#midwest Archives – PorchDrinking.com
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.
There are only a few short weeks left until the beauty of the fall has faded away and the realization that a Midwest winter is on the horizon. While many states in the Midwest still struggle with high cases of COVID-19 outbreaks, that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities to safely enjoy Wisconsin’s autumn brews and views before brisk fall weather and and its beauty gives way to winter’s chill.
Despite taprooms continuing to stay closed in light of COVID-19, there’s no shortage of local beer releases, especially as we approach the summer months. Although May hardly counts as a “summer month” here in Chicago, we’re staying optimistic for warmer days. Courtesy of Copenhagen is a recent pick-up that will bring you to that feeling of enjoying a sunny summer day.
There’s a lot to love about Northbound Smokehouse and Brewpub. Their wings are voted one of the best in the Twin Cities, their fried chicken sandwich is Food Network famous and their patio is one of the best places to bring your four-legged friend in Minnesota’s treasured patio months.
The fabric of our world is changing by the hour. As the structure around us shifts, one can sometimes feel helpless seeing friends, family and businesses that they love face significant uncertainty. While self-isolating and staying inside, one of the largest roles that many of us can help fill is supporting local business.
As Michiganders acclimate to sheltering in place, it’s important we find the right beer to hibernate with. Something dark, something sweet, something boozy. Something to lend a reprieve from the newsfeed. Lo and behold, City Built Brewing Company’s 5 Hour Stout, a pastry stout brewed with obscene amounts of coconut and vanilla. It’s thick enough to put a bear to sleep so it should do the trick for those intent on napping away the next few weeks.
Probably one of the smallest venues for a beer festival out there, the intimacy of Thalia Hall creates part of the charm of Uppers and Downers, one of the top festivals showcasing the versatility of coffee. Moving to a Sunday for the first time since the inaugural event, the day change didn’t impact the crowd size as once again beer and coffee lovers alike packed the Pilsen music venue for two sessions of coffee beers, cocktails, and more.
Great Lakes Brewing Company (GLBC) recently announced their lineup for 2020. Some of the highlights from their announcement includes canning Dortmunder Gold Lager, Great Lakes IPA, and Mexican Lager with Lime, as well as two new Legendary Series offerings and a Limited Release bottle series.
From what I can gather, HOMES doesn’t give a rat’s ass about pleasing the masses. Visit their ultra-mod taproom in Ann Arbor—golden-age hip-hop bumping, precious little bao for the eating—and you’ll notice a distinct lack of styles to try. No ambers, no browns, no stouts, no wheats. Their draft list features almost exclusively fruited sours, such as their Sherbet Series, hazy IPAs and maybe a stray sour IPA for good measure.
Coffee is a vitally important part of my life. Those long cold Chicago nights staying up late with an infant calls for coffee by the pot full, and if my body wasn’t dependent on caffeine before, it sure is now. I’ve always been a big fan of coffee stouts, and Uppers and Downers is one of my favorite Chicago beer festivals during the winter months. As breweries are experimenting more with how coffee and different beer styles and mesh, quite a few different and unique offerings are becoming more readily available, such as Kentucky Coffee Barrel Cream Ale, and it’s a goldmine for both coffee and beer lovers.
As another year comes to a close, we’d like to look back at the past 12 months on some of our favorite beers we had that came out of Midwest breweries.
With the number of breweries increasing, it becomes harder and harder to narrow down a list, but we have a handful of Midwest writers who contributed their favorite beers of 2019.
Craft beer’s shift into alternative beverages has been one of the biggest trends of 2019. The most notable addition to many brewing portfolios has been spiked seltzer, which appeals to a new subset of drinkers, expanding the brewery’s revenue stream in the process. Craft breweries rolling out new spiked seltzer lines doesn’t generate the same type of headlines it did earlier this year, but mead spritzer? That’s a different story entirely. With many brewers zigging into seltzer, St. Louis-based Schlafly Beer has decided to zag, unveiling Boomerang Mead Spritzer, a new-age beverage that amplifies Schafly’s desire to differentiate themselves from the brewing competition. To learn more about what inspired Schlafly to delve into mead spritzer, we asked Schlafly Lead Brewer Jared Williamson.
Sara Stathes co-owns The Barrel House in Dayton, Ohio, with her husband, Gus. The Barrel House is a beer bar and bottle shop with 17 beer taps and shelves stocked with amazing bottles and cans, and it’s become something of a second living room for Dayton beer lovers. Sara is the beer buyer for The Barrel House, and folks like Sara who are in charge of buying packaged and draft beer have a unique perspective on what’s popular in the beer world at any given moment. I sat down with her recently to get her insight about craft beer in 2019.
It’s baaaaaack. At the beginning of the month, Fair State Brewing Cooperative reintroduced its highly regarded seasonal collaboration with San Diego’s Modern Times Beer – Spirit Foul, a double dry-hopped hazy IPA for the ages.
Contract brewing out of Octopi Brewing in Waunakee, WI, Humble Forager will use some of FBC’s favorite recipes to create a series of rotating pastry stouts, hazy DIPAs and fruited sour ales. The beers will be distributed to bars and liquor stores in Wisconsin, Minnesota and select locations in the Southeast in early 2020.