Lakefront Brewery Inc. was founded in December 1987 by brothers Russ and Jim Klisch in Milwaukee, Wis. Growing from a small home brewing experiment to a large brewery, Lakefront now produces more than 40,000 barrels of beer a year and distributes to 35 states as well as Canada, Japan and Korea. In addition, it was the first brewery in the country to brew a government-approved, gluten-free beer, New Grist (5.1 percent ABV).
Last week I was walking around the grocery store when I stumbled across this giant orange monstrosity that was a pile of dozens of different types of pumpkin ales, ciders and other types of beer that breweries felt appropriate to sprinkle fall’s signature flavoring in. Wading through stuff that didn’t interest me, I found a couple of beers that weren’t prominently up front, and to my enjoyment one of those was No Label Brewery’s third Off Label release.
It was a little over a month ago that Alaskan Brewing Co. announced the release of the company's Pumpkin Ale, a new fall seasonal set to supplant the company's prior autumnal offering, Pumpkin Porter.Said to be a spin on the beer it was replacing, Pumpkin Ale's primary difference is that it starts out with a lighter-bodied, brown ale base recipe.
Started in 1987 with a small 10 barrel brewhouse, Anderson Valley Brewing Company has grown extensively over the past two decades. Having expanded its production capabilities just a little bit in the past two decades, they now have a wide distribution and name recognition that they might not have had even 10 years ago. Having seen it on the shelf but never having tried it myself, jumping into its lineup with the brewery’s new seasonal barrel-aged pumpkin ale, Pinchy Jeek Barl, sounded like as good a way to start off as any.
In a sea full of pumpkin beers it is certainly hard to stick out from the crowd. It seems like every brewer does some sort of pumpkin beer come fall and we are currently right in the thick of those beers dropping. With every trend though there are outliers, both the good, the bad and the please don’t ever brew that beer again. Good Gourd by Cigar City brewing is without a doubt in the good category. Originally released in 2009 it was solely available on draft for the first two years of production. Then from 2011-2013 it was made available in 750ml bottles and this past year it was bottled in 22-ounce bottles. Since its initial release Good Gourd has become a highly anticipated seasonal staple.
Schlafly first came on the St. Lewis, Mo. beer scene in 1991 and currently brews over 50 unique styles of beers annually, with roughly half of them bottled and half exclusively available on draft at the company's two brewery/restaurants: The Schlafly Tap Room and Schlafly Bottleworks, which are both in St. Louis.