#lager – 2/3 – PorchDrinking.com
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.
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.