#breweryshowcase Archives – PorchDrinking.com
You’ve heard of Dad Bod. If you haven’t, it’s worth crawling out of the rock you’ve been living under to grab some. For starters, Dad Bod is back. More importantly, the brewery behind Dad Bod Hazy Lager, Urban Brew Labs, recently opened their first taproom. Since 2018, Urban Brew Labs has been distributing beer in the Chicagoland area. They began as draft-only and have since evolved to offer cans and draft beer to the market. Now, you can enjoy their beers (along with guest taps) at their very own taproom in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago.
Who doesn’t love a good puzzle? Not the boxed variety, with multiple pieces that we are all too familiar with recently. Instead, one involving riddles, obscure references and ever-evolving hints. Typically, new breweries want to be discovered, pairing opening weekends with long lines, endless tags on Instagram and sold out items. For Hidden Hand Brewing, however, the allure is driven by the secrecy, coded messages and small batch offerings. It’s more than a new beer offering. It’s a masterly crafted limited release highlighting the top hop variants in the industry. The beer is as hard to get your hands on as it is to decipher the riddles—unless you’re paying attention.
Ravinia Brewing opened a second brewpub in Logan Square, nearly two years after the brewery brewed their first batch of beer in the same neighborhood. Ravinia’s second brewpub location opened to the public on Friday May 7. The brewery has been around since 2017, where they began distributing from their Highland Park facility, which later become the location to house their first brewpub.
When Katherine and Chris Valleau say they built Exit Strategy Brewing Co. from scratch, they’re not kidding. “When we first walked into the building, the skylight was hanging down from the ceiling and there were birds flying around. Everything had been stripped. No plugs. No running water. Only four walls,” said Katherine. Nearly six years later, the couple has turned that once empty space into a popular, name-brand brewpub (food and beer), frequented by locals and often visited by traveling craft-beer aficionados.
From the street, the draw of Elsewhere Brewing is evident and hard to ignore. The vibrant colors bounce off the white brick and the allure of the painted greenery pulls you to a table. Place is a powerful tool and weighs down heavily on experiences and memories. This sentiment is present in the look and feel throughout the brewery.
The North Pole goes dark for months at a time during the winter months, which also happens to be the time when the indigenous elves work their hardest. The elves, of course, serve the world’s most famous philanthropist, Santa Claus. But, with a harsh and brutal winter comes the need to kick back with friends and enjoy a good beer or two and that’s where North Pole Brewing comes into play. The brewery, and its head brewer Abigail Cornelious, have so far enjoyed resounding success.
When Roaring Table Brewery won the 2020 USA Today Readers’ Choice “Best New Brewery” award, it didn’t come because the brewery engaged heavily in a marketing strategies, nor did it come from chasing trends or a producing a series of sexy releases. Beth May and Lane Fearing, married couple and founders of Roaring Table Brewing, created a brewery that at its heart and soul is a neighborhood tavern or pub that just happens to serve some of the best beer in town.
“Beer is more than just a drink; it’s an experience,” said Lane, who serves as Roaring Table head brewer.
Nestled in the new Edgewater Marketplace at 5505 W 20th Ave Suite 178 in Edgewater, CO, Barquentine (bar-kin-teen) Brewing Company is Belgian inspired with an American twist. Its namesake is an ode to the large ships that are common to international merchant ports like Antwerp, Belgium. Owner Kyle Knudson is hoping to recreate the feel of sailors from around the globe exchanging stories and a laugh over a local beer in Barquentine’s new taproom.
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.