#sour – PorchDrinking.com
For over two decades, Two Brothers Brewing Company has been making solid beer and is a mainstay in the Chicago beer scene. Just recently, they added a new year-round beer to their rotation as well as two seasonal/limited releases.
As someone based in Denver who makes a hobby out of beer writing, I have what can only be described as an embarrassing confession: I had never tasted New Belgium’s La Folie—or any other of its critically acclaimed sours—before last week.
The gravity of this oversight may be lost on the casual enthusiast, so allow me to explain. For 20 years, the Fort Collins-based brewery has been cranking out some of the country’s most complex wood-aged beers, starting with the first iteration of La Folie, its flagship Flanders-style Sour Brown Ale aged in massive oak barrels called foeders. New Belgium’s is now the largest wood cellar program in the U.S., with 64 French oak foeders and one American white oak foeder all imparting funky flavors to base beers as they mature.
For many in Colorado, the arrival of February signals the official start of Stout Month, a cult following tradition that extends to all Mountain Sun Brewery and Pub locations. However, our friends at First Draft Taproom & Kitchen have begun a February tradition of their own, by celebrating the tart and acidic side of beer with a Sour Month celebration.
First Draft Taproom & Kitchen team has been saving up a multitude of draft and bottle sour gems and we’ve got the info on what sour beers to expect this February. Drop into First Draft Taproom and Kitchen in Denver’s River North Art District located at 1309 26th St., Denver, CO this month to enjoy some of this special sours!
Like any story worth sharing, it started with a night of drinking wine with his grandparents. The moment of clarity slapped Dick Mergens out of sleep at 3AM, and he saw it immediately through a boozy haze: “I should open a brewery.” The 23-year-old Lowe’s employee crawled out of his grandparents’ basement the following morning and shared his vision with his coworker Dylan. Soon enough, two other longtime friends were on board. It was only a matter of time before I walked into their brewery to taste Molten Peaches.
Personally, one of my favorite beer styles is sours, but not everyone feels the same way I do. I could go on for days about all the different reasons that I like sours, but that still wouldn’t change the opinion of someone that doesn’t like the style. I believe that sours are like IPAs for people that haven’t tried very much of the style. When someone first tries IPAs they tend to be overwhelmed by the hoppiness and intense bitterness, and the same concept applies with sours. Not all beer drinkers are used to the mouth-puckering sourness you get from some sours and that can turn people off. By creating the Sour Beer Project Series, Kannah Creek Brewing Company set out on a mission to help introduce people to sour beers.
I can hear my mom on Thanksgiving Day yelling, “EJ, get in here! It’s time to eat!” But times have changed since then, so I better not hear that nickname today. For any future yellings, please refer to me as Eric.
So let’s imagine for a second that instead of a Thanksgiving turkey on a silver platter, there was a can of beer. But what would that beer be? And say for instance instead of a green bean casserole, you guessed it, another can of beer? What beer would take its place? This is the Ultimate 6er for Thanksgiving, just in case your food happens to be all beer.
Sour styles in any incarnation were my beers of the summer and although I love stouts, the transition into the colder, rainier reality of stout season has been harsh this year. That’s why I was so excited to find the perfect middle ground: the Frambuesa Moka, a tart, dark potion from Engine House No. 9 in Tacoma, Washington.
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I was first introduced to the Bremerton based brewery Silver City a few years ago, when I was lucky enough to sit down with Daniel Frantz on the back porch of my favorite Seattle bottle shop. Since meeting Frantz, who is the marketing guru for the brewery, I’ve been fortunate enough to familiarize myself with the brewery’s style and culture – this familiarization thanks to the consumption of countless bombers and 6-packs, as well as tours and phone calls with Silver City brewers and sales directors.
After all this time, two things stand-out to me: The brewery is fueled and run by some of the most passionate and knowledgeable people in craft, and every single beer Silver City puts out will be nothing short of stellar. If a beer has a Silver City label, it’s worth having.
While I was traveling throughout New England this summer, it made me realize one thing – I love it there. Somehow everything within those upper states – their seafood, their mountains and especially their beer – is picturesque and fantastic. Because of this, it should come as no surprise that when it comes to brewing beer, New England breweries don’t mess around.
Regardless of the time of year, when you’re spending time in the desert, it is important to stay hydrated, thanks to the dry climate and low humidity. The same concept applies to drinking beers in the desert—you want a beer that is refreshing and easy-drinking, particularly in the summer months when the daily temperature can easily exceed 110°F. This is a six pack that speaks to the lighter side of the desert culture.
When it comes to beer from highly-regarded sour breweries, the tasting process starts with the effort of getting the dang bottle in the first place. Casey Brewing and Blending is a convenient stop in Glenwood Springs if you’re journeying from Denver to anywhere at least two hours west on I-70 (or like us, on a trip to Aspen/Snowmass for the weekend with our parents). We registered a few days in advance for a tour slot ($20 per ticket, including a tasting event) and arrived bright and early on the day of.
The next stop on North Carolina’s sour beer train takes us to Charlotte, home of The Unknown Brewing Co. This summer they released 3.5ish, a gueuze-inspired lambic-style ale, to celebrate three-and-a-half years (more or less) of beer brewing.
I was strolling through my local Whole Foods’ beer department when my eye was drawn to something beautiful. It was a repeating pattern. Appearing almost like dark purple single-celled organisms with brighter violet nuclei, this pattern seemed to self-replicate across the face of the can, creating white insect shapes in the negative space. Once I read the description of the contents, I knew that Stillwater Artisanal’s Insetto would be coming home with me that night. Yes. The whole thing was exactly as creepily seductive as it sounds.
Half Acre brings the funk with its Brett Saison, Wooden Teeth. This complex small batch beer, has the sophisticated feel of a champagne coupled with the casualness of a cider. The mixture of flavors brings the old brewing world together with new techniques. Wooden Teeth is funky, sour and a bit sweet for a perfect balance, resulting in an interestingly fun drinking experience.
August 5, 2017 marks 24 years of brewing for Avery Brewing. To commemorate the achievement, Avery released Twenty Four Imperial IPA — a stellar beer, to be sure. But, the biggest news emerging from the Boulder-based brewery in 2017 involved its decision to substantially alter the beer portfolio by saying goodbye to old standbys and instead concentrating more on barrel aging. Hence, it behooved us at PorchDrinking to look at one of its latest Botanical & Barrel releases, Ginger Sour, while simultaneously raising our pint glasses and exclaiming, “Happy Anniversary, Avery!”
In two short years, Rally King Brewing has become one of Fort Collins’ go-to watering holes. What started as a passion project for owners Matt and Michelle Kriewall has evolved into a standout brewery in what many consider the craft beer capital of the United States. Rally King is tucked away in a strip center on the east side of town, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it spot between a gamer’s paradise and a delicious Asian restaurant. This past Saturday, however, you’d be hard pressed to overlook Rally King’s taproom.
Featured image courtesy of Braxton Brewing Co.
For most, the hot summer months mean moving to lighter beers. It makes sense that a light, crisp, refreshing beer is better when you are in the sun, but that doesn’t mean you have to default to a light lager or blonde ale. Many other styles fit the hot summer months just as well, such as sour craft beers. And I am not talking about the traditional sours like lambics but rather kettle sours (aka quick sours). There’s been a huge influx of this type of beer and I think they are a great fit for a hot summer day because they offer low ABV, are ideally drank cold, and provide a crisp, refreshing taste that fights off the effects of the hot summer sun.
Here in Cincinnati, we have a lot of great options that fit this style. Plus, these beers are easy to bring along when you are enjoying the outdoors. Here are five of my favorite Cincinnati summer sours.
Kyle Carbaugh had no designs on brewing sour beer when he and his wife, Miranda, opened Wiley Roots Brewing in Greeley four years ago. Their best-known beer early on was about as old-school craft beer basic as you can get — an American-style wheat. It won a Great American Beer Festival bronze medal just a few months after the brewery poured its first pint.