#midwest Archives – PorchDrinking.com
Join us as we road trip across the United States in what is to be a follow-up article to the Craft Beer Across America article. In that article, we explored a craft beer from every state (excluding districts and territories) to showcase some of the unknown, or lesser-known, craftier beers that the U.S. craft beer scene has to offer. While that article focused mainly on the beers, this article focuses on specific breweries from a region we think would be fun to visit. We’re going to sprinkle in a couple of bigger craft breweries in each six-brewery regional section just to help spread the word for some of the not-so-big breweries in the mix.
The first brewery cast in the Spotlight in 2023, Phase Three Brewing is a welcomed addition to this growing series. A culmination of three phases of built relationships, experience and passion, the story behind this young brewery never ceases to garner continued support. We had the opportunity to speak with Shaun Berns, co-founder and Head Brewer at Phase Three, to not only learn more about his passion project as a whole but to hear specifically about their impressive barrel program that has people across the country talking.
While many breweries may claim it to be unspoken, there has undoubtedly been good-spirited competition across the country when it comes to the realm of barrel-aging. Whether it be the value placed on selected barrels versus adjuncts, formulas for length of aging time to establish a specific finishing gravity, tweaking the interplay of base malt and barrel, or the variation of countless other factors throughout the process, every brewery has their own way of creating a product that is both unique and marketable.
Once per year, as the days grow shorter and the nights grow long and cold, her coven gathers for their annual worship. Her face appears on the clothes of her devotees as they flock under the Autumn Equinox, anxiously awaiting her return.
Few things are more satisfying than a well-crafted lager on a warm day. Crisp, clean and cold… it’s better than water. Add a lime, and it’s borderline euphoria.
Hey Big Spender, spend a little time with me. Who wouldn’t want to spend some quality time with the newest Triple IPA from BKS Artisan Ales? BKS resides in the Brookside neighborhood of Kansas City, MO. The small upstart brewery has become a local favorite and is starting to gain popularity nationally as well.
If you haven’t yet heard of Moor’s Brewing, then you haven’t been paying attention. While the brewery is only about eight months old, Moor’s is seeing early success and momentum through their ever-growing list of distribution partners, a current residency at Haymarket Brewing and many more partnerships and events in the pipeline.
As a native Wisconsinite and a current Chicagoan, Dry January has never been something I have attempted before. After a heavily celebrated December (and negative COVID tests abound), I knew this year was the time to take the plunge. Despite two full beer fridges from advent calendars and friends leaving beer at my home, I went into January with a strong resolve. Below are the tips and tricks I learned throughout the month so anyone who wants to attempt a dry month can hopefully also be successful!
Since 1987, the Great Taste of the Midwest has been a chance for Midwest breweries and beer lovers to converge on Madison, Wisconsin to enjoy some of the region’s best beers. This past Saturday the tradition continued with some new safety precautions, but that didn’t impact the festival which once again brought the beer community together.
One of the most well-known and beloved beer festivals in the country returns! Great Taste of the Midwest will be happening on August 14, albeit at a much smaller capacity.
Everything will be at 50% capacity, from guest attendance to breweries, in order to make the event as safe as possible. 5,000 tickets were sold and 100 breweries were invited to pour and, even though that meant a lot more people had to be turned away and a lot more breweries were not able to participate, Chairman Jason Walters said that everyone has been very understanding with the limitations.
The rivalry between Missouri’s two biggest cities, Kansas City and St. Louis, is well-known and long-standing. From the Royals and the Cardinals to toasted ravioli and barbecue, ask any resident which city is the best, and you’ll be met with an impassioned and detailed defense of their hometown. You’re either a Kansas City person or a St. Louis person — never both.
However, the rivalry is all in good fun — with the exception of the 1985 World Series — and while fierce, it’s not uncommon for the two cities to unite for a greater cause. Whether Team St. Louis or Team Kansas City, residents have a few things in common: they love beer, they love their city and they love their home state.
Have you ever had a “Cold IPA?” No, we are not talking about the one that you just pulled from the refrigerator. The history of a Cold IPA is relatively new, but the development is credited to Wayfinder Beer out of Portland, Ore. Cold IPAs are a thing of beauty and smell the part too. On one side, you have that smell of the hoppiness from an IPA. On the other, you have that clean, crisp style of a lager. Do not mistake these as IPLs, which seems to be a common thread.
The folks of the North start to rejoice this time of year because it means warmer days ahead and the start of the baseball season. It also means we’ve made it out of the brutal winter and into beers of the warmer seasons. The thick and dark beers are still around. But, we are starting to see a seasonal change to juicer beers that one can enjoy on patios or sitting in the stadium of your favorite baseball team — Back Channel Brewing Titles is the ideal beer for that.
Wax Wings Brewing Company’s love for IPA runs deep. In this past year alone, their Into the Labyrinth series has received seventeen iterations, each batch allowing for dynamic experimentation in process and flavor. Like Daedelus from the titular Icarus myth, owner Rob Hopkins is driven by a desire to invent and innovate—to approach the sun without torching his wings. He could talk hops until he’s green in the face so when asked he happily divulged details on what some might consider their crowning achievement: V.
Dry January looked much different this year. Now, more than ever, local breweries need consumers’ support to survive. We continue to live through the pandemic and continuous major historical events. As a result, many have decided this isn’t the year to cut out drinking for a month (or at all).
However, for those who participated in alcohol abstinence, you didn’t have to sacrifice flavor. Recently, there has been a surge of non-alcoholic (NA) options in the market. Additionally, there are breweries solely dedicated to it. Meet Wellbeing Brewing Company, a Missouri-based craft brewery focused on non-alcoholic beers. They offer a range of NA styles, all consisting of 0% alcohol but thankfully–plenty of flavor.
As an organism’s genetic sequence twists and changes, sometimes happy accidents occur, forever altering the course of a species. Fish switched fins for feet, lizards grew wings and took to the sky and here we are with livers, fine-tuned for processing the world’s delicious beer.
It’s arguable there’s no better way to indulge yourself than by taking a getaway. To unplug, decompress and reset is truly a gift. However, our getaways look very different this year, if they’re happening at all. Luckily, Humble Forager Brewery, whose mission is to offer thoughtful, specialty beers wherever adventure takes you, is providing ways to indulge during this difficult time, including a new Pastry Porter
It’s that time of year in Chicago where none of us are quite sure what season it is. Our 8 A.M. outfit is often inappropriate by noon. ‘BYOB’ now means ‘bring your own blanket’. Our Instagram feeds are either flooded with complaints about snow or praise for a random stint of sunshine. Should you still grasp onto the very few remaining Oktoberfest beers floating around the city, the often-polarizing pumpkin offerings, or go full-on stout season? There’s no wrong answer. However, may I offer a recommendation? Apricot Sour IPA.
Innovation is all around us, and there is so much innovation that goes into making great craft beer. Innovation can be the equipment at each brewery, or the hand-selected ingredients by the brewers, or those trendy new labels on each can. You find yourself wondering, how the heck did they do that, or what made them think of that? Doing a Google search for “beer patents” returns 603 patents just in the brewing process alone. If you keep digging down that rabbit hole, you will start to find other patents related to craft beer, items as genius as the Beerbrella. The beauty of craft beer, it will always innovate.
Wolf’s Ridge Brewing head brewer Chris Davison found out his brewery had won two medals at the Great American Beer Festival in the most 2020 way possible: over Zoom while getting his daughter ready for bed. The Columbus, Ohio, brewery’s team had a company Zoom call going while the awards were announced virtually from Denver. Chris had bedtime duties, and parenting supersedes brewing.