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    RESULTS : The 2017 PintPass Top 50 Craft Brewery Awards

    The results are finally here! After tallying up votes across the country for the past two months – the people have spoken. We’re proud to announce the winners of the inaugural PintPass Craft Brewery Awards! We saw some close races in a few states that came down to the last couple of days.

    We received over 16,000 votes for the top brewery across 50 states! We asked you to vote based on brewery atmosphere, beer selection, top brew, and favorite food.

    As promised, the breweries with the 3 most votes will be receiving special recognition and a special prize to put up in their beer hall. The next 47 breweries are in alphabetical order by state.

    How many have you been to?

    And the winners are…

    Draught Works Brewery

    Montana

    This local favorite in Missoula, MT offers a massive outdoor patio, live music from local bands, and of course, some of the best craft brews in the area. Owners Jeff Grant and Paul Marshall created a brewery where customers can sample to find their favorite craft beer, and even watch the entire brewing process from the bar.

    But Draught Works was voted as one of the big winners for than just its beer. The brewery has numerous philanthropy programs during the year to give back to the local community. The taproom staff has an incredible passion for beer, extensive knowledge of beer history, and loves to help new customers find their favorite brew. It’s an unparalled passion.

    Founders Brewing Co

    Michigan

    Founders Brewing Company has been brewing out of downtown Grand Rapids, MI for over 20 years. Through it all, they have followed their philosophy to avoid brewing for the masses, instead crafting for, “A small cadre of renegades and rebels to enjoy a beer that pushes the limits of what is commonly accepted as taste.”

    That cadre of renegades and rebels has grown tremendously over the years. Today, their large taproom allows visitors a view into their beer production room and beers that are only available on location. They also have local music four nights a week and a deli with handcrafted sandwiches for the perfect pairing with your local brew.

    Lazy Magnolia Brewery

    Mississippi

    Bayou country is the spot of our final grand prize winner: Lazy Magnolia. This brewery has been packaging since 1907 and started brewing beer themselves in 2003. They stay true to their southern roots with flavors like Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale, Sweet Potato Stout, and Southern Hops’pitality IPA.

    The taproom features a full food menu, brewery tours, and a backyard porch surrounded by—you guessed it—Magnolia Trees. They even allow dogs so that you can enjoy a beer next to your furry friend!

    Top Brewery from Each State

    (Alphabetical Order)

    Avondale Brewing Company

    Alabama

    This locally owned and operated brewery is housed in a building that was once a pharmacy, saloon, and brothel. They were inspired to start their popular brewery by an elephant that paraded the streets in the 1920s.

    Bleeding Heart Brewery

    Alaska

    The inspiration for their name comes from human experience. Each beer Bleeding Heart creates is more than a flavor, it’s a story. If your ever find yourself near Palmer, AK, make sure to check it out yourself to see what Alaska is up to!

    Arizona Wilderness Brewing

    Arizona

    Arizona Wilderness Brewing offers cool, wilderness-inspired flavors like Peloncillo Porter and Santa Teresa Enkel to compliment the dry southwest climate.

    Stone Brewing

    California

    Since opening its first location in San Diego in 1996, Stone has grown to over 1,100 employees and been featured on the Inc 500.

    Avery Brewing Company 

    Colorado

    The Bolder, CO brewery offers tours and a dog-friendly patio to college students and beer fans alike. Visit Avery for the perfect mix of beer and beautiful mountain scenery.

    New England Brewing Company 

    Connecticut

    This brewery has great-tasting beer with memorable names. Some popular brews include Ghost Pigeon, Coffee Breath, and Premeditated Murder.

    Dogfish Head Brewery 

    Delaware

    Dogfish Head is named after the founder’s hometown of Dogfish Head, Maine. In 2010, they were the focus of Discovery Channel series, Brew Masters. Even with a base in Delaware, Dogfish Head can be found in 31 states.

    Funky Buddha Brewery 

    Florida

    Funky Buddha’s flavors are as eccentric as their name. You can get beer that tastes like peanut butter and jelly or lemon meringue pie. After trying these beers, you might not want to go back to the food!

    Dry County Brewing Company 

    Georgia

    Even people in nearby Dry Counties are sure to make the trip to this popular Georgia brewery.

    Kona Brewing Company 

    Hawaii

    Kona has been bringing the aloha spirit and tropical-inspired beers to their community for over 20 years. We don’t know if there is a better place to drink beer on a beach.

    Barbarian Brewing

    Idaho

    This downtown Garden City brewery is inspired by old world traditions and specializes in barrel aged beers. When you try their beer, you will see how the barrel makes the difference.

    Skeleton Key Brewing 

    Illinois

    In addition to classes for home-brewing and beer-tasting, Skeleton Key offers and incubator where select people can gain access to the materials they need to one day open their own brewery. Would there be any better life than getting paid to make beer?

    3 Floyds Brewpub 

    Indiana

    Make a plan to visit 3 Floyds on May 19th for Dark Lord Day, the only time of the year when you can get a bottle of Dark Lord. It’s a 15 percent ABV Russian imperial stout brewed with coffee, Indian Sugar, and Mexican Vanilla. 3 Floyds beers are both insane and delicious.

    Toppling Goliath Brewery  

    Iowa

    Owners Clark and Barb Lewey are in the process of constructing a new 100-barrel facility that will include a restaurant, taproom, and brewery. The new building will truly be a Goliath.

    Blind Tiger

    Kansas

    While you will probably go to Blind Tiger for the brews like Munich Dunkles and Angry Man Imperial Stout, you can’t miss ordering some classic American pub food at their restaurant.

    Braxton Brewing Company 

    Kentucky

    Braxton partnered with with Graeter’s Ice Cream to create a Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip Stout. We doubt you can find a better dessert anywhere else in the state.

    Tin Roof Brewing Co.  

    Louisiana

    Among Tin Roof’s flagship beers are Voodoo Bengal Pale Ale and Juke Joint IPA. Make sure to get there on a Friday for their popular guided tours.

    Shipyard Brewing Company 

    Maine

    Shipyard is a family owned brewery that has been operating since 1994 and located directly on the coast in Portland, ME. What is better than beer next to the ocean?

    Heavy Seas Beer 

    Maryland

    This brewery’s name and pirate logo symbolizes some of the brands main characteristics: adventure, risk-taking, and rebellion. After trying their beer, you might take on some of those qualities yourself!

    TreeHouse Brewing Company 

    Massachusetts

    Beer from TreeHouse is only available at the brewery. But, make sure to get there early as lines often extend down the sidewalk on release days. And trust us, there is good reason why.

    Schell’s Brewery 

    Minnesota

    Schell’s is famous for German Pilsners. When you try some of this terrific beer, make sure to visit in October for Oktoberfest!

    Mark Twain Brewing Company 

    Missouri

    Enjoy a beer named after the characters from the author. You can try Huck Finn’s Habanero Apricot Wheat or Jumping Frog IPA. They go perfectly with a good book.

    Zipline Brewing Co. 

    Nebraska

    Zipline Brewing Co. is located in downtown Omaha, right next to the stadium that hosts the College World Series. There is a reason fans of CWS make sure to stop at Zipline every year.

    Revision Brewing Company 

    Nevada

    Revision specializes in hoppy beers and IPA. They have distribution across the Reno area. And if you’re wondering – no – this beer does not need any revisions.

    Litherman’s Limited Brewing

    New Hampshire 

    This brewery offers four musically-inspired “A-sides” brews that include Little Miss Strange DIPA and Tangled Up in Bruges. Come for the beer, but stay to hear the music that inspired the brew.

    Kane Brewing Company 

    New Jersey

    Located on the coast of New Jersey, Kane offers American Style and Belgian influenced ales. Make sure to head there on a weekend for a self-guided tour.

    La Cumbre Brewing

    New Mexico

    Visit La Cumbre for the food trucks, live music, or yoga! Even though all of that is great, brews like Pyramid Rock Amber and Project Dank is what makes La Cumbre New Mexico’s top brewery.

    Southern Tier Brewing Company 

    New York

    While the original location is in western New York, Southern Tier opened a satellite brewpub in Pittsburgh in 2017. Both locations have some of the most bold and delicious beer we’ve ever tried.

    Whistle Hop Brewing Company

    North Carolina

    Visit Whistle Hop for the beer and stay for the unique environment. The bar is in a train caboose!

    Fargo Brewing Company

    North Dakota

    The Fargo Brewing Company has a partner Ale House that specializes in beer and food pairing. The only thing better than their beer is when it’s matched with the perfect food!

    Madtree Brewing

    Ohio

    Madtree was the first modern craft brewery to can its beer in Ohio. Visit this location for the beer on draft, growler fill-ups, or wood-fired pizzas.

    Marshall Brewing Company

    Oklahoma

    Marshall Brewing Company is Oklahoma’s premier destination for local craft beers. Their goals are to bring art, quality, and enjoyment of craft brewing to Oklahoma.

    Deschutes Brewery

    Oregon

    In addition to making great beer, the brewery works with the Deschutes River Conservancy to restore one billion gallons of water into the Deschutes river every year.

    Troegs Independent Brewing

    Pennsylvania

    Located in the Hershey, PA, Troegs has self-guided tours and a tasting room. You can’t miss stopping here for beer on a trip to Chocolatetown, USA.

    Tilted Barn Brewery 

    Rhode Island

    This farm brewery is actually located in a barn. Visitors can taste the beer or walk through the farm to experience firsthand where their beer comes from.

    New Groove Artisan Brewery

    South Carolina

    New Groove offers 16 taps and a speciality tap for craft sodas. With this many choices to pick from, we still can’t find our favorite brew.

    Fernson Brewing Company 

    South Dakota

    Fernson has 5 signature brews, including Shy Giant IPA and Lion’s Paw Lagger. Visit Fernson to try great beer and create memories with the ones you love.

    Bearded Iris 

    Tennesse

    This Nashville location has an old-world style with southern comfort taste selections. It’s a must-see in one of America’s best cities.

    Hops and Grains Brewing 

    Texas

    Hops and Grain puts a lot of pride into community involvement. They connect with local businesses and non-profits to improve the areas around their breweries. The beer is pretty terrific too.

    Red Rock Brewery 

    Utah

    Since its opening in 1994, Red Rock Brewery has won over 100 regional and national awards. After trying the brews, you will understand why.

    Burlington Beer Co. 

    Vermont

    Burlington takes a scientific approach to brewing. Their motto is, “Where Fermentation Meets Imagination.”

    Ocelot Brewing Company 

    Virginia

    Ocelot is located in Loudon County, VA and specializes in rotating a variety of beers each week. And trust us, you will want to be going back every week.

    Reuben’s Brews 

    Washington

    Named after the owner’s first child, Reuben’s taproom features food trucks and is kid-friendly. Their cozy atmosphere is the perfect refuge in downtown Seattle.

    Bridge Brew Works

    West Virginia

    Bridge Brew Works has been brewing Belgian-style beers since 2010. Even though they like being small, we promise you will want to tell all your friends about this beer.

    New Glarus Brewing Company 

    Wisconsin

    Visit New Glarus for the beer, self-guided tours, or reservation-only hard hat tours. Try their most popular brew, Spotted Cow. It is exclusive to Wisconsin and has been the top-selling craft beer in the state for multiple years.

    Snake River Brewing Company 

    Wyoming

    Wyoming’s oldest brewery received a USDA organic certificate for their beer 2006. This delicious beer is also made with sustainable practices.

     

    There you have it folks! Thank you so much for participating in the first ever PintPass Craft Brewery Awards. Congratulations to all our winners. See you all in 2018!

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    Check Out Some of our Favorite Beer-Yoga Spots

    There is nothing more important than carbing up after a good workout. Not only will post-exercise carbohydrates make muscles grow more quickly, it will also leave you feeling more refreshed the next morning. That is why some breweries have taken on the social responsibility of hosting yoga classes in their establishments. Here are our favorite beer-yoga classes to seek out in 2018.

    I’ll be completely honest – when I first heard about beer yoga I was more interested in the beer than the yoga – but the yoga community is so welcoming of newcomers of all skill levels. I encourage anyone that’s thinking about to try it – even if it’s never been your ‘thing.’

    Revolution Brewing Company

    Where: Chicago, IL

    When: Once a month at 6:30 PM (Dates posted on event portion of website)

    Price: $25.00 per session

    Perks: One complimentary Revolution Beer – Yoga is done on second floor of brewpub

    Must have beer: You can’t go wrong with the Fist City Chicago Pale Ale or their Anti-Hero IPA

    Purchase Tickets

    Claremont Craft Ales

    Where: Claremont, CA

    When: Every second and fourth Sunday of the month. 11:30 am.

    Price: $15.

    Perks: First pint is free after yoga and 25 wonderful taps to choose from

    Must have beer: Sweet Nothings. Light Belgian Pale with a touch of lemon verbena. Perfectly refreshing.

    Walk-ins welcome.

    Lenny Boy Brewing Co.

    Where: Charlotte, NC

    When: Every Saturday.  10 am.

    Price: $5.

    Perks: Free 6 oz kombucha after class means bonus health points.

    Must have beer: Whisky Richard. Nice and tangy with a bit of strawberry. Hog Heaven barrels round out the flavor making for an incredibly unique beer.

    Walk-ins welcome.

    Old Bust Head Brewing Co.

    Where: Warrenton, VA

    When: First Sunday of the month. 10:00 am.

    Price: $12.

    Perks: 48 taps of rotating beer. Certainly, there is a beer for everybody.

    Must have beer: Watermelon Bright Prospect. Incredibly juicy golden ale. 9.8% makes it very bold, but the watermelon keeps it refreshing and easy drinking.

    Walk-ins welcome.

    Port City Brewing Co.

    Where: Alexandria, VA

    When: Every Tuesday. 7:00 pm.

    Price: $20.

    Perks: Free pint after class. Events almost daily means plenty of reasons to come back!

    Must have beer: Ways and Means. This session Rye IPA is an easy drinking toast to a the end of a long day. Citra and Centennial deliver a balanced bitterness with lovely tropical and citrus aromatics.

    Registration encouraged. Register here.

    Deluxe Brewing Co.

    Where: Albany, OR

    When: Every third Monday of the month.

    Price: $15 for beer + yoga. $10 for yoga.

    Perks: Discounted beer with chips and locally crafted kimchee/salsa.

    Must have beer: Pure Sin. Robust Schwarzbier with an elegant, creamy head. At 4.7% it is safe to say bring on the carbs!

    Registration encouraged. Register here.

    1859 Cider Co.

    Where: Salem, OR

    When: Last Sunday of the month. 1:15 pm.

    Price: Free. Donations accepted.

    Perks: A variety of ciders for a nice change of pace… Also it is free!

    Must have beer cider: Farmer’s Dry: Incredibly refreshing, it drinks almost like prosecco. Lively melon and zesty citrus go beautifully with the tang of the apple.

    Registration encouraged. Register here.

    Cooperage Brewing Company

    Where: Santa Rosa, CA

    When: Every Sunday. 10:30 am.

    Price: $12.

    Perks: Free pint after class. Great set of rotating Belgian ales.

    Must have beer: Breaker of Chains. Zesty and refreshing Belgian Blonde. Nice, round yeast profile with fruity apple and light, floral hops.

    Registration encouraged. Register here.

    Utepils Brewing

    Where: Minneapolis, MN

    When: Every Sunday. 10:45 am.

    Price: $10

    Perks: Free pint of beer or kombucha after class.

    Must have beer: Alt 1848. Düsseldorf style Altbier with sweet toffee and tea notes. Mild bitterness with an earthy hoppy character that will have you saying Namaaaaaaahhhhhste.

    Walk-ins welcome

    Ascension Brewing Company

    Where: Novi, MI

    When: First and third Saturday of the month.  10:30 am.

    Price: $10.

    Perks: Free pint after class. A full menu means a great post-yoga meal.

    Must have beer: Cherry Sanders. Year-round cherry blonde made with Michigan tart cherries. Incredibly easy drinking.

    Registration encouraged. Register here.

    We hope that you enjoy this selection of top notch breweries. Do your body and your soul some good; it is time to make beer yoga part of your life. Go out and get the taps (and Vinyasa) flowing. Namaste.

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    Brewery Highlight: Sierra Nevada North Carolina Edition

    The Smoky Mountains roll through western North Carolina with snow-capped peaks and hundreds of miles of hiking trails. During the winter, ice clings to low lying branches as streams carve their way through this ancient mountain range. The small town of Mills River sits just a few miles outside of Asheville, in the heart of the Smokys. It is in this beautiful mountain town that Sierra Nevada decided to open their second home.

    Towering over a solar-paneled parking lot, the brewery and tap room make for an impressive display. 28 massive fermenters erupt through the ceiling, allowing the facility to produce 40% of the company’s total production. Just one of their 1,600 barrel fermenters would keep you full of 10 beers a day for over 100 years. To the side of the building are several huge water catches, part of Sierra Nevada’s sustainability initiative.

    Upon entering the taproom, several large copper kettles line the walk to one side, while a barrel room sits on the other. Mouth watering aromas radiate from their kitchen as plate after plate of chicken wings, po boys, and duck fat fries emerge. It is clear from the quality of the food that the Mills River chefs are working directly with local farms to get the freshest ingredients possible.  

    Unlike the original location in Chico, CA, Mills River was designed all at once (a perk of having some cash up front), and every detail was planned to perfection. A major benefit of this forethought is that when the doors opened in 2014, the impact on the environment was massively reduced. Sierra Nevada Mills River is the first commercial brewery in the United States to receive a platinum ranking in the LEED certification. Through environmentally conscious construction, the brewery produces 34% of its energy needs on site, diverts 81% of its waste from landfills, and reduces potable water consumption by 40%.

    The Mills River location offers a variety of eye opening, hands on tours for the most hardcore beer geeks out there. The Heritage Tour starts with a brief history of the brewery and its owner, Ken Grossman. After watching a brief clip (with some SN Pale Ale in hand of course), the tour follows the brewing process. The first stop is a look at the pipes and a discussion on water. The water is so much softer in North Carolina than northern California that brewers add minerals to ensure that a Bigfoot made in Mills River tastes the exact same as one made in Chico. The grain mill is on site and handles the needs of the entire production facility. From there it is into the hop fridge where massive bins hold a variety of hops, including Chinook, Cascade, Equinox, and Citra. Guests are encouraged to break apart, smell and rub the cones on their hands, releasing acids and essential oils.

    After leaving the cooler with a little humulus high, it is on to the kettle room. Huge copper chimneys rise right out of the kettles and out into the open air. As hot mash is mixed in four copper kettles, wort is passed around and tasted. For those who have never had the pleasure of enjoying this unique stage in the brewing process, it is a bit like sweet oatmeal with tinged with funky banana.

    The second to last stop on the tour is a view overlooking the bottling line, a mass of conveyor belts and elevators. The line, a masterpiece of construction, is able to wash, fill, label, and package over 900 bottles every minute with incredible precision. Finally, the group gathers around a bar to taste through Sierra Nevada’s entire year round line-up (with something special as well.)

    A quick stop by the gift shop acts as a final farewell. Make sure to get loaded up with swag and check the refrigerator in the back for some specialty brews. Be sure to keep an eye out for the Trip in the Woods series. Barrel Aged Otra Vez and Red Wine Barrel Aged Bigfoot is the tip of the iceberg for what you might find behind those lovely glass doors.

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    The PintPass Guide to Beer Trading Etiquette

    As the craft beer movement has exploded in popularity over the past two decades, so too has the culture around the beverage. A thriving secondary market has emerged from the (bourbon barrel) woodwork, bringing with it the great opportunity to try different brews from around the world.  With offerings often being regional, limited to party releases, or just too hard to find, the beer trade scene has gained momentum, allowing enthusiasts the opportunity to try these brewery specialties. This unofficial guide will help you understand everything you need to know about beer trading.

    If you find yourself with a handful of rare beers and are looking to get your hands on more then joining a beer trade community might be for you!

    Pay Attention to your Dates!

    Depending on what you are trading, a bottle date can be incredibly important. Often times traders are seeking vertical releases, allowing the drinker to better understand how a beer will age over time. Dates are also very important for IPAs. Hop aroma is one of the first things to fade in beer. It is ill-advised to trade an IPA over three months old, and that is definitely still pushing it. Not sure of the date and how it would affect your beer? Ask your local brewer! 

    Avoid “Shelf Turds”

    There is nothing more infuriating than trading something special for a bit of the ordinary. Even if the beer you are trading is something delicious, if it can be found at every other Kroger and Whole Foods, it is not worth trading. Delirium Tremens, Stone Enjoy By, and Sierra Nevada Bigfoot all come to mind. Although they may be great beers – you have to imagine that it is not as exciting to receive something you can find at most liquor stores. 

    Try to Keep Money out of it

    One of the greatest aspects of a beer trade is the environment and culture surrounding the sacred tradition. It is a coming together of people who love the beverage and want to celebrate with others of a similar mindset. You want to share rare beers and open yourself to a new beer tasting. If you are out to make a bunch of money in the beer game, here is a link to InBev’s career page.

    Avoid Growlers

    Very often, the beers most worth trading will be cellar worthy, meaning they can last several years if stored correctly. While bars and breweries are developing innovative growler (and howler and meowler) technology, it just doesn’t keep your favorite beverage fresh like a bottle or a can.

    Storage is Important!

    Keeping a cool cellar can be the difference between delightful imbibement and a drain pour. Allowing your beer to rest upright at 55 degrees F will go a long way in preventing the development of off flavors. Alpha acids (flavor and smell delivery system from hops) degrade much more quickly at warmer temperatures as well. Keeping a good cellar will make you very popular among the beer trading community.

    Know the Lingo

    The beer trade scene is rife with acronyms, one look at a beer trading website is enough to scare off many prospective traders. A more exhaustive list is available here, but the following are terms used constantly and buyers should be very much aware of what they mean.

    FT: For Trade – What the seller has to offer.

    ISO: In Search Of – What the seller is looking for.

    BA:  Barrel Aged – Beer has spent time in oak.  Often in whiskey or bourbon barrels.

    $4$: Dollar For Dollar – Looking for a trade of equal dollar value.

    Whale: Rare beer.

    Shelf Turd: Common beer.

    Throw in Extras

    If you are going to a beer trading party, bring something fun for everyone to taste. If you have extras of what you are trading, this can be a great way to do some easy marketing. This could mean better trades and better beer in your cellar.  If you are trading online, go ahead and throw an extra bottle of a LOCAL shelf turd into the mix. Just because Two Hearted is available everywhere in Michigan does not mean it is easy to get in Arizona. This will help fill out your shipment to prevent breakage, as well as give you great karma for future trades.

    Learn About the Community

    Some of my best trades have come from the bartender at my local craft beer bar. Others have been from people I have met online through different beer trading sites (https://www.reddit.com/r/beertrade/ is a great place to start). If you get out and talk about trading, you will find you get better trades more often and enjoy the experience more as well.

    What are People Looking For?

    These are just some of the rare beers that we have found people in heavily search of. If you are able to get your hand on a couple of these then you are in a great place to start your first beer trade. 

    Smells like Bean Spirit – Mikerphone Brewing

    Darklord – 3 Floyds

    Wild Sour Ale – New Glarus

    CBS – Founders Brewing Company

    Parabola – Firestone Walker

    Bourbon County – Goose Island

    The Abyss – Deschutes

    Blacknote – Bells

    Westvleteren 12 – Brouwerij Westvleteren

    Weekend Series – The Bruery

    Kate the Great – Portsmouth Brewery

    Stick to this guide and soon a whole new world of fantastic brews will be available for you. Keep your eyes up as you wander through your local beer aisle, you never know what whales you might stumble upon. Hoppy Hunting!

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    These Beers are Perfect to Drink by The Fireplace

    Ever since my first sip of Beer to Drink Music to, the iconic beer by Dogfish Head, I have wanted a brewery to do a series about the perfect environments to drink their special brews. Beer to Imbibe Hookie to, Beer to Gulp Literature to, the options are as varied as they are delightful. Since Dogfish Head seems to be sitting on their hands with this one, we have decided to do our own series: Beer to Savor Fire to. Enjoy these wonderful suds, perfect for sitting with family by the hearth and warming the bones on frigid winter nights.

    Founders – Breakfast Stout

    Grand Rapids, MI

    This wonderful stout, known as “The Baby” to some, is released in October and stays on the market right up to the new year.  At just about 9% ABV, this dark ale will certainly help warm you up after a day out in the frosty wilds.  Brewed with Sumatra and Kona coffee, multiple varieties of chocolate, and oats for mouthfeel, Founders Breakfast Stout is a succulent, invigorating winter warmer. 

     

    Great Lakes – Blackout Stout

    Cleveland, OH

    Commemorating the 2003 blackout of the Northeastern United States, Great Lakes Brewing Company released its Blackout Stout. Found in a four-pack throughout the midwest, this intense, brooding Russian imperial stout goes wonderfully with dark chocolate, decadent coffee cake, and moonless nights.  

     

    Cigar City – Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout

    Tampa, FL

    A little preparation is key here, as the March, brewery only release of this magnificent imperial stout makes it a little more difficult to come by. Named for the Mayan God Hanahpu who, with his brother Xbalanque became our sun and moon in Mayan mythology.  According to legend, their father, Hun Hanahpu, was tricked by the lords of the underworld and slain, turning into the first cacao tree. This 11% specialty is brewed with cacao nibs, vanilla beans, ancho chiles, pasilla chiles and cinnamon. It shows intense depth of character with balanced creamy, rich, and bitter profiles.

     

    Hill Farmstead – Everett

    Greensboro Bend, VT

    This unfiltered porter is the ultimate offering from Hill Farmstead Brewery. The backbone is made up of German and English roasted malts and American malted barley. At 7.5%, Everett is a bit of a little guy for today’s lineup, though what it lacks in ABV, it makes up with righteous, dark flavor. The balance is perfect between sweet and bitter with notes of toast, South American dark chocolate, and espresso. Be sure to grab a second growler for the family this holiday, as you can be sure Everett to be consumed with fervor.

    Odd Side Ales – Hipster Brunch Stout

    Grand Haven, MI

    In terms of complexity and flavor, this imperial stout from Odd Side truly has it all. Brewed with maple syrup, bacon, and coffee, then aged in bourbon barrels, Hipster Brunch is a meal all by itself. This is a really fun pairing beer as its complexity can compliment a number of different foods. Try it with bacon and waffles, decadent german chocolate cake, or a bit of hanger steak. At 11% ABV, Hipster Brunch will certainly warm you from your fingers to your toes.

    O’Fallen – Smoked Porter

    Maryland Heights, MO

    Talk about a Beer to Smoke Brisket to, O’Fallen’s Smoked Porter has enough smoke malt to make the Hindenburg look like a bonfire. Going with the smoke are subtle notes of char, toast, and baking cocoa. O’Fallen displays a light body on the palate with a smooth mouthfeel, and at only 6% ABV, go ahead and grab another.

     

    Sierra Nevada – Barrel Aged Bigfoot

    Chico, CA

    A little bit of barleywine can go a long, long way with Sierra Nevada’s Barrel Aged Bigfoot. At 12.2% ABV, this bruiser will have those digits warmed in no time. Whole cone Pacific Northwest hops give a balancing bitterness to the massive malt backing, while the sweetness from the whiskey barrels adds nuance and complexity.  Best off all, if you don’t get around to enjoying it this year, Barrel Aged Bigfoot gets better with age!  Enjoy this epic brew out on the slopes, or slip it into your favorite uncle’s stocking. Either way, it is certain to be enjoyed.

     

     

    As family starts rolling in from all corners of the country, now is the time to start stocking the cellar with these perfect Beers to Savor Fire to. It will probably be your warmest holiday yet!

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    Grab Your Skis and Check out Our Favorite Mountain-Town Breweries

    The Stark words have held true once more and Winter is Coming. As the fresh powder begins falling in earnest, tens of thousands of people from across the world will flock to mountain towns from California to New Hampshire. After a day on the slopes, nothing soothes muscles more than a fresh pint. Cheers to these great mountain breweries. Hunt one down for your next snowbound adventure.

    Breckenridge Brewery and Pub

    Breckenridge, CO

    Breckenridge Brewery has that classic brewpub feel.  Several large fermenters sit behind the bar and the building is old brick and well worn wood, giving a historic feel to the space. Their Vanilla Porter is among the best dark brews crafted anywhere, layered with sweetness and an opulent, round mouthfeel. Breckenridge is home to some of the best slopes anywhere in the country, so stop by the next time you eat some powder. Your pride may be wounded, but at least there is beer. Photo courtesy of skitownrestaurants.com

    South Lake Brewing Company

    South Lake Tahoe, CA

    Just five short miles from the Heavenly Mountain Ski Resort is South Lake Brewing Company. Surrounded by snow peaked mountains and the crystal waters of Lake Tahoe, South Lake is the quintessential place to grab a beer after a long day riding the mountain. The tap list rotates regularly, and with thirteen options there is little chance of going thirsty. The unfiltered Angora IPA is the perfect beer to work through those sore muscles.Photo courtesy of Tahoe.com.

     

     

    Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewing Company

    North Conway, NH

    Moat Mountain is the all in one package. Delicious BBQ, a well rounded tap list, and a short walk up the stairs to your bed after a day of skiing and a night of delightful imbibement.  The Smokehouse Porter, one of their winter seasonals, is excellent with the Texas brisket.  Attitash Mountain is only a 10 minute drive making this smokehouse/brewery the perfect place to be next time you feel like hitting the slopes. Photo courtesy of Moat Mountain.

    Wasatch Brewery

    Park City, UT

    With some of the best skiing and snowboarding anywhere, Park City Utah had to make this list.  Wasatch Brewery is a real head turner in this mecca of moguls. The menu features well prepared classic pub food, pairing wonderfully with the quality beer brewed here. The Snap Down IPL is particularly delicious with a light body, crisp hop profile, and a mild touch of sweetness.  Wasatch also offers pitchers, helpful with those stringent Utah low ABV lawsPhoto courtesy of SnowPak.

    Beehive Basin Brewery

    Big Sky, MT

    The perfect stopping point for your next trip to the Madison Range, and the powder couldn’t be more fresh.  Big Sky Montana can get over 400 inches of snow, and with over 4,000 vertical feet the potential for the ideal day on the slopes is very high. Beehive Basin Brewery is the perfect place to unwind after an intense day flying down the mountain. The taproom has an industrial-chic feel and features 10 taps with seasonal and special offerings rotating constantly. Photo courtesy of explorebigsky.com.

     

     

     

    Mt. Hood Brewing Company

    Government Camp, OR

    Right in the heart of Oregon’s ski country sits Mt. Hood Brewing Company. With seven different resorts nearby, the alpine adventures could easily fill a whole season for the most diehard of skiers and snowboarders out there. The brewery’s menu features a wide variety of food options from cheese curds to a sweet potato burger. The tap selection is well rounded, and a beer engine behind the bar promises a great pull off of their cask ales. Photo courtesy of pnwbeerchick.

    Warfield Distillery and Brewery

    Ketchum, ID

    Right at the base of Sun Valley you will find Warfield Distillery and Brewery. The bar and restaurant have a very rustic, old timey feel. Unlike many breweries, Warfield keeps bitterness to a minimum with most of the brews coming in between 20 and 30 IBU’s. Take a step back in time and grab a beer from Warfield next time you take to the slopes. Photo courtesy of Conrad Garner.

    Von Trapp Brewery and Bierhall

    Stowe, VT

    Tucked in the northern reaches of Vermont, you will find the breathtaking slopes of Mt. Mansfield. This stunning peak towers over the pine filled landscape and, with an average snowfall of over 200 inches, the powder beckons. Von Trapp Brewery and Bierhall resides just seven miles from the nearest lift. With their exceptional lagers, the specialty of Von Trapp, enjoy a range of styles from the Trösten Lager to a Hoppy Märzen. Photo courtesy of vontrapbrewing.com

     

    As you pull out the board wax and start sanding those skis, don’t forget to pack the growler for the next trip to the mountains.  Enjoy your time on the slopes and the sensational suds that come with.

     

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    These Winter Brews Will Cure Any Winter Blues

    As winter bares its frosty teeth, covering bars and brewpubs everywhere in a dusting of fresh powder, a slew of new brews becomes available in bottle shops across the states.  People tend to think of winter as a time for rich, dark stouts and porters. While there are exceptional examples of those styles being released, some creative brewers are applying new twists on old classics, while others seem to be creating their own boundaries. As you crack open that laptop to get your holiday shopping done, be sure to enjoy one of these sensational seasonal beers.

    Canadian Breakfast Stout

    Founders Brewing Company

    Release: December

    Style: Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

    ABV: 11.7%

    Location: Grand Rapids, MI

    For those of you who haven’t had the opportunity to try this one of a kind winter seasonal, Founders has truly done it again. This stout has the same recipe as Founder’s famous KBS, but was housed in maple syrup bourbon barrels, giving it an extra kick of sweetness and complexity.  Along with the maple, CBS boasts notes of coffee, caramel, dark chocolate, and coffee – a delicious, mouth coating combination. People flock to this one for a reason

    Orabelle

    Great Divide Brewing Company

    Release: January

    Style: Tripel

    ABV: 8.3%

    Location: Denver, CO

    Just in time to ward off the coldest days of winter, Orabelle is a great expression of this classic Belgian style. This tripel utilizes two different yeast strains, adding complex notes of clove, herb, and banana. The brewers at Great Divide Brewing also added coriander and orange peel to complete this wonderful winter sipper.

    Liquid Truth Serum 

    Dogfish Head Brewery

    Release: November

    Style: IPA

    ABV: 6.8

    Location: Milton, DE

     

    Dogfish Head has once again blown it out of the park with the Liquid Truth Serum. All of the bittering from this beer comes from post boil hop additions, leading to intense tropical flavor. The classic dry piney hoppiness is a crisp secondary note, refreshing the palate and imploring the drinker for another pull.

    Northwind Imperial Stout 

    Two Brothers Brewing

    Release: November

    Style: Imperial Stout

    ABV: 9.1%

    Location: Warrenville, IL

     

    If you ever needed a beer to chase off those winter blues, Northwind by Two Brothers Brewing is the perfect beer. A deep, rich core of dark chocolate is wrapped in a coating of espresso and toast.  Forget the cookies, leave Santa some of this imperial stout to guarantee no coal this Christmas.

    Juicy Tree IPA 

    Short’s Brewing Company

    Release: November

    Style: India Pale Ale

    ABV: 9.8%

    Location: Bellaire, MI

    This experimental release by Short’s Brewing Company is host to a myriad of flavors.  Juicy Tree is brewed with spruce tips, and then topped with cranberries and juniper berries. As a result, it is bursting with ripe, fruity flavors. At 82 IBUs, Juicy Tree has a strong enough hop backing to balance the sweet, tangy nature of the fruit.

    Belgian Christmas Ale

    pFriem Family Brewers

    Release: December

    Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

    ABV: 8.0%

    Location: Hood River, OR

     

    The perfect beer to enjoy while wrapping all of those presents, pFriem’s Christmas Ale is the whole package. Loaded with coriander and spice, the beer is complex right out of the gates. Layers of chocolate and orange accentuate the spices, while a robust malt backbone balances the intensity of the flavors.  

    CitruSinensis

    Lagunitas Brewing Company

    Release: January

    Style: Pale Ale

    ABV: 7.7%

    Location: Petaluma, CA

     

     

    Who says fruity beer is only good in the summer?  Lagunitas will be going on their fourth release of this blood orange pale ale this year, and for good reason. A rich wheat back balances well with the bitterness from Citra, Equinox, and Chinook hops. The result? An incredibly refreshing IPA loaded with bright citrus and tropical fruit character.

    Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Scrooge 

    Silver City Brewery

    Release: November

    Style: Old Ale

    ABV: 9.6%

    Location: Silverdale, WA

    One of the all time greatest holiday brews ever made, Old Scrooge should be a bucket list beer for all connoisseurs out there. If you get your hands on one of these be very careful who you tell. They might want you to share!Silver City brewers employed single use Kentucky bourbon casks to age their holiday specialty. Rich spice notes of clove and cinnamon are balanced with dark caramel, light cherry, and bourbon. The perfect ale for some fireside sipping.

     

    These eight lovely beers will certainly keep you warm on the coldest of winter nights.  As temperatures drop, fill those growlers and call up some friends.  The brews this winter will surely knock your socks off… and keep you warm enough that you won’t need them anyway.

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    Get Ready for The Cold Winter Months with These High ABV Beers

    Well, it’s finally coming and for some of us, it may already be here. Winter. We dread it every single year – and every year we find a way to handle it. Some thrive and take up skiing or snowboarding (Not me) some migrate somewhere warm for a few months of the year (I wish) and some even find a loved one to cuddle with for a few months of the year (HAHA DEFINITELY NOT ME).

    What does that leave for the rest of us? Bundle up and hibernate until the sun comes back out again?

    Let me introduce you to my favorite wintertime activity – especially when it is snowing. (Editor’s note: I hate the snow).

    Winter months are perfect for heavy beers with high ABVs. You know you’re not going to go outside at all and you might even need an external way to help warm up. Trust me – after a couple of these beers you might not even need a sweater. So remember to always drink responsibly!

    We started with an 8.9% and go all the way up to 13.0%. Cheers!

     

    Stone Brewing

    Stone Loral & Dr. Rudi’s Inevitable Adventure Double IPA

    8.9%

    If we’re talking delicious, high ABV beers you know we had to put at least one from Stone Brewing. So mark this one on your calendar. Because this delicious double IPA from Stone Brewing is going to be available nationwide on January 29, 2018. This hop monster has a bitter aroma with unmistakeable tropical hoppy notes. Stone Brewing once again marries two different kinds of hops in a way that only they can master. Can’t wait till this one hits the shelves this winter.

     

    Avery Brewing

    Maharaja Imperial IPA

    10.0%

    The hoppiness of Avery Brewing’s Maharaja Imperial IPA is the perfect balance to the high alcohol level. It has just the right amount of hops to keep a nice bitter flavor. This old-school style imperial IPA is a brew that any experienced beer drinker will be able to respect & enjoy. It’s light fruity notes gives it a great mouth-feel.

     

    Founder’s

    Imperial Stout

    10.5%

    We keep trying to find a beer from Founder’s we don’t like and it seems to be getting harder. They have a beer for almost any situation. Their Imperial Stout is constantly referred to as one of the best stouts available on the market year after year after year. It’s deep dark pour is met with a gorgeous tan head (if poured correctly). It has a great smokey taste so it makes it a fantastic sidekick for whatever meats you may be enjoying.

     

     

    New Holland Brewing

    Dragon’s Milk

    11.1%

    The coffee and chocolate aromas from this landmark beer from New Holland Brewing is the first thing that will strike you if you pour one of these into a proper glass. Its deep jet black color is almost mesmerizing but you will be surprised by the overall drinkability of this one. Even novice beer drinkers will be able to enjoy this one so don’t let the ABV or deep color scare anyone away. It finishes with a strong vanilla aftertaste that helps cover some of the bitterness.

     

     

    Dogfish Head

    Palo Santo Marron

    12.0%

    This year-round release from Dogfish Head gets its unique flavors from the handmade barrels made from Palo Santo wood. Palo Santo literally means ‘holy tree’ and is used in South American wine-making communities. It has immediate caramel and vanilla tasting notes that it gets from the unique wood. The sweetness will stay on your tongue for a bit longer than you would expect for a beer like this. You’ll be surprised at the drinkability of this brew when you see its 12.0% nametag.

     

    Fremont Brewing

    B-Bomb

    13.0%

    If you are familiar with Fremont Brewing – you might remember this beer as Bourbon Abominable Winter Ale. I think B-Bomb rolls off the tongue a bit better. This hard-hitting ale is aged in 12-year-old oak bourbon barrels. This aging process is where it gets its distinct tasting notes of coffee, cacao, and oak. If you can get your hands on one of these for the winter don’t be scared to open it up on delivery…but feel free to keep it in your beer cellar for at least five years. My recommendation if you can get your hands on this year’s B-Bomb – buy two. One for today and one for a special occasion down the road. 

     

    Ned Stark said it best. Winter is definitely coming. But luckily us beer drinkers have something to look forward to. Sitting inside, safe from the elements, by a fireplace sipping on some of our favorite strong beers.

    Perfect when you need an extra layer – any of the beers on this list will help warm you up. A beer jacket is my favorite jacket.

     

     

     

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    The 2017 PintPass Thanksgiving Beer Pairing Guide

    Everyone has their own definition of Thanksgiving. For some it’s a family gathering in November – others see it as an all-day football marathon. But I think most have one thing in common. It’s a socially acceptable time to eat as much food as possible. With all the thought and planning that goes into almost every ingredient that you serve on the dinner table this year it’s only appropriate that you put at least some thought into what you choose to drink with it, right?

    A great pairing can be an exclamation point on an incredible meal and can leave your guests impressed. Don’t just serve, “Whatever is in the fridge,” or depend on your guests to know what is best to serve with your meal.

    Here’s some of our favorite beers to serve at the Thanksgiving table this week – and why we picked them.

    The Appetizers

    Hop Hop and Away

    Aeronaut Brewing Co.

    This India Session Ale is the perfect starter for your day. It’s for the few hours of the day that you can get away with still sitting on the couch and watching Football before everyone comes over and you’re forced to play host. It only has an ABV of 4.6% so you can easily sneak a couple before the communal appetizers make their way to the coffee tables. I’m a fan of the cocktail weenies.

     

    Coolship Resurgam

    Allagash Brewing Company

    If you can get your hands on a bottle of Allagash’s Coolship Resurgam – you should absolutely save it for a special occasion like Thanksgiving…although you may not want to share when the rest of the family gets there. The immediate aroma of a combination of apples is begging for an all-star appetizer. Save this one for when your aunt brings her famous baked berry and brie appetizer. Or make it yourself with this awesome recipe. The bottle itself will be more than enough to start a conversation.

    The Main Course

    Blast Cap IRA

    North Rim Brewing

    You’re going to want to uncap this one right when you get your first helping of turkey. North Rim Brewing’s Blast Cap Indian Red Ale is a perfect mix of earthy and fruity flavors to complement your Thanksgiving bird. This gorgeous, amber colored ale, will go perfectly with whatever cut of meat you like. Get a tall glass for this one. You will want to show off the color.

     

    Gumball Head

    Three Floyd’s

    Gumball Head has a cult-like following…and for great reason. This wheat beer has a great hoppy flavor without announcing itself as the start of the meal. If you’re a big cranberry sauce fan – make sure you pour a big glass of this. The tartness of the cranberries complement the citrusy hoppy notes of the beer perfectly. Remember – there’s no shame in the canned cranberry sauce.

     

    Oktoberfest

    Great Lakes Brewing

    Don’t let fall sneak away without serving at least one really good Oktoberfest or Marzen beer. They aren’t too bitter – and have a nice midlevel alcohol content. The maltiness is the core of most Oktoberfest beers – but the balanced flavor ensures that it doesn’t overpower anything on your Thanksgiving dinner table. The beautiful thing about Great Lakes’ Oktoberfest is the unique steps they take during the malting process. They use raisins to give it a flavor profile that helps it stick out amongst other Oktoberfest beers. The familiar sweetness will complement a handful of side dishes.

     

    Dirty Bastard

    Founders Brewing

    A scotch ale isn’t for every dinner table. If you are having a lighter Thanksgiving dinner or don’t have anything incredibly rich to pair with this one – either save it for dessert or hold onto it for a special occasion. Sitting at an ABV at 8.5% – you might want to be careful who you share this one with.  Founders’ Dirty Bastard is the perfect combination of sweet and savory. Like I mentioned – it’s heavier on the palate then a normal ale so save it for a rich dish like prime rib or even brisket.

     

    The Dessert

    Caramelized Chocolate Churro Baltic Porter

    Moody Tongue

    Whoever said that the dessert round doesn’t need a pairing is just plain wrong. Some may opt for the glass of milk – but hey if you are in this far might as well finish strong. Moody Tongue’s 13 syllable Caramelized Chocolate Churro Baltic Porter may be a mouthful to say – but if you save it to pair with your aunt’s famous dessert you will be happy you practiced saying it all. This medium-bodied porter brings rich and caramel tones to every sip.

     

    However you decide to spend your Thanksgiving – remember to share it with your loved ones this week. Happy Holidays!

    The PintPass app is free to download and allows you to see some of the top breweries in the USA (we’ve got over 200 of them). If you become a PintPass Premium member, you’ll get exclusive discounts and free food EVERY time you show up to one of our member breweries.

    Download The Pintpass App

    Apple | Android

     

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    Popular

    Enter to Win a Free Growler Werks uKeg Growler

    PintPass X Growler Werks uKeg Growler Giveaway

    We have teamed up with Growler Werks for an incredible giveaway. In the spirit of the holiday season slowly creeping up on us – we wanted a fun way to “Give the gift of beer.” When Growler Werks came to us with this idea we absolutely had to say yes.

    From now until December 8th – you can enter to win a brand new 64 oz uKeg growler courtsey of Growler Werks. It’s perfect for filling up with whatever seasonal brew your favorite brewery might have for the holidays.

    This pressurized portable keg ensures that the quality of your beer stays the same as long as possible. Take it home, put it in your fridge and it will taste the same as it did from the brewery.

     

    Just enter below for your chance to win! We will e-mail a winner on December 9th.

     

    Pintpass is free to download and allows you to see some of the top breweries in the USA (we’ve got over 200 of them). If you become a PintPass Premium member, you’ll get exclusive discounts and free food EVERY time you show up to one of our member breweries.

     

    Download The Pintpass App

    Apple | Android

     

    Good luck!