes, each sip transports you to “simpler times” when 1960’s crooners dominated the radio, and you’re enjoying a classic cocktail in a fedora. The flavor profile is complex yet balanced for easy drinking. The warm alcohol flavor soothes the taste buds. The snifter-style glass mimics that of a cognac to top off your time travel.
The fried chicken at Post Brewing is hands down the best in the state of Colorado. Actually, it could damn well be the best fried chicken I’ve ever had. I’d do unspeakable things to get my hands on those crispy pieces of perfectly spiced chicken flesh.
Oh, also, turns out the beer at Post Brewing is really freaking good, too.
ABV 4.7% | IBU 15
RJ Rockers Brewing Company’s Witty Twister is spring in a glass. A delicious Belgian Wit is the best way to transition from heavy winter beers into lighter summer beers. Witty Twister is RJ Rockers Brewing Co.’s spring seasonal. It features wheat, coriander spice and orange peel that play well with the yeast character on every sip.
On a trip to Oregon back in June 2016 we were able to visit so many breweries with really amazingly consistent quality! Most of our time was spent in Portland, but we capped off our trip with a day in Hood River on a coffee barista’s recommendation. The one hour drive thru the Cascade Mountains is absolutely worth it for the views and beer. We spent the day watching kite sailing under a blue sky and visited pFriem Family Brewers for lunch. pFriem has specialized in lots of Belgians and sour varietals since opening in 2012 but offers a very eclectic and well-executed menu as a whole, including tasty pub-style food! Oh, and it’s pronounced “FREE-um,” as a waitress helpfully clarified for us.
ABV: 9.5% | IBU: 25
Patrick Bateman was a 26-year-old, handsome man who worked on Wall Street. He was intelligent, wealthy and he attracted the finest of women. His charming and sophisticated nature makes an average man like myself jealous we don’t have the same qualities… except for the fact that he is also a psychopath. The other half of his life is spent strolling around during the night with ferocious psychopathic tendencies. Bateman is the protagonist in American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. Always looking for a great book to read, several years ago I had heard great things about Ellis so decided to read the book. Half way through, my literary appreciation was blown away both by the quality of writing and character depiction but also the shock value of a dark and bleak story.
Weyerbacher Brewing, located in Easton, Pennsylvania, is approximately a 90-minute drive north of Philadelphia. Known for its “big beers”, Weyerbacher has made a name for itself producing full-flavored, high-quality brews. If your taste buds are ready, this brewery is worth the drive.
Beer is a love language all on its own. This Valentine’s Day, show your love language by indulging in one of these chocolate-infused craft beers oozing with rich, sweet chocolate goodness. This Ultimate Round Up will help you find the ultimate chocolate beers. You can forgo the chocolates and roses this year. We won’t judge.
Berry Belgian Waffle is a truly unique beer that pushes forward the possibilities of beer and brewing style. We can all appreciate breweries that focus on hitting style profiles to the letter. These breweries strive to make classic examples of beer – those efforts often resulting in successful campaigns at the Great American Beer Festival. Berry Belgian Waffle may not be the next GABF medal winning beer out of the booming Georgia brewing scene; What it is, instead, is a fun example of a small brewery, Red Hare Brewing Company, having fun and pushing what is acceptable and expected from American beer.
ABV: 6.9% | IBU: 24
Jim Furman used to work at a nuclear safety test facility for the Nuclear Power Institute of China (NPIC) in Chengdu in the Szechuan Province. Now Jim is the proud owner and head brewer of Black Hammer Brewing (BHB). True story. While Jim is brewing, you will often find Growler, Jim’s dog, hanging out in the tap room greeting customers. BHB opened just over a year ago in the SOMA neighborhood of San Francisco and is having great success. Their mission is twofold: Lager without limits! and Malt Forward! Sparkle Pony is one beer so popular that it pays the rent.
Days before the craziness of Chicago Craft Beer Week (CCBW), I was offered the opportunity to tour soon-to-open Dovetail Brewery, which is co-owned, operated and run by Bill Wesselink and Hagen Dost. What better way to begin the beer week, than with a preview of the next chapter of Chicago’s burgeoning beer scene.
Dovetail is a reference to the carpenter’s joint of interlocking boards, it is famed for its resistance to being pulled apart. As Bill so elegantly expressed, “It’s coming together to make a stronger brewery. A mix of old and new, American and European to create what we feel is our interpretation.”
There’s a lot love about craft beer: the people, the stories, the creativity, and those senses of freedom and abandon from the monotony of big domestics… Oh yeah, and the beer of course. The incredible vastness of the array of flavors and choices mixed with the never-ending search for newer and better makes this craft beer bubble so unique and so fun. Yet in the midst of all this, there seems to be one aspect of it that tends to get overlooked:
ABV: 6.8% | IBU: 21
Feature photo courtesy of Wild Wolf Beer.
Yes, it was the can’s design that first drew me to order this beer. A Chicago-themed sports bar in Washington, D.C. was, strangely enough, carrying it this past …
ABV: 4.9 % | IBU: 15
How many people have the luxury of drinking a local witbier? Scratch that. How many people have the chance to drink a two-time GABF award-winning local witbier? Port City Brewing Company’s catalog is always quaffable, but none is more exemplary than their flagship beer: Optimal Wit. Many of us can sip enduring classics like Allagash White or Bell’s Winter White Ale, but Optimal Wit brings a unique flavor profile to satisfy all wheat fans in the heart of NoVA.
This piece was written and composed by PorchDrinking.com staff Tristan Chan, Cory Pelc, Kelissa Heiber, Kara Loo, Phil Joyce, Will Dozier, and Desiree Duzich with special contribution from Brittany Werges of 303 Magazine.
In a lot of ways, looking back on the 2016 Vail Big Beers Belgians and Barleywines festival is fairly cut and dry. Everything was amazing. It really is that simple. And yet, I’d be disappointing not only myself, but more importantly organizer Laura Lodge, by leaving you with merely a singular over-the-top statement about the fest. I dare not use the word hyperbole because while my descriptions may seem gratuitous, they are one hundred percent truthful.