All posts by Mathew Powers

Forever part of the Sommbeer family, Matt's journey from beer geek to beer writer has included regular contributions to Chilled Magazine, Thrillist.com, and his blog, "A Pint of Chicago," for the Chicago Tribune Media Group. He's also published non-beer-related items on various magazines, "webzines," and Ebooks. But, Sommbeer was, is, and always will be his home.
Sapporo

Beer Review: Sapporo Premium Black Lager

We all know that lagers are yellow, and we all know they come from Germany — or nearby, at least. Duh, that’s a given. So knowing that, let’s discuss Sapporo Premium Black — a black lager from Japan. Wait, what? Ah, little did many of you know that black beer — or Schwarzbier — is quite popular in Japan. And now the oldest beer maker in Japan wants to bring that beer to the U.S. Throw in the 22oz. slick-looking, steel can and you’ve got…

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Christmas Beer

It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas Beer

Christmas beer season is upon us. Unlike the conversation associated with the slew of pumpkin ales that arrive months before trick or treaters hit the streets, Christmas beers are largely well received. Partly, it might be because holiday beers are wildly diverse. In general, there is usually some level of earthy and warming spice involved, as well as robust malt. Some are hopped, some are aged, some are lagered, and some are all of those. Like gifts under a tree, there’s a little something for…

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#BCBS 2016

#BCBS 2016 In Pictures

Love it or hate it, The Black Friday release of Goose Island Beer Company’s Bourbon County Brand Stout (BCBS) is a monster event in Chicago, as well as the rest of the nation. Some deplore it because it represents AbInBev’s successful encroachment on American craft. Others, notably in Chicago, love the BCBS release for its history and influence on American Craft Beer. Meanwhile, many could care less about anything beyond the fact that BCBS tastes fantastic. Regardless of how anyone feels, BCBS Black Friday release…

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Anadromous Black Sour

Beer Review: Anchorage Brewing Company Anadromous Black Sour Ale

ABV: 8.5 % IBU: 30 Sitting on the south central coast of Alaska exists one of the most beautiful cities in the U.S. – Anchorage, Alaska. So it is fitting that the Anchorage Brewing Company has also produced some of the most beautiful beers around. One of them, the Anadromous Black Sour Ale, not only personifies beauty, it is an exquisite beer that exemplifies everything that’s good about craft beer.

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New Holland Dragon's Milk Bourbon Barrel Stout

New Holland Brewing Dragon’s Milk Bourbon Barrel Stout

First brewed in 2001, New Holland Brewing describes Dragon’s Milk Bourbon Barrel Stout as, “A stout with roasty malt character intermingled with deep vanilla tones, all dancing in an oak bath.” Sometimes flowery descriptions provided by breweries fail to materialize once one sips the beer, but not Dragon’s Milk. Although all beer ratings are subjective, most rate Dragon’s Milk highly, with good reason. Dragons may breathe fire, but the immense salvation provided by the mere sight of this delicious beer will douse any flame. ABV:…

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Breckenridge IPA Three Ways

IPAs are so yesterday, right? IPAs are boring, right? IPAs are the opposite of innovation, right? Think again. Single hop. Dry hop. Wet hop. SMaSH. First wort. Mosaic. Amarillo. Citra. English. American. It seems that IPAs are evolving as quickly as the industry that made it famous. Where hops used to be the star of the IPA show, hops often play a secondary or tertiary part alongside an incredible complex set of flavors and aromas in today’s IPAs.  Meanwhile, farmers continue to breed new variants…

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Saugatuck Brewing

Saugatuck Brewery – Blueberry Stout…and so much more.

Mea Culpa. I once wrote a light-hearted article here on Sommbeer focused on ingredients in beer that, no matter how popular, no matter how many friends love them, just aren’t for you. For me, blueberries existed as the one thing in beer I simply could not stomach. I wrote: I do not like blueberry beer. Actually, I hate it. The worst part of blueberry brews, I argue, has to do with flavoring that reminds me of blueberry syrup, not blueberries. Tasting a blueberry beer reminds…

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Founders Brewing Mosaic Promise

Founders Brewing Mosaic Promise

One hop. That’s all you need. Founders Brewing Mosaic Promise, a single mosaic-hopped brew, marks another wonderful creation from a brewery that already has several hall-of-fame type beers on its resume, such as Founders KBS, Harvest Ale, and All Day IPA. You may have noticed that Mosaic hops are all the rage lately. If not for the influx of sours and Gose beers on the market, Mosaic hops might be all anyone discusses. The new hop strain, developed roughly in 2012, is a complex hop…

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St. Louis Brewing and Schlafly Beer — A Gateway to Great Beer

St. Louis Brewing, located in St. Louis, Missouri In the 19th century, St Louis served as the gateway to the West. If St. Louis Brewery, makers of Schlafly Beer, had been around then, gold would have remained in the hills, and no trail to Oregon would have been forged because no one would have left St. Louis. Today, St. Louis Brewery is Missouri’s largest locally owned independent brewery. They proclaim, “When we opened in 1991, we had no business plan beyond wanting to make great…

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Rogue Cold Brew IPA – Coffee and Hops

Rogue’s Cold Brew IPA provides enough coffee to wake up any dead guy while simultaneously offering plenty of old-fashioned west coast hops to please any hop head. The Rogue Cold Brew IPA includes just enough coffee taste to remind one of a good porter or stout, but this medium-bodied brew is remarkably “easy drinking.” Interestingly, this writer continues to find himself drinking coffee-flavored beer, despite possessing a serious disdain for the morning brew. Somehow, brewers continue to demonstrate their skill and artistry by deftly incorporating…

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