#lager – PorchDrinking.com
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Almost one year after releasing its first bottled beer, Dovetail Brewery brings its signature Helles to cans. Beginning this week, locals can pick up a four-pack of the 16-ounce cans at the brewery’s North Center taproom.
After a sip of Jack’s Abby’s House Lager, it is understandable to think that you just tasted the Massachusetts brewery’s version of an Oktoberfest. Everything about the taste harkens back to the 1516 German Reinheitsgebot law that states only water, malt, yeast, and hops can be used to make beer. But there is something else about it that separates it from the other beers on the market. It has a maltier taste that splits the difference between nutty Oktoberfests and the standard golden lagers that belong at a summer barbecue.
Much like myself, Brooklyn Brewery’s Brooklyn Lager is an 80s baby, so naturally, we have a lot in common. And ironically—or maybe not so—this beautiful, golden brew entered my life two decades later, upon my first year as an adult living in NYC. With its green and black Milton Glaser logo and strong presence throughout the five boroughs, it seemed obvious this was a craft I needed on draft. Today, Brooklyn Lager reminds me of those long-hour work weeks that ended with a sweet, malty reward. Its ubiquitousness is one constant in this ever-changing city that never disappoints.
How I Met Your Mother did for my generation what Friends did for the one before. As a sitcom, it was never going to be subversive or show the realities of every day New Yorkers, but it certainly gave a better sense of what 20 and 30 somethings in the 2000s were really doing, and it wasn’t sitting in coffee shops. Sitting down with your friends for a few drinks at your local watering hole has been a part of American culture for generations, and HIMYM made it look great. Each of the main characters embodied a certain personality type, but with a level of complexity and fun that makes them perfect for an Ultimate 6er.
Somehow I’ve managed to go years without reviewing a single thing from Burial Beer Company, one of the better-known, Asheville-based brewers in North Carolina. Today we make an end to that with One For Me, Burial’s collaboration Helles Lager brewed with Other Half Brewing out of New York.
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,
I don’t need to introduce Call to Arms Brewing to most of you, because you’ve likely already heard all about it. I don’t need to tell you their Khores Ballroom Beer has become a staple in Denver, Golden and the rest of the world. I certainly don’t need to remind you Khores is delivered from a humble, though up-and-coming brewery modeled after an English-style pub in Denver’s Berkeley neighborhood.
Three friends, Jonathan Fritz, Stephen Bossu and Samantha Lee, went to the University of Illinois together and did some home brewing together. After college they went their separate ways, Stephen and Samantha got married, but they ultimately came back together and last year opened up Hopewell Brewing Company in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago.
ABV: 5.4% | IBU: 18
Do you have a propensity to get a little fresh with blondes? If you do, go to Helles… Samuel Adams Fresh as Helles Lager, that is.
Ahh, the Munich classic provides familiar tastes that comforts one like a blanket on a cold winter’s night, and when the beer is constructed by a modern craft brewer there is the added bonus of exquisite quality and innovation. Sam Adams Fresh as Helles is that combination of classic comfort with a modern craft-beer spin.
ABV: 5.1% | IBU: 15
Sitting on a busy part of Federal Boulevard in southwest Denver is a small noodle house. Inside this small noodle house sits dishes of soup dumplings, amazingly good pot stickers and other Chinese-Laotian dishes that recently made Lao Wang Noodle House #16 on The 50 Best Restaurants in Denver list, according to Zagat. What is most important, however, is the mouth-quenching Lao Wang Lager that is partnered with the food.
It’s the middle of October, the shelves are filled with gourdy beers and the temperatures are falling outside. If there’s one thing I love about fall evenings, it’s sitting inside and stuffing my face full of delicious treats. On this particular day, I decided butternut squash soup would be the perfect meal to accompany my Netflix binge-sesh. This ain’t your run of the mill butternut squash soup either – I filled it with apples, fennel, onions and garlic. To give it an extra kick, I tossed in a good amount of Kaiser – an Imperial Oktoberfest Lager by Avery Brewing that is chock full of festive spices. The final product is finished with a balsamic reduction drizzle and a few sourdough croutons. Make this meal, cuddle up on the couch, and never leave your house again.
This summer, I realized a decade-long dream: visiting Iceland. My wife and I spent two weeks exploring and experiencing waterfalls, glaciers, geysers, craters, lava fields, tiny towns with tiny restaurants, cracks in the earth, puffins, whales, lots and lots of blonde people, wide-open vistas, and, most importantly, Icelandic beer. (All of which has been chronicled here.)
Chicago is well known for many things. Second City, The Great Chicago Fire, Italian beef sandwiches…
But perhaps the most famous item to come out of Chicago is deep dish pizza. We came up with our Ultimate 6er of local Chicago beers that pair well with some of our favorite local Chicago pizza places.
With only a few days away from the largest Oktoberfest in the United States, it’s time to put on the drinking cap. Each year more than 500,000 people come to Cincinnati (aka Zinzinnati) to attend this rich German heritage event sampling German-style food, music and my favorite, beer.
Eighteen hours into a 30-hour day at Bierstadt Lagerhaus, brewer Ashleigh Carter looks down on her co-head brewer Bill Eye through the gilded sliding door of an 85-year-old German-engineered brewing vessel. The couple talk and joke while he rattles around inside, troubleshooting the decades old brew equipment.
ABV 5.3 % | IBU: 18
Summer isn’t over yet. There’s still time. There’s still time for cook-outs, boating the lake or river, bonfires, s’mores and a backyard game of bags. With my first child coming hard down the pike and store shelves already bloated with Oktoberfests and pumpkin beers, I keep telling myself there’s still time to tick-off the activities on my summer must-do list. So perhaps that’s in part why I’m completely enamored with an easy drinking, well-rounded, and totally crushable beer from Crystal Lake Brewing.
For a brewing landscape as diverse as American craft beer, there appears to be only two camps which breweries occupy when it comes to location: remote, rustic, farmhouse-style outfits steeped in terrior, or urban and suburban operations in refurbished warehouses or corrugated steel garages hidden amongst industrial parks.
Days before the craziness of Chicago Craft Beer Week (CCBW), I was offered the opportunity to tour soon-to-open Dovetail Brewery, which is co-owned, operated and run by Bill Wesselink and Hagen Dost. What better way to begin the beer week, than with a preview of the next chapter of Chicago’s burgeoning beer scene.
Dovetail is a reference to the carpenter’s joint of interlocking boards, it is famed for its resistance to being pulled apart. As Bill so elegantly expressed, “It’s coming together to make a stronger brewery. A mix of old and new, American and European to create what we feel is our interpretation.”
ABV: 5.75% | IBU: 19
We already know KelSo Beer Co. as a do-good brewery in Brooklyn with an expert brewer backing the name. What hasn’t been vicariously delivered from my words to your tastebuds however, is the incredibly simple but flavor-packed lineup that KelSo has to offer year round. I’m coming back to this favorited brewery of my PorchDrinking’s past with another promising must-try recommendation: Nut Brown Lager.