#breweryshowcase – PorchDrinking.com
During these uncertain times, it is comforting to know that many breweries are still working on new flavors and beers to be consumed in the safety of one’s home. Energy City Brewing, located in the Chicagoland suburb of Batavia, Illinois, is reliable in its innovation of beer recipes and desire to release new brews to the public regularly. Relatively new to the brewery game, they received their official license on St. Patrick’s Day 2017, and brewed their first stout that same day. The stout in question actually began as an award-winning homebrew of co-founder David Files, who began homebrewing in 2005.
Heading into March, it’s likely that some of your New Year’s resolutions are still going well, and routines are finally getting back on track. Whether your normal schedule is an organized onslaught of meetings, deadlines for work, or even procrastinating with assignments, we can finally slow it down and grab a beer to enjoy throughout the workweek. Fittingly, one of my go-to grabs anytime is Everyday Black Porter from Printer’s Ale Manufacturing Company.
From the road, Printer’s Ale Manufacturing Company might look like any number of other breweries in warehouse industrial spaces that have sprung up across the country en masse over the last decade. The exterior boasts a well-kept lawn which connects to a covered, picnic table-filled canopy, strands of lights hanging from the exposed rafters and around the space. There’s also a dedicated area for lawn games, spaces for local food trucks, and plenty of hop bines, which add a touch of authenticity to the brewery’s aesthetic. Step inside the taproom, however, and a two-hundred-year history of innovation and tradition comes alive on an imagistic timeline that wrap around the interior from wall to wall.
It’s a hard-knock life when you have beer-related engagements scheduled in two countries on two consecutive weekends. I recently found myself in Poland for the incredible One More Beer Festival before planning to meet up with friends in Munich for Oktoberfest six days later. Doing the wise thing and taking a full week of vacation, I started to scout out how I could spend the days between periods of copious beer consumption. Lo and behold, the world’s number one beer-drinking country per capita, the Czech Republic, happened to be smack dab in the middle of my two destinations. The gods smile upon me.
Rhinegeist in Cincinnati is about the celebrate six years of brewing, and what a journey it has been. Three years ago, we featured the brewery’s Streaker Rye IPA and I wrote, “Streaker Rye IPA from Cincinnati’s up-and-coming Rhinegeist provides insight into why this Queen City brewery is enjoying such rapid success.” Well, three years later, it is no longer accurate to describe Rhinegeist as “up and coming.” They’ve arrived.
The brewery operating in the historic Over-the-Rhine Brewery District in Cincinnati (from whence the brewery name is derived), has grown into one of the nation’s largest breweries. We had a chance to pose Five Questions to Bryant Goulding, Co-Founder and VP of Sales & Marketing for Rhinegeist, and ask about where the brewery is, where it’s been and where it’s going.
Creativity breeds creativity, so it’s no wonder that Katie and Krys Wolf, with their pension for design and art, have turned an 1850s home into a profoundly unique craft brewery — Wolfden Brewing. The exterior is that of a spacious, suburban home while the inside reminds one of a lodge one enters in Wisconsin or the mountains of Wyoming — with plenty of beer, to boot.
“We wanted it to feel like home, or like a vacation getaway spot,” explained Katie Wolf.
Having a few great beers with some good friends after a long week of work is one of the greatest feelings in the world. So, it’s no surprise that Southern Grist Brewing Company was born from moments like that.
SGBC wants every person to experience that amazing feeling and that’s why they make beers for everyone – they want to make sure that every person that walks through their doors can find a style/beer they’ll enjoy while not feeling like a customer but, rather, a friend.
Jared Welch, the co-founder and head brewer, was nice enough to sit down with us and talk all about Southern Grist and craft beer.
Ike and Oak Brewing Company recently opened in Woodridge, IL as the city’s second brewery after Skeleton Key. They’re offering 11 of their beers on tap, a variety of pizza options – all in a large venue with an exposed brewhouse and TVs to show any upcoming games. Whether or not that’s conveniently located near you, here’s why you should come through Woodridge.
The addition of suburban-Chicago’s Oswego Brewing Company (May, 2018) further demonstrates that the craft beer industry is far from “too crowded.” Oswego Brewing has fit in nicely, thank you, and is drawing in its own new loyal crowd of craft beer fans. Operating out of spacious building — the town’s former fire station — and under the direction of the multi-award winning head brewer, Marc Wilson, Oswego Brewing deftly balances the art of offering sophisticated special releases alongside solid, versatile year-round and seasonal choices.
Brickstone Brewery has won medals at FoBAB, the World Cup, and GABF. One can find Brickstone at every Jewel, several Buffalo Wild Wings, throughout Guaranteed Rate Field (White Sox games), at beer fests — and even gas stations these days. It’s tough to find a Chicago-area bar without some tap handles adorned by Brickstone artwork. Yet, most Chicago-area beer fans have never been to Brickstone. Born of a family-restaurant in the 1990s, the Bourbonnais business added a brewery in 2006 and has since evolved into a dually-located, full-fledged, 9k to 10k barrel-per-year brewery (with a capacity for 18k) and, as it always has been, family restaurant. Located 45 miles south of downtown Chicago, Brickstone has simultaneously discovered a way to cater to its local clientele while also existing among the biggest names in Chicago beer.
Enter the BuckleDown Brewing taproom and you’ll find, among other elements, an arrangement of leather furniture around a table (barrel) that makes one feel as if they have been invited into the BuckleDown home. It’s a fitting setting for an inviting brewery where the people matter as much, if not more, than the beer served to them. Ironically, BuckleDown opened with a production mindset in place rather than a brewpub or any concept intended to draw people through the door. Nonetheless, people arrived and relationships were forged. Catering to people isn’t a business strategy at BuckleDown: it’s organic and genuine.
Many craft beer fans are apt to consider Fort Collins, Colorado as integral to the genesis of America’s craft beer boom. It’s not uncommon to hear this northern Colorado town described as the “Napa Valley of Craft Beer.” With this in mind, it is understandable that the introduction of any new brewery could prove challenging. It is an even more daunting task then to bring an established brewery from a foreign country and set up the first state-side shop in the former lot where long-time beer veterans Fort Collins Brewery stood (FCB was acquired by the Vancouver brewery last year). While a hefty endeavor indeed, the crew at Red Truck Beer Company relished the idea of such a challenge.
The Vancouver brewery opened the doors to the Truck Stop, their Fort Collins location, on August 17; they did not disappoint. We had the chance to discuss the opening with general manager, Laird Mulderink, who shared the process behind the opening. We also spoke with head brewer Shaun Salyards, previously of Fort Collins Brewery and Snowbank Brewing, who provided insight on the 18 (yes, 18) beers on tap.
For nearly seven years, Carton Brewing Company has exemplified life in New Jersey and the team has kept its focus on local, for-the-moment beers. The brewery opened on August 11, 2011 in Atlantic Highlands and it became the state’s 13th brewery. Owned by Augie Carton (who was previously an underwear salesman, among other professions) and his cousin Chris, the brewery is located where the owners were born and raised.
Don’t think of LaGrow Beer Company as an organic brewery; think of it as a family-owned brewery dedicated to using the purest ingredients imaginable, from soil to suds.
At LaGrow, the ingredients used are pure, which results in a beer abound in flavor and exceptionally crisp, clean and fresh. Even if one doesn’t care about ingesting chemicals, the resultant flavor derived from chemical-free ingredients is sure to please any beer drinker, from beer geek to macro fan.
Nestled in the southside of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania—a stone’s throw away from the Sands Casino, SteelStacks and Lehigh University’s Asa Packer Campus—is the little brewery that could. Going from a grand opening to two GABF medals in just over a year requires a lot of hard work, dedication and a metric shitload of positive thinking. The team at Bonn Place Brewing Company has all of these things, while still making the time to greet each and every patron as they enter (many of them by name).
The wall of barrels, two-deep and floor-to-ceiling, that stretches along the length of the brewhouse captures the eyes of those walking through the Scorched Earth Brewing taproom doors. The tantalizing tower of aged beer induces salivation in a manner that would make Pavlov proud. Still, the diverse beer menu and exceptionally warm, inviting taproom environment amounts to a brewery that is attractive to just about every type of beer drinker.
The recipe for each Alaskan Brewing beer is simple: Use authentic, regional ingredients; add creative ingenuity and throw in a dash of brewing history. Since 1986, Alaskan Brewing has enthusiastically embraced its Last Frontier location while simultaneously playing the role of craft beer pioneer.
“As a startup, you have the opportunity to self-distribute since nobody knows who you are,” said distributors to Sun King Brewery co-founder, Clay Robinson in 2009. Now, as Indiana’s second largest brewery and with numerous, prestigious brewing medals to its name, plenty of people know about Sun King Brewing.
Brewpubs are not a new trend by any means, as they have been in business in St. Louis since at least 1991, when The Schlafly Tap Room opened just west of downtown. However, the practice of pairing a limited or full menu with beer brewed under the same roof continues to grow more popular in St. Louis, and few do it better than Ferguson Brewing Company.
Tucked away in an industrial part of town near the old Fort Collins Airport, you’ll find a bright red building, originally an airplane hanger, and now a family-run brewery called Horse & Dragon Brewing. Inside, long community tables and round tops casually welcome you to put your phone away and have a seat. There are no TVs, live bands, or food trucks for entertainment. Instead, the brewery welcomes you to come in, grab a beer, chat with some friendly patrons or staff, and enjoy the moment. And immediately, you will feel welcome. There is an inexplicable vibe that Horse & Dragon exudes, that can only be attributed to owners Carol and Tim Cochran. Their love of craft beer and the Fort Collins community is poured into the brewery and here is their story.
In a craft-beer world abound in ales, a brewery focused on lagers can reap the benefits of exploring a whole new world of brewing innovation and experimentation. And that’s what you’ll find at Kinslahger Brewing in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Illinois,