CraftBeer was created to communicate the passion, authenticity, excitement, creativity, camaraderie, and joy of the craft beer community. It has been bringing the stories of America's small & independent craft brewers to life for beer lovers.
Independent craft breweries have always been about community and sustainability. Even though much has changed — equipment has evolved, become more high-tech and efficient. — the basic science has remained the same for centuries. In the same vein, craft brewers are taking old buildings and giving them a new life and purpose.
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Historic abandoned churches, banks, warehouses, train and bus stations, firehouses, factories and, yes, even old breweries are being restored and taking part in today’s craft brewery explosion. There may be even a few ghosts from the past hanging around.
In 1988, Denver’s lower downtown — called LoDo — was skid row.
Then came four guys who wanted to make beer. Jerry Williams, Mark Schiffler, Russell Scherer and John Hickenlooper opened the first craft brewery in Denver in the J.S. Brown Mercantile Building on the corner of 18th and Wynkoop streets. Hickenlooper went on to become the mayor of Denver and is currently the governor of Colorado.
There are now approximately 50 breweries in Denver and more than 185 in the metro area. LoDo is the hippest area of Denver, home to the Colorado Rockies’ Coors Field and some of the city’s best-known restaurants and shops. It all started with Wynkoop Brewing.
Built in 1899, the Mercantile Building housed the John Sidney Brown wholesale grocery business until 1943. Then for 45 years, it sat primarily unused.
The brewery rescued the back bar in the second floor, dubbed Wynkoop Billiards, from Denver’s Tivoli-Union Brewery that closed in 1969.
This destination brewery takes a farm-to-table approach with its ever-changing seasonal brews leading the way.
Denver’s Wynkoop Brewing Co. is in the Mercantile Building, which housed the John Sidney Brown wholesale grocery business until 1943. (Wynkoop Brewing Co.)
The Depot Craft Brewery and Distillery | Reno, NV
The Depot is housed in a three-story brick structure originally built in 1910 as the Nevada-California-Oregon Railroad Depot. Originating in Reno, the trains catered primarily to farmers and ranchers along the 238-mile route to Lakeview, Oregon.
The building sold to the Western Pacific Railroad in 1917 and continued to serve as a midpoint on the line for freight and passengers until 1937. The railroad and other businesses then converted it into office space. It served that purpose for 20 years.
Beginning in 1958 and continuing for several decades, it was the headquarter of the Sierra Wine & Liquor Company, a liquor distributor.
In 2013, owners Chris Shanks and Brandon Wright, who is also the brewer, remodeled and restored The Depot. It opened on New Year’s Eve 2014.
The mission at The Depot is, “to share our pursuit and passion for transforming base ingredients into far more noble forms.”
The Depot is Nevada’s first combined craft brewery and distillery under the craft distillery license enacted by the state in 2013.
Reno’s The Depot is housed in a three-story brick structure originally built in 1910 as the Nevada-California-Oregon Railroad Depot.
Taft’s Ale House | Cincinnati
St. Paul’s Evangelical Church, constructed in 1850 in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, was once the oldest German Protestant Church in Cincinnati.
A fire in 1899 destroyed all but the walls and stained-glass windows, but it was fully rebuilt by 1900. It was home to the Church of God of the Mountain Assembly from 1949 to 1974.
Empty for many years, the structure decayed severely as the city searched to repurpose the building. Finally, in 2015, Taft’s Brewing Company established Taft’s Ale House inside the hallowed halls.
This once-thriving neighborhood of saloons, breweries, restaurants and supporting industries has made a comeback after being stopped overnight by Prohibition.
Taft’s doesn’t focus on the church history but, instead, on Cincinnati’s William Howard Taft, 27th president of the United States and chief justice of the Supreme Court. Its logo pays homage to the tale of President Taft, who was a very large man, getting stuck in his bathtub. The brewery named Nellie’s Tap Room, a former pharmacy space on the first floor, after his wife.
Taft’s operates a second location, Taft’s Brewpourium, in the former Cincinnati Car Company Factory, which manufactured streetcars and rail cars from 1902 until 1938.
Taft’s Ale House in Cincinnati was once St. Paul’s Evangelical Church which was destroyed in a fire in 1899.
Phantom Canyon Brewing Co. | Colorado Springs, CO
The Cheyenne Building, constructed in 1901, was first used as the western terminus for the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad. The upper floors were lodging for the railroad crews as the trains stopped in Colorado Springs overnight.
It became The Cheyenne Hotel from 1909 to 1963. The southwest corner bears a 2-foot-high stone bust of Chief Two Moons of the Cheyenne Indian Tribe. The name of the artist who created it is unknown.
Phantom Canyon Brewing in Colorado Springs had many previous uses including a railroad terminal, a bus depot, a cable tv company and a jewelry store. (Phantom Canyon Brewing)
Over the years, the building housed realty and insurance companies, a bus depot, cable TV company, jewelry store and a Navajo-Hopi Indian curio shop.
In 1993, it was slated for demolition when the owners of Denver’s Wynkoop Brewing stepped in, restored the building and opened Phantom Canyon, named for one of the last remaining roadless canyons along Colorado’s Front Range.
The main pub area, with a bar relocated from a railroad station in Pueblo, Colorado, occupies what was formerly the railroad ticket office. Patterned very much after Wynkoop Brewing, the upper floors are now a pool hall and event space. Like Wynkoop in Denver, Phantom Canyon was the first craft brewery in Colorado Springs
The dungeon-like barrel room is actually outside the building, under the sidewalk!
Phantom Canyon’s heritage runs as deep as the canyon it is named after.
Paducah Beer Werks occupies a former Greyhound Bus terminal that served travelers from 1966 to 2010. It also once housed a vending and pinball machine company.
Owner Todd Blume, a long-time homebrewer, had a vision to bring craft beer to western Kentucky. He bought the terminal and began renovations in 2014. PBW opened to the public in March 2015 as the first craft brewery in the area.
The brewpub occupies the former waiting area and candy shop and the brewery is in the luggage area and loading dock. PBW retained the original terrazzo floors, destination signage and luggage lockers of the bus station.
The location bridges the downtown area with the artists’ area. It’s also a music venue, hosting local and original performances from all genres. Guests can groove to the tunes while enjoying the popular Irish red or Orange Blossom Special wheat.
Most recently, PBW won a Bronze for their Robust Porter at the 2016 Dublin Cup in Dublin, Ireland!
Head brewer Todd brews by the philosophy, “From grain to glass … Building a better beer.”
Paducah Beer Werks occupies a former Greyhound Bus terminal that served travelers from 1966 to 2010. (Paducah Beer Works)
Old Firehouse Brewery | Williamsburg, OH
When owner Adam Cowan was looking for a place to start his brewery, a friend pushed him to look at an old firehouse he owned. A former firefighter, Adam knew this was a perfect fit.
Built in 1955 in the center of Main Street, the firehouse serviced as an all-volunteer department until 2000. It has also been the village town hall and community center.
With no other venue available, this family- and dog-friendly brewery is still the center of this small town of 5,000 people. It has hosted various parties, weddings, wakes, reunions and football tailgate parties.
The Old Firehouse sponsors street parties, closing Main Street for cornhole tournaments and fireman’s competitions to raise money for the community.
The place is loaded with firefighting memorabilia, much of it donated by former firefighters or their families. The taproom is like your neighbor’s garage — a cool place to hang out with family and friends.
Its popular Midwest IPA is more malt forward, not a palate-wrecking hop monster.
“It’s all about good solid beer. Have fun with it and play nice with food,” Adam says.
The Old Firehouse Brewery in Williamsburg, OH, is filled with firefighting memorabilia. (Old Firehouse Brewery)
North Peak Brewing Co. | Traverse City, MI
Big Daylight Candy Company, established in 1899, outgrew quickly its two original factories. In 1904, a modern, state-of-the-art factory was built, producing all kinds of candies until it closed in 1928.
In 1997, this three-story brick building became the home of North Peak Brewing Company, serving craft beer, wood-fired pizza, salads, burgers and sandwiches.
Kilkenny’s Irish Public House occupies the basement space. The upper floors contain offices and residential condominiums. The renovation aimed to retain and showcase much of the old factory fittings and beams
North Peak was one of the earliest microbreweries in Michigan, helping pave the way to more than 300 in the state today. Like most of the breweries on this list, it started a revitalization of this neighborhood on the west side of Traverse City.
For over 20 years, its philosophy in both beer and food has been freshness and quality, using local and regional products whenever possible.
Enjoy a North Peak Diabolical IPA, unfiltered and dry-hopped with Michigan grown Chinook and Cascade hops — and, learn about the mythical North American jackalope.
North Peak Brewing Co. in Traverse City, MI, is in the former space of the Big Daylight Candy Company. (North Peak Brewing Co.)
Moon River Brewing Co. | Savannah, GA
Savannah’s first hotel, City Hotel, built in 1821, is the oldest building on this list. It was also home to the city’s first branch of the U.S. Postal Service and a branch of the Bank of the U.S.
In the 1850s, the hotel was renovated and housed a live lion and lioness to attract visitors. The final guest checked out in 1864, just before the arrival of General William Sherman during the Civil War.
The hotel remained shuttered until around the turn of the century, when it was used as a lumber and coal warehouse. In the 1960s it became an office supply and printing company. In 1979, Hurricane David blew the roof off, forcing the business to close. The building remained empty until 1995, when it became Savannah’s first brewpub, Oglethorp Brewing Company, which closed after two years.
In early 1999, Moon River took over the empty space in the historic district of Savannah, which is claimed to be the most haunted city in the U.S.
Haunted? Yes, Moon River is allegedly the site of hauntings and poltergeist activity. SyFy Channel’s “Ghost Hunters” and Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures” have featured the brewery.
Moon River, which added its beer garden in 2013, is named for the iconic song, written by Johnny Mercer, who grew up in Savannah.
Co-owner, head brewer and mad tinkerer, John Pinkerton, is motivated by quality, balance and diversity. Pinkerton’s flagship IPA, Swamp Fox, is dry-hopped with whole-cone Citra, Centennial and Chinook in a custom designed hop vessel. Moon River was also named the Mid-Size Brewpub of the Year at 2017’s Great American Beer Festival.
Moon River Brewing in Savannah, GA, is in the space that was once a hotel and a branch of the Bank of the U.S. (Moon River Brewing)
Mission Brewery | San Diego
The first Mission Brewery was established in 1913, but it, like many breweries, went out of business the first year of Prohibition. In 2007, homebrewer Dan Selis re-established Mission Brewery as a humble addition to a local restaurant.
Mission Brewery is in a former Wonder Bread Bakery in San Diego’s East Village. (Mission Brewery)
That year, Dan won a bronze for his first incarnation of Mission El Camino IPA and a gold for Mission El Amigo Munich Helles Lager at the Great American Beer Festival. So he must be on to something.
Mission soon outgrew its original space and moved to a shared warehouse location in Chula Vista.
In 2010, the brewery needed another new home. Dan found the perfect space in the historic Wonder Bread Bakery Building, built in 1894, in the East Village of San Diego. This location, near the Gaslamp District and baseball field, boasts a huge tasting room that can accommodate 250 and a 5,000-square-foot event space. The brewery also refurbished the original Wonder Bread grain silo to hold grain.
In its sole location, the Mission brews, kegs, bottles and cans on site.
Flagship beers Mission IPA and Mission Hefeweizen along with an ever-changing lineup of seasonal brews exemplify its motto, “Craft Beer is our Mission.”
Loop Brewing Co. | McCook, NE
When Loop Brewing opened in 2011, it was recognized as the third-farthest brewery from the next nearest brewery in the U.S. Most people in the area did not understand what craft beer was all about, but they do now!
The unique brick building right next to railroad tracks still holds evidence of its past lives. It built as a railroad icehouse in the early 1900s. From the 30s through the 70s, it was a produce company.
It was an empty shell when Tyler Loop found the building, but he immediately knew it was right for his brewery. The slight pyramid design of the building is to help mitigate the noise and vibration of the adjacent tracks. The original walk-in coolers from the produce company are still in use, complete with banana hooks.
Patrons can enjoy an Irish red, the most popular brew since Day One, while watching the still active railyard through the large windows facing the tracks.
Loop Brewing in McCook, NE, was once a railroad icehouse and a produce company. (Loop Brewing)
Engine House No. 9 / E9 Brewery | Tacoma, WA
Engine House No. 9 was built in 1907 and used as battalion headquarters and fire protection for Tacoma’s North End until 1965. It was the last engine house in Tacoma to convert from horse-drawn to motorized fire equipment in 1919.
Tacoma’s Engine House No. 9/E9 Brewery was built in 1907 and used as battalion headquarters and fire protection for Tacoma’s North End until 1965. (Engine House No. 9)
The station fell into disrepair and was vandalized for several years until a newspaper reporter bought it in 1971, converting the first floor into a tavern with second floor apartments. The original tavern evolved, becoming Tacoma’s first craft brewery in 1995.
Engine House No. 9 is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. One of the original flagship beers, Rowdy & Dick Amber, is named after the last two surviving firehouse horses. The pair got a firefighter’s burial in the area occupied by the brewery’s current beer garden.
Being in the Pacific Northwest, its late hop addition IPAs are the brewery’s most popular. They also use a locally grown yeast strain for a true regional flavor.
What E9 brewers Shane Johns and Donovan Stewart are most passionate about are their Brett Saisons and fruited wild sour beers. They have their own barrel house with more than 200 wine and bourbon barrels for aging the beers.
7 Seas Brewing | Tacoma, WA
7 Seas’ unique location began life as … a brewery. The historic building was home to Columbia Brewing Co. 1900-33, Columbia Breweries, Inc. 1933-53 and Heidelberg Brewing Co. 1953-79.
In 2009, Mike Runion and Travis Guterson launched 7 Seas in a former racquetball court in Gig Harbor. Unfortunately, that location burned down before they could start brewing. Undaunted, they moved ahead in a former auto-body shop. By 2012, growth required a move to a 12,000-square-foot former grocery store.
Mike and Travis determined the future required a long-term home. In August 2016, they opened the Tacoma location in the 80,000-square-foot Heidelberg Brewing building that had not brewed since 1979.
Brewing history flows from every inch of this modern brewery. Its wall feature historic photos, Heidelberg and Columbia advertising, memorabilia and brewing equipment. These walls house years of community memories.
Enjoy the brewery’s flagship beer, Rude Parrot IPA, with fresh, shucked-to-order, Washington state oysters.
The brewery customers approve of the site and the beer. According to Mike, one clearly impressed patron said that “7 Seas was voted “The Best Brewery EVER in the Universe” nine years running, by all humanoids and living organisms. Larry, the dude that lives up the street, said so!”
Small, independent craft breweries save more unique old buildings from oblivion, or even the wrecking ball, as they continue to take root in neighborhoods across the U.S. It’s a very fortunate by-product to come out of craft beer — perhaps second only to the beer itself.
Tacoma’s 7 Seas Brewing is in a building that was home to..
Members of the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) have spoken and for the second year in a row, Bell’s Brewery Inc.’s Two Hearted® Ale top’s Zymurgy Magazine’s list of Best Beers in America. The list of best beer commercially available in America was published based on the annual survey of thousands of amateur brewers by the AHA. This is the 16th year the Association has surveyed their members to garner their selection of favorite beers available in the United States.
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“As brewers, the members of American Homebrewers Association can discern the subtle differences between a good beer and an outstanding beer.,” said Gary Glass, director, American Homebrewers Association.
The consecutive year selection of Two Hearted Ale, an American IPA, comes after Santa Rosa, California’s Russian River claimed the top spot for an unprecedented eight-year span with their Double IPA, Pliny the Elder. CraftBeer.com readers will remember that class acts Russian River Brewing congratulated their friends at Bell’s with a case of Pliny. The 2018 survey, once again placed Pliny close behind in second place.
Bell’s had an additional beer place in the Top 5, the Michigan brewery’s double IPA, Hopslam came in at number 4 overall. The rest of the top 5 is rounded out by Stowe, Vermont brewery The Alchemist’s Heady Topper, and Chico, California’s Sierra Nevada’s classic American pale ale had a three-way tie with two beers from Founder’s Brewing from Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The American Homebrewers Association promotes and works to empowerin an estimated 1.2 million homebrewers in the United States to make the best beer they can. You can see all of the results of the Best Beers America survey on their website, homebrewersassociation.org.
Sapling Series Release: $2 from every pour will be dontated
We will donate $1 from every other beer
Music: American Wild Hollow
Courtney Rae Hermes and Brendan O’Brien have been playing together as a duo for years. They find their inspiration in traditional American music genres like bluegrass, jazz, folk, and swing. They play a mix of unique covers and toe-tapping originals, and are currently performing in the Denver area.
The House that Beer Built has an overall goal to raise $60,000 in 2018 through festival ticket sales and other promotional events over the summer taking place in each partner taproom. Brewery partners seek to give back to the community they serve by donating both time and resources to Habitat for Humanity. Breweries will host additional events throughout the summer to help reach the goal.
We’re very pleased to announce that four of the individuals chiefly responsible for making Jester King the special place that it is today are now owners in the company! Head Brewer AVERIE SWANSON, Tasting Room Manager ERIC KUKLA, Artist JOSH COCKRELL and Operations Manager MATT PIPER are all now owners of Jester King!
Averie Swanson started as a volunteer over five years ago and worked her way up from Apprentice to Brewer to Production Manager to Head Brewer. She’s in charge of beer making at Jester King and oversees our recipe development, fermentation and blending. She also represents Jester King abroad and is a frequent lecturer on beer making both nationally and internationally.
Eric Kukla began as a volunteer at our Grand Opening party in January, 2011 and has been with us ever since. He’s in charge of curating the onsite experience at Jester King and effectively runs a mini-beer festival every weekend. Eric has emerged as a national leader in the movement toward tasting room-centric brewery business models.
Josh Cockrell has been with Jester King since before we opened in 2010. He has been our artist since day one and is responsible for everything aesthetically associated with our brewery. In addition to art, Josh plays an important role guiding our future and fostering our company culture.
Matt Piper began volunteering with us over five years ago, and as our Operations Manager, wears many hats. He helps run engineering, oversees distribution, helps guide our tasting room, and heads our sustainability efforts. Matt provides a great voice of leadership across the company and plays a major role in making everything run well.
We couldn’t be happier that Averie, Eric, Josh and Matt’s hard work, passion, leadership and dedication has led to them becoming Jester King owners! They are all very special people whose impact on our past, present and future cannot be overstated.
Nothing can prepare you to enjoy (or deserve) a top-notch craft beer than exerting yourself on a scenic bike ride. The cool flow of hops and carbs down your throat will help refresh you and get you ready for a ride back — or a rest — as much as a cool breeze behind your back on the trail.
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Just like craft breweries, new bike paths are cropping up all over the country. And breweries are sprouting up right near them to cater to thirsty trail users. Many of these breweries, taprooms and restaurants are located right by or nearby the bike trails and cater to the cycling crowd.
Just as many pubs and breweries occupy former mills or buildings built for another purpose, many bike trails occupy repurposed railroad lines, allowing for history lessons as you ride. Other trails follow rivers, providing scenic rides along the sources of water for much of the local brew.
From East Coast to the West Coast, you can turn a day-off into a bike and beer ride. Here we show a few of the nation’s top bike trails where you can find a room with a craft beer nearby. You can also rent a bike from nearby places.
A few notes of caution: Some taprooms open seasonally; others close some days of the week or keep limited hours, catering mainly to weekend trail users. Some spots include full menus along with taps; other just snacks. Some don’t serve food but rely on food trucks or welcome you to order out or bring your own munchies. Some breweries offer tours, so check schedules (our Brewery Finder lists business hours) and be ready to walk in your cleats if need be.
We can’t list every beer trail or every worthy brewery along the ones named, so apologies if we’ve left out a good one you know of.
Now pump up the tires and your energy level and ride the bike line to the beer line.
Virginia & D.C.: Washington & Old Dominion Trail Craft Beer Pit Stops
The Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park occupies a 44.5-mile east-west strip in Northern Virginia from just outside the District of Columbia in Arlington to rustic Purcellville. The former railroad line runs right past all sorts of attractions from nature centers to rose gardens and historic buildings as it shoots through suburbs and farms. An advantage is that you can take your bike on the light rail or bus along much of the route if you don’t feel like riding back to where you started. And as you reach either end, you can find a beer right there.
Right at the eastern end in the Shirlington area of Arlington, you’ll find New District Brewing Company, the first production brewery to open in Arlington in a century. Signs will point it out. The place likes bicyclists so much that it served as a stop on the annual Bike-to-Work Day. Cyclists especially like its 1821 Dark, a dark lager with chocolate and coffee, says bartender Matt Heller.
Ride to mile marker 12 and while it’s not the end of the route, you’ll find a caboose and Caboose Brewing Co. on the north side of the trail. Caboose Brewing relies on trail users for much of its business, including regular groups of cyclists and runners who pop by. Cyclists especially like the fried Brussels sprouts “they can pop easily in their mouths,” to go along with beer, says general manager Marisa Roberts.
Between mile marker 18 and 19, you’ll hit Reston Town Center, where on weekends groups of cyclists replenish regularly at the American Tap Room. Park your bike on the ground level of any of the garages in the center. Cyclists tend to like the fruity summer beers along with lighter options such as shrimp and Brussels sprouts appetizers, just like at Caboose.
Further west, between mile markers 22 and 23, you’ll find Beltway Brewing Company along the trail. Unique among trailside breweries, Beltway contracts to produce for others but doesn’t offer its own brands. “We are working with great clients from all over the country, which gives us a huge variety of beers of very limited supply and release that can only be found outside this area except at our brewery,” says founder Sten Sellier. Beltway provides a patio, restrooms, water, “all that important stuff when you are in the middle of a long bike ride.” Beltway offers snacks but lacks a kitchen and welcomes outside food. Riders tend to order the light, crisp, fruity sours, Sellier says.
Keep going and you’ll find a few more breweries that really love bicyclists. Old Ox Brewery at mile marker 25 sponsors periodic bike rides up and down the W&OD, culminating with a beer at the return. In addition to indoor and outdoor seating, Old Ox offers air and a toolkit to tune up your bike.
And when you get to mile marker 34 in historic Leesburg, you have your choice of breweries — none right on the trail but plenty two or three blocks away — too many to name. Especially worthy of note: Bike TrAle Brewing Company. Turn north on King Street (Rt. 15) two or three blocks then right on Loudoun Street for a block. The place only serves beer and soda; bring your own food or order from the delivery menus the brewery provides. The offerings feature Crankset Kolsch, Tailwind Weisen Hefeweizen and Road Rash Red Irish Red Ale.
While You’re in Town
While in downtown Leesburg, you might want to check out the historic district and quaint shopping area full of antique and gourmet stores, or learn about the past at the nearby Loudoun Museum or Dodona Manor, the restored home of Gen. George Marshall, architect of the Marshall plan to rebuild post World War II Europe.
And if you reach the end of the line at mile marker 44.5, enjoy a beer and nourishment right there at Magnolias at the Mill, which offers indoor and outdoor seating. Choose from 34 beers and a hearty menu, where cyclists tend to enjoy the brick-oven pizzas and hickory grilled burgers.
Pennsylvania: Schuylkill River Trail Craft Beer Pit Stops
When it’s complete, the Schuylkill River Trail will rank among the nation’s premier trails. The finished line will run about 130 miles in southeast Pennsylvania along the Schuylkill River from Philadelphia through Reading to Pottsville, from the urban to the rural. Right now, discontinuous stretches of the trail are open where you can ride and refresh yourself with a craft beer.
Brewing has produced some of recreational bicycling’s greatest friends, and that list includes Sly Fox Brewing Company, which operates two locations near the trail: a Brewery & Tastin’ Room (tours available) in Pottstown; and a Brewhouse & Eatery in Phoenixville. A visit to either requires a side trip of 15 minutes or so, however.
To get to the Pottstown location by bike from the trail, get off at the Grosstown Trailhead and take Grosstown Road East. Take a right onto Berks Street, then left on Glasgo Street to Circle of Progress Drive.
To reach the Phoenixville site, get off at the Mowere Trailhead just north of town and ride west toward Rt. 23. Cross the route to Rapps Dam Road. Cross a covered bridge and turn left on the French Creek Trail — a scenic ride in itself. Turn right when you get to Township Line Road, then right again to Upland Village Square.
The company has long supported the trail with volunteer work and donations. “We partner with the Schuylkill River Greenways (nonprofit) in our trail stewardship,” Sly Fox sales manager Corey Reid says. Sly Fox created a special 4.8% ABV SRT Ale, which the brewery describes as a “golden, hop-forward ale and a salute to the beautiful Schuylkill River Trail.” A portion of the proceeds of every pint sold supports the trail.
“So far, we have raised over $9,000 for the trail. Most of the funds to date have been allocated to improve road crossings,” Reid tells us in an email. “We also annually have an Earth Day cleanup that draws over 100 volunteers.” Those who help out get rewarded with an SRT Ale.
Meanwhile, Conshohocken Brewing Company brews and ages its own craft beer, served at four locations, two within easy reach of the trail. Tap Room Conshohocken in the borough of Conshohocken (right on the trail) offers 10 taps as well as a water fountain and maintenance depot for bikers right outside. Cyclists especially enjoy the Island in the Sun Double IPA with pineapple flavor and Blueberry Berliner Weisse, according to manager Alix Leventon. Also easily accessible from the trail is Conshohocken’s Brewpub Bridgeport. Cross the river on Rt. 202 and you’ll arrive.
And if you’re riding the trail in Phoenixville, you can stop for a full meal with your beer at several locations right by the trail:
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant lies between two entrances to the trail. Get off the trail at Bridge Street where you see the laundromat and proceed two blocks. You can lock your bike on the patio and eat and drink inside or out. “We make all our own beer, about 10 feet from where you drink it, as fresh as it gets,” a taproom staffer says. “Cyclists like our light lager, the most crisp and refreshing beer, light in calories,” she says. And they tend to devour nachos with it.
Another great stop for cyclists in Phoenixville is Root Down Brewing Co., inside the old Superior Beverage Company building, where you can enjoy a historical setting and play games in back. Root Down even shares space with the Twisted Cog Bike Shop, should you need anything for your ride. “We’re the closest brewery to the trail” and a local ride group stops by regularly, says Justin the bartender. Just ride down the block from the trail on Main St.
An alternate Phoenixville spot: Stable 12 Brewing Company, 368 Bridge St., where you can taste original recipes, including the Bridge Street Kolsch. To get there, stay on the trail, spur south of the river till it ends, across the street from the parking lot. You’re welcome to bring your bike into the taproom where you can enjoy wings and burgers with your beer.
While You’re In Town
If you’re riding on a weekend in Phoenixville, visit Lock 60 on the Schuylkill Canal Park where Sundays at 3 pm you can watch and even help turn the only working lock on the Schuylkill and see the locktender’s house. And on Saturday, you can find produce at the Phoenixville Farmers’ Market right by the trail.
Southeast Virginia is known for its outdoor recreation opportunities and the small and independent craft brewers there cater to those who enjoy them. The 34.3-mile Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail, a railroad line until 1977, now one of the nation’s top bike paths, runs through federally and locally-owned recreation land where you can easily rent a bike and even take a bike shuttle to and from the trail — you can only ride one way, <? if you wish. As the Virginia Creeper Trail Club puts it, you’ll ride past “open farmlands and fields, dense forests, Christmas tree farms, rushing streams and creeks” and over almost 50 wooden trestles. You’ll ride through the Jefferson National Forest, Mount Rogers National Recreation Area and the towns of Damascus and Abingdon.
And should you want a beer after a trip, you’ve got a few good options. Wolf Hills Brewing Company lies half a mile from the trail just over the train tracks at the zero mile marker in Abingdon. It created a Creeper Trail Amber Ale, “A more traditional amber ale but not as aggressive,” with a tone that describes fall colors, as founder Chris Burcher describes it.
And if you’re stopping in the trail’s other town, Damascus, you can stop at Damascus Brewery, where you can try a Trail Daze IPL or a Creeper Imperial IPA among the 45 beer recipes brewed on site. Seven trails meet there, including the Appalachian Trail. Many cyclists traveling across the country stop by, says owner Adam Woodson.
The Katy Trail, a state park, weaves almost 240 miles east-west in a wave across most of Missouri. TrailLink calls it the longest continuous rail-trail in the USA. It goes along railbanks, riverbeds, farmland, small towns, state capital Jefferson City — you name it if it’s not in a metropolis. You can even take a self-guided tour of all or part of the length. And of course, you can stop at various places for a beer.
In eastern Missouri, at mile 40 in St. Charles, for starters, right across from the parking lot at the trailhead near the Missouri River you’ll find, naturally, Trailhead Brewing Co. You can order a Trailhead Red Amber Ale or a Trailblazer Blonde Ale.
In central Missouri, you’ll find yourself in wine country but you can still grab a good cold beer. At mile 66.4, you’ll find the Augusta Brew Haus where you can stop for lunch and a drink. Further west at mile 100.8 in Hermann, you’ll get two history lessons by stopping by Tin Mill Brewing Company. You’ll find yourself in a historic grain processing mill. But the grain used there today isn’t locally sourced: Tin Mill uses historic German brewing methods and imports barley and hops from Germany. The brewery offers tours five days a week.
When you reach Columbia, you can try a 5.5% ABV Katy Trail Pale Ale, made with American Cascade hops at Flat Branch Pub & Brewing. You can get a history lesson here too — if not about beer than about bicycling. The pub displays old bicycle models — even those with one large and one small wheel. And the 1927 converted warehouse stands in the historic district. The Katy ale “is one of the two most popular beers, especially in the spring,” says manager Mike Weston. Not only will you find bike racks outside, ask for a chain and Flat Branch will provide it, Weston says.
Minnesota: Brown’s Creek Trail Craft Beer Pit Stops
Way up north, you used to be able to order a beer while enjoying the scenery on the Minnesota Zephyr Dinner Train that ran to downtown Stillwater, Minnesota. The recession of a decade ago killed the dinner train. But consider it creative destruction, because the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources bought the 5.9-mile segment leading to downtown, which now serves as the Brown’s Creek State Trail, connecting the longer Gateway State Trail on one end with downtown Stillwater, a former lumber town, on the other. At the downtown end, you can find a bike tune-up stand, connections to the still-being-developed Loop Trail, and spots for a beer you no longer can get on the rail line. But the beer today is probably better.
Bike along the St. Croix River that separates Minnesota from Wisconsin at the southern end of Brown’s Creek Trail and a block west find Maple Island Brewing, which partners with DIRO Outdoors to offer bicycle rentals in summer and with other bike groups to welcome cyclists into the taproom. You can park your bike outside or bring it into the patio for added safety.
Right between the bike path and the river, you’ll find Dock Cafe, where you can find local beers, including ones brewed by Joseph Wolf Brewing Company, which has been brewing in town since 1868 and hopes to reopen a taproom soon. You can sit outside by the river and watch your bike while you sip.
Stillwater might not be the first place you think of in Minnesota, but it’s the birthplace of the state. An 1883 freight house for the lumber hauled on the railroad before the dinner train has been converted into the Freight House restaurant, beer garden and taproom with 24 taps and a view of the river and one of the three lift bridges still in operation in the country.
Nevada & California: North Lake Tahoe Trail Craft Beer Pit Stops
The North Lake Tahoe business community’s push to promote tourism included branding of the North Lake Tahoe Ale Trail, which is actually a series of road and mountain bike trails in the area around the north side of the lake which includes communities in Nevada and California. They sure make it easy to rent a bike and encourage you to stop for a beer.
Tunnel Creek Cafe in Incline Village, Nevada, provides the perfect spot to start and end a bike trip. The family that runs it also operates Flume Trail Bikes next door and will give you a shuttle ride to and from the trail. If your own bike needs service, you’re in luck there too.
“We’re mainly a sandwich shop,” says co-owner Patti McCullan. “We only have three taps but we’re going through expansion and will have more soon.” You can choose from “a lot of bottles” meanwhile.
McCullan’s husband Max Jones operates the bike shop. Jones was inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in 1998 and has long been active in promoting local mountain biking. He restored the 1870s building that now serves as the bike shop. “We both ride a lot,” McCullan says.
As an alternative, you could drop by Alibi Ale Works, where you can find local beer sourced with water from the lake. In addition to beer, the place, with a bike rack and patio, offers snacks and food trucks or you can bring your own vittles. “We’re the only brewer in town,” says server Bj Petkanas. “We’re starting with the best water for sure.”
On the California side, ride up to the Tahoe Mountain Brewing Company brewpub on the lake in downtown Tahoe City. Bikers tend to go for the crisp, light 5.4% ABV French Pils along with fish tacos or burgers after a ride, says bartender Scott Mitchell.
And remember — while riding a bicycle — you are operating a vehicle, so it’s crucial to watch what you drink just as carefully as if you were driving home and bring a water bottle. Do the bulk of the riding before drinking and be sure to eat some carbs, protein and fat with the beer. If you want to try multiple beers, split a sampler with companions if possible.
BALTIMORE, MD – The “Uncharted Waters” Series by Heavy Seas Beer will soon welcome the first new beer in 2018, Grand Crew, a red wine barrel-aged Belgian Amber ‘Grand Cru.’ This limited release will be available in July in all states where Heavy Seas beer is distributed. Also, for 2018, all “Uncharted Waters” Series beers will now be available in 4 packs of 12oz bottles, no longer 22oz.
Grand Crew is an 8.5% ABV, amber colored Belgian-style “Grand Cru,” with aromas of toast, biscuit, stone fruit, and spice (clove and white pepper). The beer is medium to light bodied, which belies its complexity. Nuanced layers of caramel, toast, spice, yellow raisin, white pepper, and biscuit dominate the flavor profile. It was brewed with six different Belgian malts, light- and amber- candi syrup (which helps provide the lighter mouthfeel), and a Belgian yeast blend of three different attenuative strains. Eight months of Pinot Noir wine barrel aging expands the depth of flavor, with subtle hints of dark fruit and oak entwined with the toasty, biscuity, spicy Belgian character, while also providing vinous, grape, and earthy aromas.
Style: Red wine barrel-aged Belgian Amber “Grand Cru”
Raleigh, NC — Lonerider Brewing Company, an independent craft brewery that prides itself on developing Ales for Outlaws since 2009, will be releasing a new seasonal beer as part of the Desperado Series in late June.
Perfect for a summer cookout or rodeo, For a Few Hops More is Lonerider’s take on an American style wheat beer. A refreshing dry-hopped wheat ale, it is brewed with 4 hop varieties lending aromas of fresh cut grass and lemony citrus, as well as subtle tropical notes. This beer is fresh, clean, and light on the palate with a touch of spiciness from the wheat.
For a Few Hops More has limited availability across the Carolinas. Look for draught and 16 oz. cans from late June to early August.
For more information about Lonerider, please visit www.loneriderbeer.com, become a fan on Facebook or follow @loneriderbeer on Twitter and Instagram.
Lonerider opened its doors in Raleigh, North Carolina on January 23rd, 2009 with a beer and a dream. Today, Lonerider is led by the Triangle Business Journal’s CEO of the Year, Sumit Vohra. With an eye for quality, Lonerider crafted each of its beers with the highest quality ingredients. As a result Lonerider has a portfolio of award winning beers loved throughout the Southeast. Lonerider is currently distributed in nine states stretching from Philadelphia to the Alabama coast.
DENVER, CO — The first beer of a Grisette collaboration between Thirsty Monk and Baere Brewing Co. will release at Thirsty Monk’s Denver brewery this week.
Earlier in May, Thirsty Monk and Baere Brewing created a Grisette using early spring chit malt with Landrace hops and Dandelions picked fresh from the grassy areas around Thirsty Monk’s Uptown neighborhood before adding them to the kettle. Two weeks later the Thirsty Monk and Baere teams brewed the same recipe on Baere’s brewhouse on South Broadway and blended it with a few barrels of the original batch. This beer will age in fourth-use Cognac barrels that have also held Laws Whiskey until it tastes tart and delicious. Thirsty Monk will tap its fresh and dry hopped version of this beer this week.
“A grisette, in essence, is like a saison— at least the saisons that we and Thirsty Monk enjoy drinking: low alcohol, dry finishing,” says Kevin Greer, Co-Owner at Baere.
“At Thirsty Monk we put a spotlight on how great food and beer can pair together and even have a gold medal-winning Table Beer to show for it,” says Head Brewer Brian Grace. “I wanted to expand on the sessionable and refreshing beer styles we offer that pair well with food and I have always been a fan of Baere’s ability to pull off such big flavor in a small format. I am excited to be able to offer two very different versions of Grisette, one young, fresh and hop forward and one aged in oak for a tart, refreshing and complex beer making two different food pairings.”
Grisette is a beer style originally brewed in Belgium’s Hainaut province— traditionally with spring chit barley malt and malted wheat and a prominent hop profile. It’s a sessionable style that pairs well with just about anything at the table.
The Cognac barrels, where Baere Monk is currently aging, first housed this beer during its fermentation. It will be available in bottles at Baere in coming months.
ABOUT THIRSTY MONK
Founded in 2008 Thirsty Monk currently operates four locations in Asheville, North Carolina including Thirsty Monk Downtown, Thirsty Monk Biltmore Park, Top of the Monk Craft Cocktail Bar, Brother Joe’s Coffee Pub, as well as its newly renovated Portland, OR location and its Denver brewery and tasting room where the bulk of its brewing operation occurs. Find the company online at monkpub.com.
ABOUT BAERE BREWING CO.
Founded in 2014, Baere Brewing is a small 2.5 Barrel Brewhouse proudly residing in a strip mall in the Baker District of Denver, Colorado. Baere’s love for all styles of beer is reflected in their tap and bottle list. Everyone can find something they love ranging from Saisons to IPAs to Barrel Aged Sour beer. Baere is committed to supporting local products, sustainable solutions, community endeavors, and all around good time. Find them online at baerebrewing.com.
The most Oregon of all Rogue Farms beers, Marionberry Sour, hits shelves for the first time this July. Marionberry Sour is a vibrant violet-hued sour ale made with prickless marionberries that bring a taste of the Willamette Valley with every sip.
“We made Marionberry Sour this year because it celebrates the delicious berry we love so much,” says Rogue Brewmaster John Maier. “I’m constantly inspired to brew new beers based on the crops we grow at the farm. They come to the brewery at peak ripeness and I always know exactly how the crops were treated when I get them. That quality matters.”
Originally developed by Oregon State University researchers in 1956, just miles from Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon, marionberries are a bigger, juicier and more flavorful type of blackberry. Marionberry Sour is made with a prickless variety grown on Rogue Farms that is easier to hand-pick for brewing.
“We grow our own ingredients because it gives us an unlimited well of inspiration and innovation,” says Rogue President Brett Joyce. “If we add a new crop that is delicious and tastes great in a beer, we’ll increase the acreage and brew more beer with it. We’re all a part of the relentless innovation here at Rogue, but the farm is our greatest inspiration.”
Use the Rogue Finder to find Marionberry Sour and other Rogue Farms beers near you. For the full farm experience, beer lovers can have a pint at Chatoe Rogue, a Rogue tasting room located on the farm. Guests can see the hops, fruits, vegetables and botanicals grown by Rogue farmers before they’re used in beers.
Marionberry Sour is available on draft now at all Rogue pubs and will be available in 6-pack 12 ounce bottles in July. For samples, photography and more information, contact Rachel Morrison email@example.com. Check out the 2018 Rogue Farms Crop Report for a full update on what’s growing.
After a long day, nothing tastes better than a fresh craft beer or two. But a recent study that recommends healthy drinking is only five beers a week—from 14 per week for men and seven per week for women – might spark concern over what, exactly, is moderate drinking and how healthy it really is.
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The good news is, there still are documented health benefits related to drinking beer. Here is a rundown on how beer can be a healthy beverage when enjoyed responsibly and reasonably.
Beer & Your Brain Health
If you think that gose in your glass makes you feel better, you’re absolutely right. Many studies have backed the belief that beer (and all alcohol) can help you relax after a long day. But you didn’t need a study for that!
The benefit, however, goes way beyond lifting your spirits. Studies have pointed to beer, more so than wine or spirits, as being a boon for your brain.
One reason: the form of silicon found in beer is available for our bodies to metabolize. Plentiful in grains, green beans and beer (thanks to the grains), silicon helps protect your brain from compounds thought to eventually cause cognitive diseases, according to a 2013 study. Additionally, a Chinese study points to a compound found in hops, xanthohumol, that supports neuronal cells and could help fend off brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and dementia.
Plus, beer could promote brain power and creativity. In a study published in the journal “Consciousness and Cognition,” researchers got their test subjects tipsy and asked them solve a battery of puzzles. The people with a beer buzz solved the puzzles faster than their sober counterparts. In fact, alcohol made the test subjects almost 30 percent more likely to find the unexpected solution to the puzzles.
Beer & Your Bones Health
Silicon, which is found in beer, but not wine or spirits, is the star again. A review published in the International Journal of Endocrinology found that beer is a rich source of silicon—one of the building blocks of bones.
In the study, which mentions beer specifically, along with grains and green beans, silicon in the diet is singled out for its potential role in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, especially post-menopausal loss of bone in women.
Speaking of “the change,” hops in beer are rich in phytoestrogens. These natural sources of the female-dominate hormone estrogen, are touted to help women through that stage of life.
Red wine has long been the darling of the medical world for heart health. Since the 1980s, nutritionists and doctors alike have touted wine, particularly red wine, as being a friend to your cardiovascular system. Thanks to what researchers at the time called the French Paradox –a catchphrase used to describe the lower rates of heart disease in France, despite a diet rich in dietary cholesterol and saturated fat—wine was linked to a lower risk of heart attack, stroke and death from heart disease. But it turns out wine just had a better PR firm than beer or spirits.
Several studies, including one published in the American Journal of the Medical Sciences, have since pointed to ethanol, the alcohol in beer, wine and spirits, as being linked to lower incidents of cardiovascular disease. Further, that study suggested that “from a nutritional standpoint, beer contains more protein and B vitamins than wine.” Bonus nutrients? That’s worthy of a toast.
But there’s more: A preliminary study presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2016 followed 80,000 participants for six years and found that moderate drinkers had the slowest decline in high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol, levels — and in turn, a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases. Research also shows that of men who have already suffered a heart attack, those that drank beer moderately (up to two drinks per day) were 42 percent less likely to die of heart disease.
A 2012 study’s published results, indicated that the ethanol in beer, wine and spirits prevents plaque from sticking to your arteries, which, in turn, prevents heart attacks. So take that to, well, heart, when you pop open your next craft beer.
All jokes about beer goggles aside, a beer a day could keep the optometrist away. Canadian researchers found that one daily beer—especially a stout or other darker beers—decreases the chance of cataracts forming in your eyes by upwards of 50 percent. There’s a tipping point, though. Drinking three or more beers a day increases the risk of cataracts.
Beer & Prevention
Numerous studies link moderate beer drinking to the prevention of different ailments. Instead of an ounce of prevention, perhaps it’s a pint of prevention. Here are a couple of findings:
Researchers in Finland discovered that beer can help prevent kidney stones. The study concluded that “beer consumption was inversely associated with risk of kidney stones; each bottle of beer consumed per day was estimated to reduce risk by 40 percent.”
Wine and spirits also prevented kidney stones, but not as significantly as beer, according to the study. And other drinks like fruit juice and sugary sodas (not diet soda) contributed to kidney stones.
Keep this in mind come the next cold and flu season: a study by Oregon Health & Science University points to moderate alcohol consumption as an immunity booster. In the study, monkeys were split into two groups. One group was allowed to have moderate alcohol consumption and the other group was given sugar water. The moderate drinkers showed a better immune response. So maybe an apple a day isn’t the only thing that keeps the doctor away!
Of course, the key here is drinking beer in moderation— “more is better” doesn’t work. In fact, most studies point to a decrease in beer’s purported health benefits if too much is consumed.
So, cheers to your health and to enjoying great beer as a healthy pursuit!