#Brett – PorchDrinking.com
Los Ranchos de Albuquerque in New Mexico is a small village that maintains the charm of rural living despite being surrounded by the city of Albuquerque. Steel Bender Brewyard is the first licensed (and only) brewery in the village and it has positioned itself as a community gathering place for a variety of occasions including ordinary after-work happy hours and celebratory milestones from baby showers to retirement. Using seasonal fruits from local orchards for their barrel program and creating “from scratch” pub fare in their full kitchen, there are many reasons why Steel Bender Brewyard should be added to your next beer journey in New Mexico.
I know, I know. We’re post-Labor Day, school has started and the pumpkin ales and warm toasty porters are hitting the shelves. But as I sit here in my kitchen with the windows thrown wide, trying to tempt the air to somehow drop below 80, I just can’t bring myself to go there yet.
We at PorchDrinking are no strangers to Big Boss. They’re one of Raleigh’s best and brightest breweries. But we are strangers to their new oak-aged “Strange Cargo” trio. At least we were, until now.
ABV: 9.9% | IBU: 33
Funky doesn’t begin to describe Odell Brewing Elephunk Imperial Wild IPA. This delicious boozy palette puncher is indeed a wild ride. It’s weird. It’s complex. It’s funky with a “p-h.” Yep, it’s PHunky.
American craft beer is like the history of the country itself. As a nation of immigrants, our brewers borrow their techniques from many different traditions, tweaking, combining and refining them into something uniquely american. Now, try imagining that we had a centuries old heritage of farmhouse brewing like Belgium. What impact would that have had on modern craft beer? Stickman Brews‘ mission is to find an answer that very question.
How would craft beer have evolved in America if we had a centuries-old farmhouse brewing tradition like Belgium? Head brewer and co-founder of Stickman Brews, Ethan Buckman, focuses his creativity on creating beers that could have existed in this alternate brewing history. He brews hop-forward American-style ales, which he then ferments farmhouse-style with different strains of Brettanomyces and wild yeasts in open-top fermenters. The resulting beers blur style guidelines in exciting new ways. Ethan doesn’t like to assign styles to his brews because he doesn’t feel there are any regularly used styles that accurately describe what he is trying to create.
He is probably right.
Belgian Style Pale Ale 2014 and 2015 Vintages 7.4% ABV
In spite of, or maybe because of, the number of great beers available in Washington, I usually don’t know until the day I’m writing, what beer I’ll write about. I …
Paisley is a beer from Funkwerks’ experimental series, packaged in a bright Paisley-decorated bottle that could have come from Pier 1 Imports rather than the liquor store. We were excited to try our first Funkwerks wild ale and popped it open with some anticipation. The beer poured into the glass a hazy golden orange color with delicate lacing. At first whiff there was a strong barnyard smell that immediately transitioned to tropical flavors including apricot, cherry, and spicy passion fruit aided by the Funkwerks’ house yeast strain.
While I was taking on Shredder as Donatello, and then later waiting in line for a chance at the original Pac-Man, I found myself accurately dubbed both gaming AND beer nerd in the dark, cavernous room on 24th street known as Barcade. Although positioned as a provider of hard-to-find arcade treasures, its extensive and ever changing craft beer list also brings in the highly obsessed brewery-type-folk looking to get their local fix.
As one might expect from the name, New Belgium Brewing has a long-standing reputation built on producing solid Belgian-style beers including their Abbey ale, Trippel, and even Fat Tire, a ubiquitous brew which undoubtedly marked the beginning of many a casual beer drinker’s insobrietous journey to certified beer geek. As such, I was excited to find Wild² Dubbel, a new entry in their Lips of Faith series in a local bottle shop. What makes this dubbel wild? Well, it’s brewed with Schisandra berries, also known as the “five taste fruit” and finished with Brettanomyces. The five flavors promised by the berry are sour, sweet, salty, bitter, and spicy. Brett is something I generally enjoy, but not being familiar with Schisandra, I wasn’t sure what to expect as I opened the bottle.
TRVE Brewing – Eastern Candle (Batch #2)
Currently listening to: Absu – Never Blow Out the Eastern Candle
“So take thy hand and join me for elixir,
And we shall ride the portentous serpent tonight.”
It’s easy to see why Crooked Stave has built such a huge following in such a short amount of time. Their motto “Cultured in Yeast” really tells the story, as they are known for brewing beer almost exclusively with unique and wild yeast strains. Many of their beers are fermented, at least in part, by wild strains of Brettanomyces. Other, more coveted beers, are barrel aged with souring bacteria to produce mouth-watering libations. From coast-to-coast, people are seeking out Crooked Stave’s beers and their specialty bottle release beers may as well be trade gold. Of the specialty releases, the Wild Wild Brett series of beers is the granddaddy of them all. So when the unexpecting passer-by (me) shows up at the taproom on a random Sunday night before picking up a friend from the airport and sees the chalk-board sign that reads “Wild Wild Brett Violet aged with Passion Fruit”, the bartender knew exactly what I wanted when my response to “What will you have to drink?” was “Is that some kind of joke?”
What better adjective to describe the holiday spirit than Jolly? Jolly Pumpkin brewery delivers their holiday beer with great complexity to the tune of Brettanomyces funk. This malty brew is best served with many leather bound books and an abode that smells of rich mahogany. Enjoy this sophisticated Noel de Calabaza.