#sour Archives – PorchDrinking.com
Wow. Just wow. What a week it has been. I probably don’t need to tell you about the elections that are going on across the country. As of the moment of this writing, we’re all still waiting for the votes to be counted in Nevada and Arizona, as well as in Pennsylvania and Georgia. Needless to say, it’s been a long week and I think it’s probably best to keep this one short and sweet. Here’s to one of the most participated in elections in our history, and here is What We’re Drinking. Cheers.
Just when I thought fall weather and championships were coming to Georgia, I was let down. Again. It’s been 80 degrees on average and the Atlanta Braves are back home from the playoffs. Alas, that’s how it goes sometimes. This week seemed to be a little more relaxing for my counterparts as you’ll see from the nature views to the cozy autumn vibes. Everyone is busy now more than ever, and with the holidays approaching fast, let’s do our best to slow it down. In the meantime, here is What We’re Drinking.
Who gets overly excited when the bulk candy starts showing up in stores pre-Halloween? Having a Scrooge McDuck-sized supply of two-piece Starburst snack packs to brighten up your day every 10 minutes for a few months is just swell. It seems these days that the number of trick-or-treat candy options at your supermarket mirrors the plentiful supply of candy-inspired sours at your local bottle shop. There’s been a rise in kettle Sours, fruited Pilsner malts, and juice box beers that would make Ecto Cooler’s Slimer aghast with their color and ingredient list. One recent entry into the fruity fray is Interboro Spirits and Ales Parks and Wreck.
Cascade Brewing’s latest Sour release — Framboise Northwest — is an ode to raspberries, incorporating 3000 pounds of red raspberries grown locally in the Northwest into their base Blonde Ale. “In this beer, just the flavor of the raspberries is so true to the fruit, it really captured the super-fresh raspberry flavor and we didn’t want to manipulate it in anyway,” shared Kevin Martin, Director of Brewery Operations at Cascade Brewing in Portland, Oregon.
2020 seems to be the perfect example of one step forward, about a billion steps back. Nationwide there are still protests revolving around police brutality, and although sports have come back, they do not seem certain to last. Oh, and in the southeast, from Louisiana to Texas, there is a major storm headed on its way. Keep those people in your thoughts over the next few days. This trip around the sun has really been something, but for this week at least, here is What We’re Drinking.
To combat the amount of time spent at home lately, many people have started new hobbies, or found a DIY Project or two to do around the house. Have you redecorated the living room two or three times lately just for a change of scenery? We won’t blame you if so. Most of the furniture has stayed put around here, but a new hobby has sprouted nonetheless. Greenery! There has been an influx of new plants in our home, all interior for now, that have cycled from room to room and brought little buds of amazement and joy with them as we’re working on our green thumb.
Located in the heart of Northeast Minneapolis’ Art District, Able Seedhouse & Brewery constantly uses their surroundings, and onsite seedhouse, to brew and brand stimulating beer. This summer, one of Able’s latest creations comes in the form of Laser Blade, a DDH Sour IPA.
Not every beer from Bay Cannon Beer Company has a name. In fact, most brews available in the West Tampa, FL taproom are simply listed with their ingredients. “It’s about the beer,” said Matthew Juaire, co-founder and COO. He, along with fellow co-founder and head brewer Joe Simmons, believe that beer names are trivial and the focus should be what’s in the beer and how the beer tastes.
The art of brewing beer varies by region, brewer and brewing style. Many brewers find their niche in one style or art-form, craft their beer to perfection and become famous for it. That’s the case for esteemed Rodenbach Brewery in Roeselare, Belgium, which brews oak foeder-aged sour Ales that have led the way for the category for almost two centuries. Their most popular offering is the simply named Rodenbach Classic, a standard-bearer Flanders red Ale that effuses the precision and expertise of Rodenbach’s master blenders and brewers.
Perhaps Rodenbach’s most well-known brewer is Rudi Ghequire. A Rodenbach brewmaster since 1982, Ghequire has walked the hallways in their massive foeder-filled brewhouse more times than he can count. Foeders are special to Rodenbach and they are special to Ghequire. Yet, many beer drinkers, myself included, are not fully aware of the magic of foeder-aged beers, the flavors that blending foeder-aged beers creates and the expertise needed to delicately create these offerings. To find out more about foeders and what makes Rodenbach’s foeder program special, I asked Ghequire five questions.
Dogfish Head Brewery continues to be one of my favorite breweries in the country due to their unrelenting pursuit of brewing daring beers that challenge and excite the average beer lover. Sometimes, these beers fall flat and the flavor notes don’t mesh like they should, but most times, they create something new and inventive that makes me take notice. Their newest offering, Vibrant P’Ocean, which was done in collaboration with the nearly two centuries old Brouwerij Rodenbach, falls into the latter category.
The new blended Sour Ale combines the mastery of both breweries in pursuit of a drinking experience that feels familiar and emblematic of two breweries separated by thousands of miles. Vibrant P’Ocean comes in at 4.7% ABV and is composed of a two-year, foeder-aged sour from Rodenbach mixed with a Dogfish Head kettle sour brewed with pilsner malt, malted wheat, elderberry, elderflower, sliced lemons and Belgian fleur-de-sel. I was lucky enough to get a few cans of this new beer from Dogfish Head recently – here are my thoughts.
February 8 marked the much anticipated Brewbies Festival at Bagby Beer in Oceanside, CA. For 11 years, the Brewbies organization has worked to bring breweries and the public together in support of breast cancer awareness. Working with the Keep a Breast Foundation, the festival has donated more than $540,000 to breast cancer research to date.
While searching the aisles of my local beer store, I thought about what types of beers do people want to hear about? Stout season is coming, and so is porters, browns and the big guns like barleywines and barrel-aged everything. But, not everyone likes those types of beers. So what are some easy drinkers that many people will enjoy but don’t see this time of year? The selection of sours I tried was on point, and I quickly realized how many interesting smaller sours are not that tart, but people will set it aside for the simple reason of what section it is. So here’s a list of delicious brews that only have a little acidic bite, but pack a great amount of flavor!
In any industry, to be recognized for exemplary work is an incredible feeling. To win a medal at the Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer (FoBAB), one of the country’s premier barrel-aged beer festivals, is a massive accomplishment.
The craft beer scene in the U.S. has been around for a relatively short period of time. Part of its rapid growth and success can be attributed to the industry’s willingness to evolve and contort itself to appeal to the ever-changing whims of today’s curious consumer. While hard seltzers and fruit-puree sours might be nothing more than a passing trend, one recent market shift seems to be here for the long haul: craft beer in cans. The benefits of cans are clear: they’re more transportable, better for the environment, and boast longer shelf life than their glass counterparts. A huge signal that the can trend is more of a foundational than fleeting trend in the U.S. is that century’s old European brewers are also augmenting their typically rigid perceptions of packaging to appeal to the American market.
This story begins as many brewery stories start, with a friendship and a passion for home brewing. Austin Street Brewery, co-owned by friends Jake Austin and Will Fisher, opened in 2014 on Industrial Way in outer Portland, Maine. Together they spent years on Austin Street in Westbrook, Maine, creating beers on their homebrew system that they wanted to drink. In 2013, as the craft beer boom commenced, they took a chance and opened their brewery with a one-barrel system. When speaking with Jake Austin, he made it clear that their focus is to create “highly drinkable beer, not to chase trends.” It would seem that mission is working well for them as they recently opened a second, larger location in Portland’s East Bayside neighborhood.
What happens when a vintner’s daughter, who has worked in her family vineyards and wine cellar from early childhood, falls in love with spontaneously fermented beers in Belgium? Enter Jitka Ilčíková and her “vintner brewed beer” at Wild Creatures in Mikulov, Czech Republic.
Summer is in full swing. That means weekends and evenings go from on the couch with Netflix to the porch or patio, trading in the chocolate for the more fruit-inspired desserts, and throwing back a few brews as the days get longer.
Sours tend to see an upswing in production and popularity in the warmer months, as they supply a balance of refreshing zest and irresistible pucker. Sours have become the antithesis of IPAs, and it seems that drinkers from either of these two camps stand their ground when it comes to their beverage of choice for the summer.
From Appalachia to Outer Banks and everywhere in-between, fine craft beer crops up all over North Carolina. For example, some 25 minutes east of Chapel Hill, you’ll find Saxapahaw, North Carolina. If you reach Haw River, turn around and look for a rejuvenated old mill. You’ll know by music from the chronically hip Haw River Ballroom, weekly community get-togethers in the form of Saturdays at Saxapahaw, and maybe most importantly, fine craft beer from Haw River Farmhouse Ales.
Some brewers pull inspiration from current trends and others seek to brew according to personal like and although neither is wrong, Barrett Tillman of BlackMan Brewing, he’s in neither category.
Insert the Hostel Cereal, a timidly tart sour ale, which according to Tillman “began as a study on famine, its cause and how people survive.” During his travels through Africa and staying at hostels, the breakfast that was served was a porridge, made from grains and topped with whatever fruit was available. This was Tillman’s inspiration for the Hostel Cereal.
In today’s U.S. craft beer market, tenure is a very relative term. So, when something has been around for 20 years, you take notice. That is the case with New Belgium Brewing’s wood-aged sour program, which is the oldest in the United States. The program has created sour trendsetters like La Folie; all the while continuing to set the mark for what consumers should look for in a good wood-aged sour.