#SourAle Archives – PorchDrinking.com
Chicago’s Hopewell Brewing Co. is probably best known for their modern take on beer. Their goal as a brewery is to make beer that is bright and clean. Hopewell was a nearly decade-long creation, with the owners always knowing that their dreams would come to fruition as they proceeded through the years. With their intensive approach, they’ve created some amazing and unique showstoppers. Their seasonal spring/summer sour ale, Clover Club, proclaims the entirety of Hopewell’s mission in every sip.
It’s natural to seek silver linings in bad situations, but when storm clouds hung above our collective heads during the COVID19, crisis, Anvil & Forge Brewing and Distilling provided Illinois beer drinkers with some helpful grey — Earl Grey Tea, to me more specific. Earlier this year, Illinois Beer drinkers partook in a March Madness bracket-style beer event — #BEERacket — that, yet again, served as a virtual replacement for the in-person festivals we once took for granted. But, amid that reminder of the trouble caused by the evil microbe came a host of good beers, including Springfield Illinois’ Anvil & Forge Wolf Bane Grey Tart, a sour ale with with lemon peel, dried wild bergamot flower and Earl Grey Tea. An exemplary botanical beer, Wolf’s Bane reminds beer drinkers that there are still brewers willing to producing flavorful beers outside the realm of “trendy styles.”
Pastry beers have had their day in the spotlight… but fruited breakfast pastry sours? Well, that’s a horse of another color. At Humble Forager Brewery in Madison, WI, the recipe looks simple yet contains so much more.
Welcome back to Faces in Beer! In our new series, we take film photographs of brewers and develop the film in the beer they brewed.
In our first round, we featured Weldwerks Brewing Company, where we developed the brew team’s portraits in a variety of beer–including their famous Medianoche Stout. The results were beautiful, though we did hear from a few of you decrying our use of Medianoche for any purpose other than consumption. (We hear you–it hurt us too, but art is pain.) You can check those photos out here.
In the face of adversity and trying times, it is always an encouraging sight to witness those who press forward and beat the odds. Solaris Beer & Blending in Murrieta, California, is one of such stories. Though they have no tasting room and are still under construction, the brewery was able to put the proper licensing in place in the midst of a pandemic. And despite having limited weekly releases as their sole income, the quality of Solaris’s offerings are nearly unparalleled, especially given the size of their operation.
One of the first beers Solaris released was Pink Flowers – Rose Petals, part of their Sour & Flower series. This sour golden ale was brewed with rose petals, Turkish apricots, kumquats and conditioned on French oak.
I’m not sure about everybody else, but this summer seems to be going by way too quick. Sometimes, however, certain things come up that remind you of school in all the best ways. Drekker Brewing, out of Fargo, North Dakota (yes, that’s a real place) has given me a true sense of nostalgia with this fruited sour ale that I recently tried.
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.
Whether its music, art, film or food, we are fans of a good collaboration—with no exception when it comes to beer. With the steady rise in craft beer popularity, numerous collaborations between so many like-minded individuals in our community is inevitable. Particularly, The Commons Brewery from Portland and Denver’s Epic Brewing took on a collaboration in a fun and interesting way. While each brewery selected an adjunct ingredient native to their location, they created something unique and tasty. The Commons Brewery brought Oregon red winter wheat and Epic Brewing choose Colorado honeydew melon; together they created a sour ale called Common Interests.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but summer is about halfway over. I only bring it up because it’s time to carpe the summer diem! All those things you said you wanted to accomplish this summer, well, time to get after it. Including that trip to the park for some good old-fashioned outdoor drinking you’ve been putting off, probably because it’s been raining so damn much (sorry California, we’d LOVE to send some your way…). If you’re a Chicagoan, that means a trip to Ravinia or checking out one of the countless free shows at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park (check out the summer film series!).
And while wine seems to be the drink of choice at these events, a collaboration beer between two of the Midwest’s sour powerhouses could easily convince wine drinkers to make a switch. Michigan’s Jolly Pumpkin teamed up with Indiana’s Upland to brew a Persimmon and Dragonfuit infused wild ale that ends up being very reminiscent of a sparkling white wine. But of course, there’s plenty of nuance for beer drinkers to love too.
ABV: 8.7% | IBU: negligible
We use a lot of colors when we talk about beer. This beer is amber. That beer is black. This one is straw. That one is brown. These are all quite common. Yet, for all of my beer-drinking life, I have only infrequently come across the color red. Maybe it’s my geography. Some of the world’s best-known and most highly acclaimed beers come out of Belgium, among them a variety of reds. Rodenbach’s Grand Cru, Duchesse de Bourgogne from Brewery Verhaeghe, and New Belgium’s La Folie are just a few examples.
In spite of (and thanks to) my geography, I’ve been fortunate enough to come across a delectable sour red ale from one of North Carolina’s finest breweries, the Asheville-based Wicked Weed Brewing Company. They call it Oblivion, and they give it a little story.