#lager – 2/3 – PorchDrinking.com
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.
ABV: 6.1% | IBU: 30
I’ve been a lager lover ever since my college study abroad semester in Germany. Those minimalist, four-ingredient beers served as my first introduction to good beer and opened the door to the rabbit hole of beer that I’ve been falling down ever since (Vielen Dank, Rothaus!).
After coming back to the U.S. though, it was difficult to find any American lagers on par with what Germany was churning out. And imports just never held up after the international travel. Plus, with the American craft ale boom starting to really ramp up, it was easy to get taken with the tide. So my lager love was cellared until I could return to Germany again.
Except there’s been a steadily growing American craft lager movement, and I’m definitely late to the party (thanks for distracting me, sour beers!). So it’s time to bust out my cellared lager passion and shout my lager praises Zicke Zacke style, for Metropolitan Brewing’s Afterburner Oktoberfest.
I have to admit, I am not really one for Lagers but for some reason a Helles always seems to appeal to me, especially 4 Noses Brewing Company’s Hiker’s Helles. If you aren’t yet familiar with this style …
I was brutally reminded yesterday that it’s almost August. Not only did that mean rent was due, but summer is flying by fast. If you live in the Midwest, you know that means you are soon going to be slapped in the face with 4-8 months of winter, depression and an overall desperation for spring to arrive to save you from the depths of Hell.
Instead of focusing on all that nonsense, I will try to embrace the rest of the summer, and take advantage of all the great seasonal summer beers, some you can still buy all year round, and some you can’t. Either way, any of these beers will add a little sparkle to the remaining summer.
ABV: 5.1% | IBU: Low
Out in rural, eastern North Carolina, there lies a town called Kinston. Kinston boasts as the home of at least a couple of highly notable entities: Mother Earth Brewery and the Chef and the Farmer, a fine-dining restaurant with its own show on PBS. Since we’re all about the beer here at PorchDrinking.com, I’ll leave the food commentary for another day, but I thought I should mention it in case any of you find yourself in the area.
Krampus: an under-appreciated mythic figure during the holiday season. That is, up until recently. We have always received the stories and quaint images of good old St. Nicholas, the jolly fellow who gives the “good” kids gifts in their stockings. Krampus is the imp-like figure that, depending on the European myth, bestows upon the naughty kids bad gifts or even kidnaps them and brings them to his lair. Sounds pleasant…
Thankfully, the Krampus that I will be talking more about today is the complete opposite from our devilish comrade; it is a present provided to us from Southern Tier, and it is the perfect refreshment for any of your December festivities.
Mid-September: that between-the-seasons limbo. Labor Day has passed. The first day of fall has not yet arrived with its tantalizing cool. With a nod to many individuals’ preferences for certain beers hitting stores at just the right moment, I present to you a sweet and approachable Märzen from the state of Ohio, Thirsty Dog’s Barktoberfest, perfect for this time of shifting seasons.
ABV: 5.0% | IBU: 20
I attended a soirée recently. Have any of you ever attended a soirée? If not, it’s just like a party, only with a French word. My younger brother and his wife hosted it at their place. …
There are few things I love more than the serendipity of walking through the doors to a New York City saloon, and almost instantly, falling in love with a lager. This past month, not only did I find love, but it was a winner in the most literal sense.
Everyone has a hard day at work every once in a while. You know, the one where you come home and want to do nothing but turn on the TV and watch Tosh.0 until your brain turns into jelly. And you’re thirsty – very thirsty. You need a drink that will let you take your mind off of everything. I love a quality geuze or a big Belgian quad, but sometimes I need to give my palate a bit of a break. Sitting down to a copy of Ulysses can be a rewarding challenge, but sometimes I just want to read The Hunger Games. So I crack a Yuengling Lager and zone out.
Pecan pie has long been a staple in the South, and Terrapin and Cigar City have joined forces to pay homage to the timeless dessert (and sometimes breakfast). Brewed with vanilla beans and pecans, the Southern Slice is a Munich lager that pours an opaque dark brown to black, with a beige colored, lacey head that dissipates quickly. The nose is primarily pecan, with a grainy malt background.
There’s nothing more horrifying than the disgusted look on your guests faces as they try a beer that you’re particularly enamored with. Ever have a time when your family wasn’t quite that impressed with the girl/guy you brought home for the first time? Yeah, it’s kind of like that. You go in thinking you’ll be the life of the party, but end up rationalizing your decision to bring that 8-9% sour to a group of Keystone drinkers.*
By the time this weekend comes around I will have written close to 5,000 words on beer, interviewed the head of the “best brewery in the world” , driven over 500 miles visiting breweries, and taken more pictures of pints than I care to admit. I love doing this, but even the best things can be exhausting, especially since those numbers only scratch the surface of how much thought I try to put into every post and that is not easily quantifiable. Yes, it’s beer and beer is great, but it’s also writing and writing is hard. At the end of the “day,” which seldom is only 24 hours, my brain needs a quick reboot. After years of highly scientific research, I’ve come up with the perfect reset button: a good, long run and a bottle of the adequately named Jack’s Abby’s Leisure Time Lager.
As the age-old tradition goes, when the parents come to town, you have them treat you to dinner at places that are a bit (or a lot) out of your price range. I personally do not think this pasttime will ever fade, as my family loves exploring new places and sampling interesting eats, and (to be perfectly honest) I am always willing to let someone else pick up the check. As the fam visited the District this past weekend, I, of course, packed our itinerary with delicious prospects from new and old favorite restaurants. One particular gem is The Pig on 14th Street. As a member of the EatWell family, The Pig specializes in a more local, sustainable, and – when possible – farm-to-table approach to food. Beyond the merits of its laudable approach to sourcing ingredients, this place just makes a lot of very tasty, pork-filled dishes.