northeast Archives – PorchDrinking.com
Happy New Year! When we began this series last year, we had no idea what to expect. No one was quite prepared for the sheer magnitude of support Alex Kidd and his family would receive after his cancer diagnosis, but it’s been incredible to watch unfold. This series powers ahead into the new year, beginning with Fox Farm Brewery in Salem, Connecticut.
This series has been a humbling experience. Not only have we had the opportunity to cover more participating breweries than we ever thought, but we have also seen endless generosity both in support of these installments and, more importantly, in support of Alex Kidd as he continues to fight for his life. Timber Ales is the next feature in Collaborating for a Cause, and we had the privilege of talking with Owner and Brewer Jason Stein about his iteration of Stay Strong Alex and the impact that Don’t Drink Beer has had on his own journey.
The Stay Strong Alex initiative continues this week with a special iteration of Esker Hart Artisan Ale’s Bear series. With his first full-production location slated to open in early 2024, Bob D’Angelo started his brewing journey nine years ago. Early support from Alex served as a huge kick start to what has now become Esker Hart, and in the wake of his unanticipated cancer diagnosis, Bob knew that he wanted to honor and dedicate this second Blend of Bear to him in support of the long road ahead. We had a chance to talk with Bob and learn more about his history with Alex as well as the beer itself and the special raffle that was set up to help raise money for the Kidd family.
In a continually impressive showing of togetherness for a shared cause, Stay Strong Alex and similar initiatives have been raising an incredible amount of money to support Alex Kidd and his family as they navigate the road ahead following his Stage IV cancer diagnosis. This week we look to Pennsylvania and Voodoo Brewing Company. Having just celebrated the 10th anniversary of its original Arch Street Brew Pub last year, these guys are no strangers to the industry. The devastating diagnosis of the satirical beer icon resonated heavily with the team in Meadville, and we had the opportunity to speak briefly with Voodoo CMO Tom Guzick to gain some insight about the most recent release in their famous Barrel Room Collection series dedicated to Alex Kidd.
The high-production powerhouses of the industry have been far from the only ones showing support towards Alex Kidd and his family during his continuing fight with Stage IV cancer. A collaborative effort out of New Jersey, For The Kidd’s is the next feature in a growing series highlighting the incredible support provided by the craft beer community for a craft beer icon. Chris with Shore Side Brewing allowed us the opportunity to sit down and discuss a beer that he felt was more than fitting to be released for Don’t Drink Beer.
Entering the Barrel Room Spotlight for round two is another young but quickly-growing brewery out of Avon, New York. Since opening their doors in 2018, Mortalis Brewing has striven to create a portfolio of beers that both utilize the finest ingredients and break the mold to stand out in a competitive market. Beyond that, they want their beers to be enjoyed in a relaxed environment that promotes memorable and heartfelt human connection. Through this unpretentious and admirable formula, Mortalis has also succeeded in establishing a strong program of barrel-aged beers. We had the opportunity to speak with Paul Grenier, one of the co-owners of Mortalis Brewing, and really get a “behind-the-scenes” look at the inner workings of their barrel room.
No sports, no politics, no religion. This is the sign posted on the door as you enter LoveDraft’s Brewing Co.—and that’s the way their loyal fanbase likes it.
We’ve all been there. You go to a bar, try a new beer from a local craft brewery and fall in love. After a quick Google search, you realize this brewery is within driving distance, and pretty soon it becomes your favorite hangout. You grow to enjoy their other brewed libations, and before you know it, your local brewery grows a little too fast. Suddenly the attention and focus shifts from the beer to basically everything else: new locations, keeping up with wholesaler demand, a new kitchen, etc. etc. Before you know it three years have passed and you notice that the draft beer menu is always the same, and you’re no longer in love with your old, favorite brewery. So, you find a new place to call home, and hope the cycle doesn’t repeat itself.
This is the story of one brewery, Spring House Brewing Co. in Lancaster, PA, that recognized this all too familiar pattern, and worked hard to rebrand and revitalize itself. And much to this writer’s surprise, it is working.
Shakespeare famously asked, “what’s in a name?” in 1597 and the question still holds up over 500 years later. What is in a name?
What’s in a (beer) name?
The brilliant team behind the scenes at Tröegs Independent Brewing, established in 1996 and based out of Hershey, PA, has a history of creating fantastic brews with equally great names to go with them. From Blizzard of Hops, their winter IPA, to Impending Descent- an Imperial Stout, to their annual fall batch of Master of Pumpkins (hello Metallica fans!), the folks at Tröegs know how to pair a great beer with a great name. The return of, Nimble Giant, is no exception.
Breweries have taken the initiative to distribute their beer due to the restrictions of COVID-19. In turn, craft beer fans should support as many nearby breweries as possible as they push through uncertain times. Not only are you doing what is right for local businesses but you may discover your new favorite beer from down the block! That’s how I came into contact with Restless Moons Brewing Company Harrisonbürger Pilsner.
Suarez Family Brewery focuses on three broad styles including, per their website, “ales of mixed fermentation, unfiltered lagers and other crispy little beers.” The brewery specializes in making refined, humble beer, a unifying theme connecting these styles. Crescent, their “Belgian inspired refresher” is no exception. Though just a few years old, Suarez Family Brewery has demonstrated mastery that often takes decades to acquire.
Arguably the best part about craft beer? The label art. “Label buying” is a phrase among some craft beer drinkers for when a person purchases a beer just because of the name or label art. Many beer labels produce a recognizable identity for the brewery, which can, in many cases, encourage the purchase of a particular beer. Advertising is a powerful thing!
I’ll admit I’m one of those people who succumbs to the “label buys,” and Foreign Objects is a label buy I will always make. It comes as no surprise to hear that when I saw a can of Psychomantic Cult Worship, my hands were right on it.
An interesting thing happened while prepping annual GABF coverage here at PorchDrinking this year. We noticed a growing trend of breweries bringing craft alcohol-free beer to the beer-lovers event. Now of course, alcohol-free beer isn’t new. Can you recall the times of “near beer” and O’Doul’s? And most recently Heineken introduced their version to the market. Out of curiosity we gave the latter a try, and to our surprise it tasted like a regular Heineken. Needless to say it was intriguing, so we did more research into the non-alcoholic craft craze.
After a few months of colder weather, are you longing for those warm, summer days with that delicious summer beer in hand? Well, Other Half‘s Mmn…Fruit Dream (Blackberry, Boysenberry, and Raspberry) will take you back to those warm summer months. Not to mention, if you’ve never tried one of Other Half’s beers and you’re a fan of Berliners, this series is one that you have to add to your list to try.
The reckoning of New England IPAs is going to come. After years of the milkshake beer being the new kid on the block, trends are slowly switching back to old school pale ales and even hopped lagers. I don’t think the NEIPA will fully go away, but when every brewery jumps on the trend it just loses it’s panache. I thought I had tasted every kind of juice box imaginable … until trying The Implication from Aslin Beer Company.
Oh sure, people talk about the Pacific Northwest, Denver, California… but what about the Northeast? Our craft scene should never be ignored, and 2018 only further proved that point as breweries continued to impress. The PorchDrinking.com Northeast Team wanted to share a few thoughts about the year in beer, 2018.
Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of sharing a delicious five-course meal paired with Foolproof Brewing beer selections while sitting across from head brewer Steve Sharp. I fell in love with their craft creations, which are distributed to the Northeast, but unfortunately not in my city! Still — I believe in this brewery and am spreading the word through an insightful interview with Foolproof’s founder Nick Garrison. Cheers!
A common adage in this industry is to “do one thing you’re good at and do it right”. While most breweries I’ve come across start off living this truth, not all end up sticking to the original plan. Last month, I hopped on the 4 train after work to accept an invitation for a private tasting up at The Bronx Brewery. What I discovered was a pioneering pair of brewers who practice what they preach: the pale ale.