#imperialstout – PorchDrinking.com
Despite its neighbor to the south being named Beer Capital of America, Wisconsin’s breweries are plentiful and still sling some pretty damn good beer. While New Glarus might be the destination of choice for those on a Wisconsin beercation, braving the shivering Midwest January weather and making the drive a little farther north brings you to the small town of Amherst, home of Central Waters Brewing. Expect the journey to be arduous as you attempt to avoid snowdrifts, slippery country roads, rogue cows and Green Bay Packer Fans. However, you’ll be rewarded by visiting a brewery that brews one of my favorite winter beers from America’s Dairyland.
It’s the holiday season and everyone is buzzing around trying to find the best beer to share with friends and family. Most of us are also traveling to visit family—which means planes, trains and automobiles (like the movie, but hopefully less crazy). I personally took Amtrak to Grand Junction, Colorado, to visit family and it was great! What I did miss was the gas station coffee during pit stops. Thankfully, I was able to get the flavor without the hectic drive from California to Colorado!
Cheer and happiness and all that festive crap is important, I suppose. But once in a while, the get-off-my-lawn crowd needs a shoutout. If you love the holidays and feel all warm and tingly at the sight of fresh December snow, this ain’t the article for you, Cindy Lou Who. This one’s for the grinches, the scrooges, the grown Charlie Browns; the curmudgeonly and cantankerous cranks of the world.
My promise to you right off the bat, is that there will be no cute rhymes here. If there’s anything I hate more than holiday music, it’s the nauseating rhymes companies try to incorporate into everything. Between the stress of shopping, the weather, traffic and that unbearable Mariah Carey song, we need an Ultimate 6er – and not just any 6er – to get us through to New Year’s Day. There are 12 shopping days left until Christmas, and today is 12/12. So here’s a 6er of beers that are all at least 12% ABV to pair with the season’s most pervasive annoyances.
There’s a Talking Heads song you probably know if you were old enough to drink when Great Divide’s Yeti Imperial Stout was released. David Byrne’s songs weren’t always coherent, lyrically, but damn it if they weren’t cool. As I get older, this line often runs through my head: And you may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?
How Great Divide got here was through the vision and hard work of founder Brian Dunn. In the ‘80s, while Talking Heads were writing songs about buildings and food, Dunn was overseas building farms in developing countries. When he returned to Colorado, he started homebrewing and went to grad school. When Great Divide officially launched in 1994, Dunn was the only full-time employee – brewing, bottling and selling the beer himself. After some fantastic initial success, Great Divide bought a building (an old dairy processing plant) in downtown Denver in 2001.
Hope everyone is ready for some smoking good beers…get it?! Cause it’s 4/20? Yeah, I don’t care either. What I do care about is some of the tasty brews that are starting to peek out before spring weather greets us all – Saisons, IPA, and fruited beers! In case you aren’t in a place that is hitting 60+ degrees Fahrenheit, crack that heater, put on a pair of shorts, crack a cold one and see What We’re Drinking.
SF Beer Week has come and gone, but friends, there is no one more excited it’s over than my dog! You read that right, Little Juno is more than happy her furrents aren’t out gallivanting around the East Bay and are available for cuddle sessions on a Thursday evening. No matter what your local weather, be it snow or sun, our writers are enjoying some tasty beverages. Kick up your feet, crack a cold one, and see what we’re drinking.
I’ve been drinking a lot of imperial stouts. Unlike most, I believe every season is stout season. Luckily for me it’s February and I don’t get flak for drinking a 12% Russian imperial stout. The proliferation of adjuncts to the market has been interesting. Brewers adding coffee, vanilla, cocoa, peppers, mint, you name it. While fun for the palate, I still prefer an adjunct-free stout. Let that malt shine, those chocolate and coffee notes should develop alone. One favorite is Cavatica Stout from Fort George Brewing.
Lately, there has been quite a few articles about the rise of pastry stouts and why this is a problem, such as this recent article from the Chicago Tribune that argues we’re forgetting what beer tastes like. In case you did not know, a pastry stout is beerspeak for liquid dessert. Most often, pastry stouts include cacao nibs, vanilla, coconut and other adjuncts that help enhance the stout to emulate sweet treats.
The pastry stout debate, IMO, is moot. As craft beer continues to diversify, so do our taste buds. What is beer supposed to taste like nowadays? The answer is no longer “hoppy,” but subjective. It could be barrel-aged and malty, super hazy or fruity. The craft beer landscape is vast and ever-changing, with new hop varieties, ingredients, and techniques that pop up every day. Whether you’re a Reinheitsgebot beer purist, or you prefer your beer to taste like a chocolate bomb, the beauty of craft beer is that there is something for everyone. And pastry stouts, much like other styles of beer, if done well, are fantastic. WeldWerks Brewing‘s Peanut Butter Cup Achromatic Imperial Stout is one such example.
After just a short time in line to get through security and ID checks, I made my way into the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia, PA. I grabbed a sample glass with a green Sierra Nevada’s logo stamped on it and thanked the volunteers as I made my way into the festival grounds. Once in, I scanned the venue to see which tent to hit first. It can sometimes seem overwhelming when you first get into a beer festival, seeing the vast amount of choices with all the breweries lined up one after another. No choice is a bad one, but, personally, I was looking to begin the day off right at Beer Camp.
It’s not every day I see a 12 oz. can of beer sold with its own box. It reminds me of drinking a PBR tall boy out of a brown paper bag on NJ Transit. But, that’s Pabst and this is BrewDog Paradox Rye, a 15% ABV cask-aged beast of an imperial stout that, I suppose, gives it the right to be stored in a tiny cardboard container. Coming from the brewers of taxidermied squirrel fame, this could be regarded by many as nothing special, but as per the norm, I am a total sucker for clever beer marketing. Thus, this little box of madness pulled me right in.
Featured photo contributed by The Bruery
The Bruery’s forecast calls for a 100% chance of rain… Chocolate Rain that is, and we couldn’t be more excited. What began as a single cask of beer that was released in 2009 for a Black Tuesday release event has since become a, wait for it, legendary brew that members of The Bruery’s exclusive beer societies have enjoyed. But for the first time on March 24, Chocolate Rain will be pouring for all.
ABV 9.1 | IBU 45
The sun dipped below the North Pole’s horizon long ago — not to be seen again until March. The relentless darkness creates indescribable arctic cold that marches southward all winter. But, there’s more than just frosty breezes arriving from the north, there’s Imperial Stout — Two Brothers Brewing Northwind Imperial Stout.
In a few short weeks, Christmas will be here followed by New Year’s. Before I celebrate those two holidays, I have one more special occasion to celebrate–my birthday! Next week, I will be turning 31 and though I …
Finally, the season is changing. The days are shorter, the nights are cooler, and the leaves are making a quick exit from the trees. I mean let’s face it… this was an unending summer. It’s all anyone talked about. We needed low alcohol brews that were loaded with fruit, because if we drank anything heavier, we may have literally died. Or melted. Or burst into flames. It was seriously hot out there.
Header image courtesy of Hops About Beer
Style: Imperial Stout | ABV: 12%
This past weekend marked a milestone for me in my beer drinking journey. I have been diligently tracking every beer that I have drank for the past three years, and thanks to my liver and the app Untappd, I have finally reached 1000 unique beers!
If you’ve ever had a freeze-dried ice cream sandwich, you’d remember flavor that was not overwhelming. More subtle than apparent, the taste of food designed to be consumed in outer space probably peaked your interest for reasons other than edibility. As …
ABV: 10.7% | IBU: 22
There are those days that just become overwhelming at a certain point. Where it seems that the daily grind keeps testing your boundaries with an escalating level of small crimes against your sanity. Well, I’d …
St. Louis is quietly becoming a hub for some of the country’s best craft beer. Currently Schlafly Beer is available in 13 states and Washington DC. They feature a great variety of year-round beers, seasonals and special release brews. The process of aging beers in bourbon barrels is no longer a novelty, but a norm in the craft beer industry now. Schlafly has two beers in their wood aged series and one of them is their Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout.
ABV: 8.5% | IBU: N/A
Apex’s own Brüeprint has been making a name for themselves in the greater Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area since opening their vats in the summer of 2014. They produce several year-round brews and a handful of seasonals. In addition, they …