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A collaboration with Cinderlands’ neighbors at Umami, Falling Petal is inspired by the Japanese restaurant’s shot of cold sake served with a rose-hibiscus syrup. The word “rosé” on the Crowler was a tip off that we could expect a colorful pour, and indeed Falling Petal is a pretty, pulpy pink. We’ve written recently about the rosé trend and thought we had a clue of what would come next, but Falling Petal defies categorization. The nose on the beer was intriguing and unlike any beer we’ve sampled recently: full of jasmine and lavender notes, a bit of pine, grapefruit and pomegranate. The beer comes across as heavily fruited and yet not sweet; it drinks like a grapefruit mimosa, with some gin botanicals thrown in for good measure.
After tasting, a trip to the brewery’s website would reveal the exotic ingredients responsible for such a unique beer, which included toasted rice, Sorachi Ace hops, Norwegian kveik yeast (plus lactobacillus), and hibiscus, pomegranate, yuzu and Kaffir lime leaf. It’s draft only, but if you find yourself at Cinderlands or Umami in Pittsburgh, it’s a must try.
ANYDAY ROSÉ Anyday Rosé
Paso Robles, California
6.9% | Blend of Cider & Rosé, Hopped w/ Cascade & Citra
Have we mentioned there’s a rosé trend sweeping through the wine, beer, cider and spirits industries right now? As a blend of cider and rosé hopped with Cascade and Citra, Anyday Rosé hits three of those segments at once. A semi-dry rosé leads off, with the sweeter cider keeping things balanced. On the finish, hop-driven notes of grapefruit, lemon and orange come through. Anyday Rosé is light and spritzy, with a refreshing quality that should appeal to drinkers of wine, cider and beer alike.
ECLIPTIC QUASAR PALE ALE Ecliptic Brewing Co.
Portland, Oregon 6% | Pale Ale
Ecliptic’s Quasar Pale Ale, hopped with Simcoe and Mosaic, returns for the summer. Bright and vibrant notes of lemon, orange peel and grapefruit, with a little pine. The hop character is big, and the bitterness is super low. While that’s the recipe for most of today’s juicy IPAs, this is a very different animal. It’s a heavily dry-hopped pale ale that drinks easily and cleans up remarkably quickly. The fruity notes come through more pithy than sweet, and with a light body this pale ale is indeed well suited to hot summer days.
OUTER RANGE BLOCKS OF LIGHTDDH
Outer Range Brewing Co.
Frisco, Colorado 6.2% | India Pale Ale
Outer Range last month released a double-dry-hopped version of Blocks of Light, featuring Galaxy and Mosaic hops. Sweet peach and juicy pineapple leap forth from the glass, and on the palate there’s more orange citrus. There’s a decent bitterness, and clearly expressed fruit notes without going overboard into a tangy, fruity mess. While this one’s likely long gone at the brewery, it’s hard to go wrong with any of the brewery’s hoppy offerings.
NEW BELGIUM VOODOO RANGER LIQUID PARADISE IPA New Belgium Brewing Co.
Fort Collins, Colorado and Asheville, North Carolina 8% | Double IPA
New Belgium’s Transatlantique Kriek made last week’s Six to Seek, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t follow up with the newest IPA in the Voodoo Ranger line. It pours bright gold and only the slightest bit hazy–clearly this isn’t meant to be a full-on New England-style IPA. Mosaic Incognito and Nugget hops contribute tropical notes of papaya and guava, with a decent bitterness. Behind the more tropical flavors and floral notes, and a bit of toasted cracker on the finish.
Stouts inspired by Mexican hot chocolate probably aren’t going anywhere, but now more seem to be drawing inspiration from horchata, the spiced, milky beverage popular in Latin American countries. Small brewers across the country are creating these versions, which favor of a subtle sweetness instead of the spicy punch found in many popular Mexican-style stouts. Goose Island Beer Co. even recently got label approval for a Bourbon County Brand Horchata Stout, though the brewery hasn’t officially named it as one of this year’s variants.
Asheville’s Hi-Wire Brewing has put the horchata treatment on 10W-40, adding vanilla, almonds, cinnamon, lactose and chocolate to its imperial stout. It’s that last ingredient that comes through most prominently, with a nose brimming with unsweetened baker’s chocolate. The rest of the horchata-inspired ingredients are there–subtle cinnamon and perhaps a hint of the almond–but they are balanced by the rich chocolate and roasted barley. The lactose adds a little sweetness of its own, making for a creamy and decadent stout.
No matter how you take them, there’s a beer style that pairs perfectly with your favorite wing sauces and seasonings. Just don’t forget the napkins.
Traditional Buffalo and Helles Lager: The spicy vinegar kick of this classic wing sauce can be tempered by the subtle sweetness and balance of a Helles lager.
Honey Mustard and Berliner Weisse: The light tartness and refreshing quality of a Berliner weisse makes it an appropriate pairing for nearly any wing, but it’s an especially good partner for the tanginess of honey mustard.
Coconut Curry and Belgian Tripel: This Thai-inspired sauce finds a friend in one of Belgium’s most well-known styles. The spicy notes imparted by Belgian yeast—think pepper, clove and lemon—complement the coconut and curry.
Barbecue and Schwarzbier: Light in body yet dark in color, a Schwarzbier’s mild notes of chocolate and coffee are the perfect complement for a sweet and smoky barbecue sauce.
Caribbean Jerk and Scotch Ales: With a sweet blend of caramel and dark fruit notes, scotch ales can cool the scotch bonnet heat of a traditional jerk sauce.
Teriyaki and Belgian Dubbel: Dark malts find their match in the sweeter side of teriyaki sauce, while a Belgian dubbel’s yeast-driven notes of apple and pear play well with teriyaki spices like ginger and soy.
NEW BELGIUM TRANSATLANTIQUE KRIEK
New Belgium Brewing Co.
Fort Collins, Colorado and Asheville, North Carolina 6.2% | Oak-Aged Sour Ale w/ Cherries
For the fifteenth year in a row, New Belgium and Belgium’s Oud Beersel have collaborated on Transatlantique Kriek. The beer, this year released in 375-mL, cork-and-caged bottles, is a 50/50 blend of New Belgium’s foeder-aged, sour golden ale and Oud Beersel’s cherry lambic (kriek). From the crimson pour to the nose and palate, cherry dominates. There’s tart cherry and acidity on the nose, and more of the same in the first sip. Move past that initial tartness, though, and you will find more of a syrupy sweetness from the fruit — almost like cherries cooked in a pie. The fruit tempers the pleasant, just-right acidity, and paves the way for a refreshing finish.
BELCHING BEAVER DIGITAL BATH Belching Beaver Brewery
Vista, California 6.5% | New-England-Style IPA
Digital Bath is the fourth collaboration between Belching Beaver and the Deftones, and the first in the New England style. For this IPA, Belching Beaver used Citra, Galaxy, Mosaic, Nelson and Simcoe Cryo hops to create “something loaded with citrus notes for summer.” The brewery and band have achieved that, with big grapefruit notes and bitter orange. Far from one-note, however, the beer also offers up green onion and an herbal note that almost comes across as thyme. Digital Bath is complex and juicy, with a dry finish that compels another sip.
DOGFISH HEAD LIQUID TRUTH SERUM Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Milton, Delaware 7% | India Pale Ale
An attempt at disproving the myth that international bitterness units (IBU) can only be achieved in the boil, Dogfish Head’s Liquid Truth Serum employs a variety of post-boil additions of hops in pellet, powder, leaf and liquid form. On the nose, all of those additions create a sweet orange profile. On the palate there’s more orange as well as grapefruit, but with a surprising amount of lemon and a leafy, fresh-hop character. And, as Dogfish Head hypothesized, there is indeed a decent amount of bitterness courtesy all of those post-boil additions.
LAGUNITAS SUPER CLUSTER Lagunitas Brewing Co.
Petaluma, California and Chicago, Illinois 8% | Double IPA
Lagunitas Brewing Co. calls its newest beer a “citra-hopped mega ale of intergalactic proportions,” but we’ll call it a double IPA. There are big, juicy notes of grapefruit, pineapple and tangerines, as well as a little bit of an herbal, peppery quality from the hops. As the beer warms, notes of sweet orange and bready malt peek through past the dankness. Be it a double IPA or “citra-hopped mega ale,” Lagunitas has another worthy hoppy offering on its hands.
EDMUND’S OAST VIRIDI REX Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co.
Charleston, South Carolina 9.5% | Double IPA
From a semi-hazy pour comes an assertive, complex aroma of honey, fresh-cut grass and candied peaches. The first sip yields citrus, namely tangerine and orange peel, as well as a slight “catty” note. There’s just a touch of alcohol on the finish, though given the ABV it’s not unexpected or the least bit off-putting. The beer’s sweet, juicier notes are well balanced with its bitterness, and Viridi Rex finishes semi-dry.
An annual release for Olde Hickory Brewery, Appalachian Walker is the brewery’s Irish Walker barleywine aged for more than a year in barrels that once held brandy. That base beer has taken home several awards of its own, but the time spent in the brandy barrels is transformative. There are layers of dark fruit flavors, raisin and fig covered in caramel and, of course, brandy. It is a full-bodied beer, with a touch of alcohol heat. If you’re like me you won’t mind the warmth, as this is a smooth sipper. That said, I wouldn’t begrudge you for stashing a bottle away for a cold winter’s night to see how it develops with a bit of age.
The English pub is much romanticised, even mythologised, which must leave some visitors disappointed when they encounter the real thing. Having been brought up in and around pubs our whole lives, reading them and negotiating them is a matter of instinct for us, but here we have tried to put the subconscious knowledge into words.
First, let’s look at two extremes: the tourist trap, and the death trap. The former looks like a pub, calls itself a pub, and might even occupy a building that was once a pub (or inn, or tavern) for centuries. Inside, however, you will find something not much better than the Rose & Crown Dining Room at Disney World. The décor will be tasteless bordering on kitsch, there won’t be many locals drinking there and the beer is unlikely to be anything special. You will end up paying over the odds for substandard food and drink consumed in a joyless, plastic setting.
The latter are more usually referred to as “rough pubs,” but not to their face of course. These days, you’re unlikely to find one of these unless you’re a very adventurous traveller because many have been demolished or converted, while the more substantial buildings have been given corporate makeovers—not tacky or exploitative, merely inoffensive. But if you wander into side streets, the outer suburbs, or into the shade of concrete tower blocks, you might still come across the kind of pub where it is possible for an innocent abroad to get into trouble. There aren’t many exterior clues other than a general state of disrepair, although with experience you develop a kind of sixth sense based on the state of the curtains or some subtle hint implied in the signage.
The good news is that if you make the wrong call and find yourself in a pub where you oughtn’t be, it will usually be made clear to you, as long as you are reasonably fluent in the language of passive-aggression. It might, for example, take a long time to get served, if the person behind the bar acknowledges you at all. You might get asked point blank if you are a police officer, which happens to us not infrequently—something about our flat feet, perhaps. Or the regulars might start a loud, pointed conversation about strangers, or foreigners, or people wearing whatever colour hat you happen to be wearing. We once walked into a pub only to be greeted by five men in soccer shirts, one of whom simply pointed and said: “No, no—turn round and walk out. Now.” We did so. Sometimes, though, the tests are more subtle: change from five pounds when you paid with a ten-pound note, for example, or an ostensibly jovial comment to which there is definitely an impossible-to-guess wrong answer.
The problem is that many of the very best pubs, and the most charming, don’t look or feel superficially much different to rough pubs. Unpretentious is perhaps the best word. The pub’s seating will be well-worn, possibly even ripped or stained here and there. If there are carpets, they will have a subtle scent of stale beer, but there are more likely to be well-trodden floorboards. Don’t expect elaborate bathroom facilities, either—just be relieved if there is a lock on the door and a bar of soap on the basin.
Really rough pubs will usually offer no food beyond packets of crisps. Posher, more sterile pubs will have full menus, pushed hard, and may even have the nerve to put out cutlery and placemats. The unpretentious pub, those in our sweet spot, will often have the perfect compromise: pork pies (cold), beef pies (hot), Scotch eggs, Cornish pasties, pickled eggs, or basic bread rolls in plastic wrap. Hearty, often delicious, but functional, these snacks—which are definitely not “meals”—tend to be served with nothing more decorative than a dollop of mustard on the side of the plate.
Even in these warmer, less scary pubs it is possible to commit faux pas. Being too loud in a quiet pub, for example, will earn you dirty looks—one of the most potent weapons in the British passive-aggressive arsenal. Though it’s unlikely anyone will ever say it out loud, you’re also expected to rent your space by consuming a certain amount of drinks: ordering a half pint of bitter and two glasses of tap water for a party of three, then nursing them for more than an hour, is bad form. And arriving in a large group is also likely to irritate regulars. Pubs are set up for parties of two, four, perhaps six, even eight at a push, but turn up in a group of 15, each member of which is paying for his or her own drink with a credit card—we’ve seen this happen—and you’ll feel the atmosphere chill.
On the flipside, it doesn’t take much to ingratiate into the life of an English pub. A brief greeting and a nod of recognition to anyone sitting at the bar won’t do any harm. A clear, unambiguous order—”A pint of London Pride, please”—is generally welcome. Having the right money, or something close, often goes down well, too. (Definitely don’t try to pay with a £50 note under any circumstances.) When you’re done, bringing your empty glass back to the bar is a good idea. Lots of English people don’t even do this anymore, preferring to sit among their glasses until harassed staff get round to sweeping the bar for “empties,” but it’s a simple act of politeness that goes a long way. If your round includes a pint of Guinness, which takes longer to pour, it’s a mark of a pub pro to ask for that before other drinks.
Tipping isn’t usual in “proper pubs,” but there’s sometimes a jar on the bar, or a charity collection box. If you really want to make friends, though, because you’re planning to spend the evening, or come back the next night, you can say, “And one for yourself?” The person behind the bar will either decline or say something like, “Oh, that’s very kind—is a half of lager alright?” They might actually drink a half-pint of lager but will probably put the money on the back bar “for later.” There’s a small risk they’ll exploit your kindness—”Oh, thank you sir. Double of the 18-year single malt OK?” It’s up to you to decide if you think it’s worth the risk.
Unlike Germany, there aren’t usually seats reserved for regulars, although we sometimes like to check if we’re in a strange pub: “Ahem … if we sit here, are we stealing someone’s usual spot?” Again, it shows that we know our place, as outsiders. In many parts of the U.K., sitting on a stool at the bar shows that you’re keen to engage in conversation while taking a table generally suggests that you’d like to be left alone.
The point is, in the end, you won’t really get to experience the pub if you take the easy route to the obvious pub on the main drag. Be brave and remember the bark is usually worse than the bite.
The Bull & Bladder, AKA the Vine
Dudley, West Midlands
The taphouse for cult brewery Batham’s, this pub is all muted warm wood, corners and gossip in thick local accents. Enjoy a pint of mild with a crusty roll overflowing with cheddar cheese and stingingly raw white onion.
If you head to Land’s End and Poldark country, stop here on the way. It’s a village pub and well-used, with slate floors designed to withstand farmers’ boots and the residue of Atlantic gales. There’s no food at all beyond pork scratchings and chocolate bars but it does have superb, good value ales brewed on site, fuelling a lively but civilised atmosphere.
The Merchant’s Arms
We moved to Bristol in the summer of 2017 and have become fascinated by this pub, which feels like a relic of 50 years ago. It’s small, brown and out of the way, frequented mostly by middle-aged bitter drinkers with one eye on whichever sporting event is being shown on the TV.
Our favourite pub in London, close enough to the centre for convenience but far enough away to feel like part of the real London where people really live. (For now, at least.) It is weathered without being grubby and the service, in true London fashion, can be brusque, but a pint of Harvey’s Sussex Best and a salt beef sandwich is a hard combo to beat.
The Grey Horse
This centrally located pub in one of Britain’s greatest cities ought to be a tourist trap, except Manchester doesn’t really go in for that kind of thing. A tiny, one-room pub, it has a vague psychic partition—sit at the back and murmur to your significant, or stand at the front and joke with your pals. You’ll find cask ales from Hyde’s along with pork pies and plentiful people-watching.
Jessica Boak and Ray Bailey have been blogging at boakandbailey.com since 2007. They were named 2014 beer writers of the year by the British Guild of Beer Writers. Their most recent book is 20th Century Pub.They live in Bristol in the west of England.
FULLSTEAM UNSCRIPTED Fullsteam Brewery
Durham, North Carolina 5% | India Pale Lager
A collaboration with Durham’s new, mid-century-inspired Unscripted hotel, this beer is as retro and contemporary as its namesake. It’s a throwback in that it’s at its heart a lager, but made modern in its use of local malt (from Durham’s Epiphany Craft Malt) and trendy hops (Mosaic, Galaxy, Citra and Simcoe). Those hops give off a distinct lemon note in the aroma, which on the palate is joined by light grapefruit, pine and orange peel, with a crackery malt character. None of those flavors, though, are so bold that you lose sight of the crisp and clean lager base. There are a lot of poorly executed India pale lagers out there, beers so inundated with hops that you can’t distinguish whether it’s an ale or a lager. This isn’t one of them. It’s balanced and bright, everything you would want in an India pale lager.
BOULEVARD BOU LOU Boulevard Brewing Co.
Kansas City, Missouri 5.5% | Wheat Ale w/ Pineapple & Coconut
Breweries partnering with bands and musicians is nothing new, but one genre often overlooked in these collaborations is hip-hop. That’s changing. Deltron3030 collaborated with Dogfish Head on Positive Contact, Nappy Roots recently brewed with Against the Grain Brewery and Monday Night Brewing, and now Tech N9ne has partnered with Boulevard Brewing Co. Bou Lou, named after Tech N9ne’s song “Caribou Lou,” is inspired by the cocktail from that same song. There’s no Malibu Rum, but the wheat beer is brewed with pineapple and coconut. Both of those ingredients are there but in perfect harmony; it achieves that tropical profile that so many IPAs are going for right now, but courtesy the fruit instead of hops. There’s a hint of vanilla, too, and the wheat beer base is refreshing and cleans up quickly.
CAPE MAY ALWAYS READY Cape May Brewing Co.
Cape May, New Jersey 4.8% | Northeast Pale Ale
An homage to the Coast Guard and its base in Cape May, Always Ready isn’t, unfortunately, always available. It’s a seasonal that runs through this month, however if you’re lucky enough to see it around you should do yourself a favor and pick up some cans. Always Ready offers a big hop punch of pine and pithy citrus, with a satisfying bitterness. And it does it all in a well balanced, sub-5% package. If you miss Always Ready, keep an eye out for upcoming hoppy offerings from Cape May Brewing Co.
CORONADO MARINE DREAM Coronado Brewing Co.
San Diego, California 6.5% | Hazy Oat India Pale Ale
The second in the brewery’s new Art Series, Marine Dream is brewed with oats, London III yeast and Citra, Vic Secret and Mosaic hops. Given these ingredients and the word “hazy” on the can, you might expect it to look as murky as many others on the market. Instead it pours bright orange and only slightly hazy, but it’s an attractive beer from the jump. The nose is more dank than tropical, with green onion standing out. On the palate, though, juicy notes of orange peel and pineapple come to the fore, along with a bit of juniper and watermelon rind. There’s a decent bitterness and the oats lend the beer a creamy body. While it doesn’t jump headfirst into the New England style, it’s a tasty IPA from a brewery that’s been making such beers for quite a while.
You can smell the cucumber in this beer well before the glass reaches your lips. On the nose, it’s difficult to discern much more, but the cucumber is actually more subdued on the palate. Tritonia lacks the lactic, tart-bordering-on-sour quality that many American goses have, but this makes the beer all the more refreshing and allows the lime and salt to come through. Make no mistake: you’ll need to like cucumber to enjoy this beer, but it is certainly no novelty. The cucumber departs quickly in the finish, where a wheatiness lingers. With a clean, refreshing quality and light tartness, this beer would pair well with lighter fare (we’re thinking salad or sushi).
PURE PROJECT / CELLADOR SCYNDICATION Pure Project Brewing & Cellador Ales
San Diego, California 8.1% | Flanders-Style Red Ale
Released back in March, Scyndication is a collaboration between Pure Project Brewing and Cellador Ales that spent time in brandy, bourbon and red wine barrels. It’s the latter that is most noticeable in the aroma, but the barrels become tougher to pick out individually on the palate — the mark of a blender who knows what they are doing. The beer’s sourness and acidity are well balanced by sweet and jammy flavors such as tart cherry, plum, concord grape and caramel, with a dry oakiness on the finish. It feels light in the mouth, and all the more drinkable for it.
BROOKLYN, N.Y.—Acclaimed Brooklyn brewers Grimm Artisanal Ales open their highly anticipated first permanent brewery and taproom in East Williamsburg [990 Metropolitan Ave between Morgan Ave and Catherine St; www.grimmales.com]. Founded by artists Lauren and Joe Grimm in 2013, Grimm has been producing sought-after beers for the last five years on an itinerant basis out of other existing commercial breweries — a practice known as “gypsy brewing.” In that time, the business received numerous recognitions, including first place awards at The Great American Beer Festival, the country’s premier blind-tasting competition, and being named New York City’s Best Local Brewery by The Village Voice, among other accolades. Lauren and Joe Grimm were also just celebrated by the Small Business Administration with their “2018 Young Entrepreneurs of the Year” award.
NEW BREWERY OFFERINGS:
Grimm’s new brewery allows them to expand production, experiment, and debut new styles of beers. In a beer scene obsessed with freshness, the new facility will allow the public to drink Grimm IPA at the absolute peak of brewery-fresh flavor, having been canned the previous day. By dedicating one fourth of their brewery’s 7,500 square footage to the aging and conditioning of barrel-aged sour beers, Grimm will also expand their sour beer program to include these unique and elusive beers and will be the first New York City brewery to focus on longterm oak-aged sours as a regular menu offering, which is a style known for its difficult and involved process.
The taproom opens with 10+ draft beer lines, bottle-conditioned oak-aged sour beers, a selection of New York State wine and cider, as well as locally-made sodas.
Each Saturday at 10am, Grimm will release new beers. Beers debuting on opening day Saturday, June 30th are:
Flow State — Lauren and Joe have been working on this beer since they founded Grimm five years ago. It’s a Golden Sour aged in oak for one year and saison aged in orange bitters barrels for three years. It is fermented with a mixed culture and dry hopped with Galaxy hops. (6% alc/vol). Only available in 750ml champagne-style bottles to-go and as pours in the taproom.
Today’s Special — American Pale Ale featuring Mosaic, Citra, Simcoe, and Ekuanot hops (5.5% alc/vol). Available on draft in the taproom and in 16 oz cans to-go (four packs)
Zero Anniversary — Double IPA featuring Mosaic, Galaxy, Bravo, Simcoe, and Sorachi Ace hops (8% alc/vol). Available on draft in the taproom and in 16 oz cans to-go (four packs)
Future Days — Golden Sour Beer fermented with a mixed culture, blended from select oak barrels six to eighteen months in age, and dry hopped with Mosaic hops. Only available in 750ml champagne-style bottles to-go and as pours in the taproom.
Lilt — Golden sour beer fermented with a mixed culture, blended from select oak barrels six to eighteen months in age, and refermented with four pounds per gallon of tart Montmorency cherries. (6% alc/vol). Only available as bottle pours in the taproom
Tracery — Saison de Coupage, a traditional Belgian farmhouse style in which barrel-aged sour beer is blended with fresh saison. Grimm’s coupage is a blend of 70% young saison and 30% barrel-aged golden sour. (6% alc/vol). Only available as bottle pours in the taproom
MIDDLE EASTERN-INSPIRED FOOD BY SAMESA:
Grimm is partnering with Eli and Max Sussman of the Middle Eastern-inspired restaurant Samesa in Williamsburg to offer a menu that pairs well with Grimm beers. The menu features Samesa favorites such as Chicken Shawarma Melt (chicken, green zhug, shredded cheddar on a pita and grilled, served with purple slaw), the Samesa Board (pita chips, marinated feta, taramosalata, muhammara, olives, spicy salami), and Pumpernickel Pita and Dips, which will feature a rotating seasonal special dip made with Grimm beer.
Grimm partnered with inc_a — a new New York City-based firm founded by David Bench and Jonathan Chesley. Reflecting Grimm’s unique visual brand, inc_a designed the industrial space to have a playfully minimalist aesthetic. Bright white walls are softened with Lynchian red velvet curtains wrapping the 45-seat taproom. Tropical plants soak up the abundant natural light, and a blanket of warm incandescent bulbs hangs overhead. The taproom sits toward the front of the space, overlooking the stainless steel production equipment in the back area, which includes a 30bbl brewhouse, 60bbl and 90bbl fermenters, as well as over 160bbl’s worth of oak barrels dedicated to aging sour beer. Additional notable elements include a large bar topped with custom spalted maple and heart pine taproom tables fabricated by Tri-lox. Playful custom wallpaper created by artist Gretta Johnson (also also designed Grimm’s custom glassware) decorates the bathroom walls, and is reflected in infinity mirrors helping to reinforce the fun and playful identity of the brand.
Founded by partners Lauren and Joe Grimm in 2013, Grimm has captured the attention of craft beer fans with its limited-edition, award-winning beers and creative branding (all beer labels are also designed by Lauren, Joe and friends). Operating with no permanent address, Grimm has nevertheless been at the epicenter of beer’s current renaissance, achieving international renown as creative innovators of craft beer’s hottest new forms, such as dry-hopped sour ales and “juicy” Northeast-style IPA. The Grimms re-envisioned beer as an ongoing, ephemeral creative stream by brewing new, limited-edition recipes every month, accompanied by ever-changing label art by the Grimms and and their friends.
To support the opening of their first permanent brewery, Grimm received a $4.2M loan through the New York Business Development Corporation – an entity whose mission is to encourage economic development throughout the five boroughs while working to create and retain jobs for New Yorkers.
Grimm is open Monday– 5pm-10pm; Tuesday–Wednesday – closed;Thursday & Friday, 5pm-12am; Saturday, 10am – 12am; Sunday, 12pm-10pm.
Pozole is such a classic Mexican dish that nearly every family that grew up eating it, grew up with a different variation. Some like it with a red chili base, others prefer the verde version. Some recipes call for pork, chicken, fish or even goat. In its most classic form, pozole is hearty, filling, full of beautifully slow-cooked meat and filled with a nice helping of hominy. Don’t forget the toppings—they are an essential component to balancing the flavors of the dish. Pineapple beers, with their tropical flavors and bright pop of acidity, pair perfectly with the deep, rich, spicy flavors of a hearty bowl of pozole.
2½ pounds chicken (bone-in: thighs, wings and/or drumsticks)
1 teaspoon salt
1 white onion, quartered
1 large carrot, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
12 ounces Flanders red beer
3 pounds hominy from a can, rinsed and drained
4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon dried cilantro
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ whole green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 large tomato, chopped
1 large avocado, chopped
½ large red onion, chopped
½ cup cilantro, chopped
½ cup crumbled cotija
½ cup red radishes, thinly sliced
2 limes, cut into quarters
2 large jalapeños, chopped
1. Place chicken pieces in a large pot, cover with about 2 ½ quarts of water, salt, onions, carrot, celery and half of the beer, stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until the chicken is tender and cooked through, about 30 minutes.
2. Remove chicken from pot, allow to cool slightly. Using two forks, pull chicken meat away from the bones, shredding into pieces. Reserve the meat, return the bones to the stock pot. Continue to simmer the bones, uncovered, for 45 minutes.
3. In a blender or food processor, add half of the hominy, garlic cloves and 2 cups of the stock from the pot. Blend until smooth.
4. Strain the broth to remove and discard the bones, then add in the pureed hominy. Stir in the chicken meat, cilantro, oregano, cumin, pepper, remaining hominy and beer. Bring to a simmer and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes.
5. Serve the pozole alongside the garnishes, allowing guests to garnish as they choose.
The Chef’s Pairings: Pineapple Beers
Brewers continue to experiment with specialty ingredients, pushing the boundaries of flavor. Since a good beer deserves a good meal, All About Beer Magazine asked Jackie Dodd, founder of TheBeeroness.com, to taste a few beers brewed with pineapple and offer tasting notes and pairing suggestions. Get more pairing ideas and recipes at allaboutbeer.com/food.
Founders Brewing Co. has undergone several expansions in Grand Rapids over the last two decades, both at its original brewery and taproom as well as at a new facility that specializes in barrel-aged beers. The brewery’s progress has been easy to see for locals and tourists visiting the city, but one of its biggest areas of expansion is hidden from public view.
About three miles away from the brewery, and far below the streets of Grand Rapids, 14,000 barrels of beer quietly age.
(Photo courtesy Founders Brewing Co.)
The barrels are located in former gypsum mines once owned by the Alabastine Mining Company, and now by Michigan Natural Storage. The mines maintain a steady temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, which makes them ideal for storing a number of products—especially beer.
“The level that we’re on, we’re 85 feet below the surface of the earth and it’s about 38 million years old,” says brewery co-founder Dave Engbers. “I asked if they found fossils or stuff like that, and they said where we were predates any living organisms. The ceiling is under an old lake bed.”
The brewery stored its first barrels in the mines around 2004 or 2005, estimates Engbers. Founders had started aging beers in barrels just a few years before, and soon after the barrels were taking up space at the brewery that needed to be used for additional fermentation capacity.
Many of Founders Brewing Co.’s best-known beers are aged in former gypsum mines. (Photo courtesy Founders Brewing Co.)
Engbers and co-founder Mike Stevens had a friend at Michigan Natural Storage who proposed aging barrels there, which made a lot of sense given the facility’s proximity to the Grand Rapids brewery. Now, some of the brewery’s most well-known beers—like KBS and Backwoods Bastard—spend time maturing in the mines.
The underground aging program at Founders may be novel, but aging beer underground is nothing new. Whether manmade or natural, more brewers are going underground with their barrel-aging programs.
A Return to Tradition
In the days before refrigeration, brewers—especially those specializing in lagers, which ferment at lower temperatures than ales—sought out underground spaces to age their beers. It was a common practice at breweries across Europe, and when German immigrants built breweries in the United States, many of them looked for underground cellars that could provide the cooler temperatures needed.
August Schell was one such brewer. Schell left Germany for the United States in 1848, and in 1860 built the Schell’s Brewery in New Ulm, Minnesota. Schell had cavernous cellars beneath the brewery dug out, creating a space to store barrels of the brewery’s lager.
Jace Marti remembers cleaning out the caves as a boy—and not fondly.
“I think that was one of those things that my dad did a little as punishment, but also as an initiation thing,” recalls Marti with a laugh. “There was no light down there, it was terrifying as a kid.”
Now, as a sixth-generation brewmaster at August Schell Brewing Co., he uses the caves to age his own beers. In 2015, the brewery reopened the caves, where currently 55-56 bourbon barrels reside.
The caves at August Schell Brewing Co. (Photo courtesy August Schell Brewing Co.)
True to the brewery’s heritage, these barrels almost always contain lagers of some kind—though they are quite different from the styles August Schell brewed so many years before. The base beers, says Marti, sometimes don’t fit neatly into style guidelines, but usually they are a “big, malty lager in the 10 percent range.”
The caves typically stay in the upper 30 degrees in the winter, and can reach 50 degrees in the summer. Marti says that the differences in temperature between the seasons imparts differences in the character of the beers—namely, that in the summer months the warmer temperatures help extract more flavor from the barrels.
“I think what we’re trying to achieve is more than a standard lager beer,” says Marti. “Having some variations in temperature is good for what we’re doing. A lot of the yeast is pretty much gone, and now we’re just trying to pick up residual spirit character and barrel character. It’s very different than what we were trying to accomplish 100 years ago.”
The Challenges of Aging Underground
Having access to a subterranean space, while rare, is just the beginning for breweries wishing to age underground. The unpaved floors, jagged walls and inconsistent dimensions of these spaces often necessitate a more labor-intensive process than simply storing barrels in a warehouse.
Michigan Natural Storage renovated its gypsum mines with elevators and concrete floors, but getting barrels to the facility still requires a lot of work from Founders.
“The barrels are on racks so they get unloaded from our facility, then brought over to their facility,” says Engbers. “And then they’ve got two industrial elevators. All of that adds to the cost and the labor.”
But at least Engbers has forklifts, and racks on which to store the barrels. The caves at August Schell Brewing Co. aren’t as accommodating.
“It’s a monumental pain,” says Marti. “We have to use different sections of the cave. We take half of the barrels in from one entrance, and the other half through another.”
Laborious though that that process is, work was much harder for the generations of brewers that came before Marti. In the late 19th century, teams would cut ice blocks from the nearby Cottonwood River and pull them by horse up the hill and into the cellars, where the ice would help maintain the necessary temperatures to lager the beers through warmer months.
Marti’s brother tried to replicate the experience once, pulling the old ice tong’s right off the wall of the brewery’s museum. He went down to the river with a chainsaw and lugged a block into the cellars, only to see it melt in a matter of days.
“We won’t be doing that again,” says Marti.
And, of course, another challenge when it comes to aging underground is having the space in the first place. Not every brewery is located miles away from mines that go far below the Earth’s surface, or above cavernous cellars.
At Santa Fe Brewing Co., founder Brian Lock decided to make his own underground cellars, though “underground” here is used a little more loosely.
“They’re not very far underground, they’re inside a bermed hill that they’re put up against,” says Lock. “But they do get a lot of the thermal consistency from being underground. The temperatures are pretty stable, which is great for barrel aging beer.”
Lock had six shipping containers leftover after building his taproom in Albuquerque, and wanted to put them to good use at the Santa Fe location. So they dug out the hill and placed the containers on concrete footings, then sprayed insulation and backfilled around the containers.
(Photo courtesy Santa Fe Brewing Co.)
The brewery is located in the high desert, notes Lock, but with an elevation of 7,000 feet it’s cooler than many people realize. The six 40-feet-long containers stay at a pretty consistent 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. In the winter, the brewery uses space heaters to ensure the containers don’t get too cold.
The underground portion is used to age the brewery’s sour beers, and there’s a small tasting room for sampling. In the future, says Lock, there will be a cave bar that the brewery will open up for special occasions.
The Future is Dark
Despite the challenges that come with aging beers underground, there are breweries eager to carry on the tradition. Earthbound Beer opened last year in St. Louis, Missouri, a city that is no stranger to underground cellars; Anheuser-Busch and Lemp Brewery both were built above the tunnels of a natural cave system. Earthbound inherited cellars of its own, as it now occupies the former Cherokee Brewery space. While the nascent brewery has but a few barrels stowed away at the moment, the owners do have plans to expand their cellars (with the possibility of bringing a foeder and coolship below as well).
Even breweries that don’t have natural caves running below the property are experimenting with underground aging. Brewery Ommegang of Cooperstown, New York, once stowed away Hennepin and other beers in Howe Caverns of upstate New York. Though the brewery no longer ages beer at the caverns, the partnership could serve to inspire other breweries.
Wabasha Brewing Co. is located less than half a mile from the Wabasha Street Caves in St. Paul, Minnesota, and actually produces a beer by the name of Cave Stout, with imperial and bourbon-barrel-aged variants. The plan has always been to age that beer in the nearby the caves, says co-founder and head brewer Brett Erickson. While he has received permission to do so from the caves, Erickson wants to wait until the brewery’s barrel-aging program has grown before moving any production.
And even though Founders has an astonishing 14,000 barrels of beer aging in the former gypsum mines, there may even be room there for a few more players.
“This was kind of our little secret after a while,” says Engbers. “Then the word got out and next thing you know there’s a couple other breweries that store stuff down here.”
For Engbers, it might be easy enough to store thousands of barrels beneath the streets of Grand Rapids. Hiding them is another thing altogether.
Daniel Hartis the editor of All About Beer Magazine.
DURHAM, N.C.—Durham, NC has always been a dream destination for Hi-Wire Brewing owners Chris Frosaker and Adam Charnack. Alive with an eccentric culture, a booming music and arts scene, endless boutique restaurants, and an active political community, Durham, NC has always seemed like a natural fit for the Asheville, NC-based brewery.
Yep, that’s right folks, Hi-Wire Brewing will be opening its third taproom, currently referred to as the “Durham Fun Zone,” in Downtown Durham in late 2018. The taproom will be located at 800 Taylor Street at the Golden Belt campus. Golden Belt is an historic 320,000 square foot mill that once housed textile and tobacco facilities, and is the only remaining 1900s-era conversion opportunity of its kind in the area.
Hi-Wire’s new taproom will consist of 8,844 square feet of interior space, as well as a 1,678 square foot outdoor covered patio and beer garden. Dubbed the “Durham Fun Zone,” the space will be game and activity heavy, featuring full-sized shuffleboard courts, soccer pool tables, table tennis, and more. The bar’s 24 taps will feature Hi-Wire’s full line-up of beers, including year-round, seasonal, specialty, sour, and one-offs, as well as wine, local cider, and guest taps from neighboring Durham breweries. Space will be dedicated to a potential pilot brewing system in the future.
Strategic growth has always been a part of the Hi-Wire vision. Co-owner, Adam Charnack reflects on where Hi-Wire Brewing started just five years ago and notes, “the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill Triangle is Hi-Wire’s second-largest market behind Western North Carolina, and one of the first we ever distributed to. We’ve felt for some time like it’s a second home to us, and we’ve been looking for ways to root ourselves in the community. So while a taproom outside of our two primary breweries wasn’t necessarily part of our Day-One-Business-Plan, we’ve realized how important it is both for Hi-Wire and for our fans to have more ways to connect with the brewery. We’ve been looking for the right opportunity for some time now, and feel as though we’ve really nailed it with our new Durham spot. Hopefully our customers will appreciate and understand our commitment to the area, and either take their love of Hi-Wire to the next level, or, if they’re not really familiar with us just yet, get to know Hi-Wire for the first time – both in our new taproom but also at bars, restaurants, and retail outlets in the community.”
The goal is to open by end of October 2018, but as we all know, construction can have a mind of its own. With that in mind, Hi-Wire Brewing will be regularly updating their website and social media with formal announcements regarding construction, hiring, an opening date, etc. For the most up to date information, please visit hiwirerewing.com or follow them on social media at @hiwirebrewing.
About Hi-Wire Brewing
Located in Asheville, NC, Hi-Wire Brewing is known for producing approachable and balanced lagers and ales, most notably Hi-Wire Lager, Bed of Nails Brown, and Hi-Pitch Mosaic IPA. They have two locations in Asheville: the 27,000 square foot Big Top Production Facility & Taproom located half a mile from the Biltmore Estate and the South Slope Specialty Brewery & Taproom located in the South Slope area of Downtown, which has a focus on wild and sour ales. Hi-Wire was awarded the gold medal at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival® in the German-Style Maerzen category for their Zirkusfest Oktoberfest Lager. Most recently, they took home bronze in the Wood and Barrel Aged Beer category at the 2018 World Beer Cup® for their Dry Hopped Brett Pale Ale. Hi-Wire Brewing’s award-winning beers can be found on draft and in bottles across North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Ohio, and Kentucky. To learn more about the company, visit hiwirebrewing.com.
SAN FRANCISCO–Anchor Brewing Company announces a new spin on Anchor Steam® Beer, San Francisco’s original since 1896. Arriving just in time for summer adventures, Anchor’s flagship beer is now available in cans for the first time and this 19.2oz offering gives beer fans even more opportunities to enjoy Anchor Steam wherever they go.
In 1965, Fritz Maytag acquired and revived the struggling Anchor Brewery. Anchor Steam(4.9% ABV) was the first handcrafted beer to be revitalized in America after Prohibition starting a revolution in beer that originated today’s craft beer movement. In 1971, Fritz Maytag began bottling Anchor Steam Beer—the first bottled Anchor Steam in modern times. The distinctly flavored San Francisco original has been classically handcrafted in Anchor’s copper brewhouse for 122 years and counting. Neither fully a lager nor fully an ale, Anchor Steam is in a category of its own, created by fermenting a lager yeast at warmer ale temperatures.
“No matter how many new beers we create, we never stop celebrating our flagship brew,” said Anchor Brewmaster Scott Ungermann. “Anchor Steam is one of a kind, with a unique, rich flavor and unparalleled history. Whether you’re exploring the great outdoors or embarking on an urban adventure, now Anchor Steam can easily go with you to even more places. We hope Anchor fans will enjoy the look and feel of our new 19.2oz cans, which puts a modern twist on the classic Anchor Steam design.”
Anchor Steam Beer derives its unusual name from the 19th century when “steam” was a nickname for beer brewed on the West Coast of America under primitive conditions and without ice. While the origin of the name remains shrouded in mystery, it likely relates to the original practice of fermenting the beer on San Francisco’s rooftops in a cool climate. In lieu of ice, the foggy night air naturally cooled the fermenting beer, creating steam off the warm open pans. Today, Anchor Brewing is the only American brewery that still employs open fermentation on a commercial scale. Although Anchor has modern equipment and their fermenters are made of stainless steel—and not on rooftops—Anchor has kept this process as part of the brewing heritage for Anchor Steam as well as other beers.
Anchor Steam owes its bright copper color, frosty tan head, and rich, distinctive flavor to this unique, historic brewing process. It is a process that combines deep respect for brewing tradition with many decades of evolution to arrive at a unique approach: a blend of pale and caramel malts, fermentation with lager yeast at warmer ale temperatures in shallow open-air fermenters, and gentle carbonation in Anchor’s cellars through an all-natural process called kräusening.
With flavors of mild toasted malt and a touch of caramel, Anchor Steam is balanced by bright, piney hoppiness. It has aromas of toasted bread crust maltiness followed by bright evergreen Northern Brewer hops and floral esters. A smooth and velvety mouthfeel is accompanied by lively bubbles from the natural kräusening process and a crisp, bright hop finish. It pairs well with any seafood dish, steak with caramelized onions, and grilled portobello mushrooms.
Anchor Steam cans are available in a convenient single size or easy to grab 4-pack nationwide. Find a beer near you using the Anchor Beer Finder.
Anchor Brewing Company’s roots date back to the California Gold Rush making it one of America’s oldest breweries. Its Anchor Steam® Beer is San Francisco’s original since 1896. In 1965, Fritz Maytag acquired and revived the struggling brewery at a time when mass production of beer dominated and seemed unstoppable. Maytag started a revolution in beer that originated today’s craft beer movement. An undisputed icon, Anchor is America’s first craft brewery where beers are handmade in our traditional copper brewhouse from an all-malt mash. At Anchor, we practice the time-honored art of classical brewing, employing state-of-the-art methods to ensure that our beers are always pure and fresh. We know of no brewery in the world that matches our efforts to combine traditional, natural brewing with such carefully applied, modern methods of sanitation, finishing, packaging and transporting. To learn more visit www.anchorbrewing.com.