#farmhouseale – PorchDrinking.com
What’s better on a Sunday afternoon than kicking back with a craft beer? This rye farmhouse ale by Birds Fly South will make you wish that every day was a “Rustic Sunday.” Read on to discover what makes this beer so approachable, crisp, and tart, and why it calls for soaking in every moment on laid back, lazy afternoons.
On a recent trip to Austin, Texas, my wife Jenna and I paid a visit to Roughhouse Brewing in nearby San Marcos. Alex Pasternak, co-founder and creative lead, was gracious enough to show us around the brewery during off hours and let us sample some Roughhouse beers, including their Sordid Nature Dark Saison.
Suarez Family Brewery focuses on three broad styles including, per their website, “ales of mixed fermentation, unfiltered lagers and other crispy little beers.” The brewery specializes in making refined, humble beer, a unifying theme connecting these styles. Crescent, their “Belgian inspired refresher” is no exception. Though just a few years old, Suarez Family Brewery has demonstrated mastery that often takes decades to acquire.
This summer has been a filled with near constant travel to celebrate the weddings of those nearest and dearest to me. As such, they know exactly what info I need when I get to each place. Just as fate joins two strangers to cross paths and join each other in marriage, fate placed my friend’s wedding in Mt. Angel, Oregon; which is home to one of three true monk-run breweries in the nation, Benedictine Brewery. Obviously I had to check it out – as well as sample the namesake, St. Benedict Farmhouse Ale.
Santa Fe, New Mexico, was the first capital city in North America. In this historical place with centuries of traditions, there’s a small-scale independent brewery that offers playful twists to classic beer styles. Chantal, their robust French saison, shows this brewery’s passion for brewing.
The nearly four-year-old Denver brewery, Call to Arms Brewing (CTA), won a 2018 World Cup gold in the Fresh or Wet Hop Ale category for a beer inspired by the crew’s love of Billy Madison with its More Like Bore-O-Phyll. In September, during GABF week, the brewery held its third annual [email protected]#*ing Call to Arms Catalina Wine Mixer! Simply, the brewery deftly intertwines the art of sophisticated beer production with relaxed, easy-going fun. And, the recent release of Really, Really, Ridiculously Good Tasting (RRRGT), a farmhouse ale aged in Chardonnay barrels with Brett Claussennii only further cements that concept; one should not feel compelled to stick out one’s pinky—just kick back and enjoy a beer that’s really, really, ridiculously good.
In the Cleveland, OH area, there are breweries that most of the locals and others who are not so local mention right away as must-visits. The Bottlehouse Brewery and Meadery has become a steady favorite for many craft beer fans. This taproom and brewery has been receiving a larger number of recommendations from those who have experienced the beer, the mead, the cider and the sours created over the past six years.
Today, the beer gracing the spotlight is a more exotic ale, one that has received a bit more press this past year. It also happens to be on tap and in bottles this month, so the time was ripe to share this beautiful beverage with a wider audience. Let me introduce you to The Bottlehouse Brewery and Meadery’s Spring Gruit.
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.
Originally Published August 23, 2013
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Farmhouse Ale | Dry-hopped Saison
It’s an early spring morning, the first bit of sunlight on the horizon peeks through my south-eastern facing window and I begin to stir. The chickadees and robins are creating quite the early morning chatter. It’s more peaceful than my usual weekday alarm but I still grumble and roll over covering my head with my pillow. 5:30am – seriously?! I think to myself. As I try and coax myself back to sleep, I’m inundated by the crisp spring morning air wafting through my windows. Laden with pollen the air is ripe and wonderful. It’s what I’m sure Charmin was shooting for, but fell far short of, in their “Spring Breeze” detergent. The sun climbs higher in my window and I become more aware of the beautiful spring aromatics- growth, pollination, snow run-off and life. As the Colorado spring transitions to summer, I walk to the farmers market. On my way I cross Boulder Creek, a run-off fueled torrent raging through the middle of town. The sounds of earth erosion are almost deafening; I’m humbled knowing that what I’m hearing is but a fraction of the change the Boulder Creek watershed will see in its lifetime. The farmers’ market is bustling with people; young, old, families, children and smiling faces. I walk past a small stand on the northern side of the market and a 6-year-old boy Jason greets me. The Plowshares farmstand has the most beautiful arrangement of spring vegetables. After conversing with Jason about the creek, playground and squirrels I’m warmed from the inside by his charm and joy. I purchase a bundle of beets, mizuna, collard greens, and a bag of mixed salad greens from his mother. Walking back through the market the ripe aromas of fresh herb starter plants consume me. Basil, cilantro, parley, rosemary, thyme and lemongrass create an unforgettable floral bouquet.
This past weekend I volunteered pouring beers at the Portland Fresh Hops Festival. The event is an annual tribute to our love of lupulin-laden libations that are crafted within hours of the hop harvest. While the vast majority of breweries showcased their share of lagers and pale ales, IPAs and CDAs, there was one beer that really stood out to me. Logsdon Farmhouse Ales’ Fresh Hop Seizoen piqued the interest of my taste buds in a way that no other fresh hop beer has. After about ten 4 oz. samplers of hop-forward beers, a subtly-hopped Belgian Saison was just what the doctor ordered. The Fresh Hop Seizoen from Hood River, OR is 7.5% ABV and really opened up a new perspective on fresh-hopped beers for me.