Now that we’re all spending a lot more time at home, our drink choices are happening there, too. Some of us are finding that we crave different things on our couches than we do on barstools at our favorite breweries and pubs. Some of us are using this time to try new things, while others are fully embracing their favorite beers, like an adult beverage form of comfort food.
Drinking predominantly at home poses a whole fresh set of questions to consider when choosing a brew, too. Are we treating ourselves to a beer while we’re technically still winding down on work? (We won’t tell your boss, promise.) Then we’re probably picking a super light and easy-drinking lager. Are we choosing a beer instead of, say, a brownie for dessert while we watch our favorite show on Friday night? Then we might want a decadent porter or stout.
Even after we can return to those barstools, having a beer at home is always in style. Being able to order beer right to your door also means that the possibilities are even more endless than when you’re out at your go-to spot. “Decisions, decisions” is definitely a #mood when it comes to beer at home. In light of that, we realized: let’s ask the experts. Surely, the people who make great beer have some good ideas on picking great beer, right? Especially in a time when drinking at home can include anything from needing to de-stress to socializing with friends via Zoom, we wanted to know what our favorite brewers are drinking.
Jared Rouben, Brewmaster at Moody Tongue Brewing Company
Jared’s beer choices depend on what he’s eating at what time of the day, so his picks also read like helpful recommendations for pairing brews and food.
“My go-to quarantine beer changes with my meals over the course of each day. I like to begin my mornings with our Aperitif Pilsner, which is basically my ‘kegs and eggs’ beer. This traditional German-style Pilsner is light, refreshing and a perfect complement to my lightly scrambled eggs.
“As the day moves on, however, I'm not particularly big on lunch, and so I look for bigger flavors from my beer during the afternoon. We recently released our Juiced Lychee IPA, which I keep stocked in my fridge for exactly this reason. And, as we near dinner, I look forward to big meals showcasing braised meats, pot roast or even short ribs, and there's only one choice for a pairing: our Oak Barrel Aged Flanders Red Ale. The ‘Burgundy of beers,’ our Flanders red ale has a medium body and ruby-red hue with flavors and aromatics of tart cherry and rhubarb.
“Of course, I have a sweet tooth as well, and so I need to end my day with dessert -- and what better than our Bourbon Barrel Aged Chocolate Barleywine with a scoop of vanilla ice cream?”
Jon Moore and Jason Pazmino, Founders of Gay Beer
“Honestly, our house beer is Gay Beer,” says Jon. “It’s always in our fridge. Jason is gluten-free and it’s an option that we enjoy with food or during our virtual happy hours with friends.”
Playing up the versatility of the Gay Beer golden lager, Jon and Jason have also created several fun beer cocktails using it as a base. Between how perfect Gay Beer is alone and how well it lends itself to mixology, it turns out that the possibilities here are pretty endless. One of Jon and Jason’s creations we think sounds like a dream for warm summer afternoons is the Vitamin G, a take on the Aperol Spritz. “We are working most of the day at home so we try to wind down and have happy hour together and catch up on the news,” Jon says of their Vitamin G routine. “It’s become our ritual in a way.” Jon and Jason shared the recipe here for you to try making your own:
- 3/4 oz. Aperol
- 1/4 oz. Campari
- 2 dashes of grapefruit bitters
- Fill with Gay Beer golden lager
- Add a grapefruit Twist
Drew Brosseau, Founder and President of Mayflower Brewing Company
Drew says he’s an “old school guy,” so classics like Mayflower’s original IPA and porter are perennial staples in his rotation. However, he adds, Drew also likes to mix it up depending on everything from Mayflower’s new releases to what he’s eating and what kind of day he’s had.
“Boomerang is a light-bodied and hoppy ale, with a citrus hop profile that comes from the two Australian hops we use – Galaxy and Ella. That light, citrus flavor and 5% ABV make it easy an drinking style for the hop fans.
“OttoBahn is a classic Munich Helles lager, with a very clean malt backbone and a grassy hop profile. Dry and refreshing, it’s our go-to lawnmower beer.”
One of the team members at EBBS not only has the perfect at-home drink, but the perfect time to enjoy that drink -- and it’s something many of us can relate to. Read on for his beer of choice, and some tips on how to imbibe in stealth mode in case that’s something your day may entail.
“I have found the perfect time for an IPA No. 2 is about 30 minutes into a Zoom meeting, casually poured (off-screen) into a 16 oz. travel mug. There are fewer things more grounding than Crystal malts and piney hops, and it seems to beat that ‘2:30 feeling’ way better than an energy drink. I’m sure there is a study out there showing IPAs allow for quality communication and work flow.”
Rob Pennington IV, Regional Sales Manager at Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery
Rob says he just entered the craft beer scene two and a half years ago when he joined the Lickinghole Creek team, so is relatively new to the culture -- but growing up in Michigan, he counted classics like Bell’s Two Hearted Ale, Great Lakes Brewing’s Christmas Ale, and Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout as early favorites.
“Then I came to Lickinghole and they opened a whole new world a flavor and diversity of style. We have barrel-aged Quads, Tripels, and imperial stouts that completely blew my mind. Not to mention the base beers (before going in the barrels) were already award-winning brands, such as the Nasty Woman, a tequila barrel-aged Tripel; Redneck Wedding, a bourbon barrel-aged Quad; and of course the Enlightened Despot, a Bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout.”
Rob says he has been choosing refreshing Lickinghole Creek brews for relaxing summer holiday weekends. Think the Juicy IPA, a silky barley, oats and wheat blend hopped on Sabro, Taiheke, El Dorado, Motueka and Citra hops for an absolute explosion of dank and tropical fruitness.
For the most recent updates on Lickinghole’s masterful imperial stouts, try the Heir Apparent, boasting caramel, chocolate, and roasty notes with the sweetness of vanilla and the heat of Mexican peppers. And for one of those pitch-perfect Tripels, go for Three Chopt, an extra hoppy and citrus-blasted take on the Belgian-style classic.
Maíra Kimura, Fernanda Ueno, and Yumi Shimada, Cofounders of Japas Cervejaria
Maíra, Fernanda, and Yumi have been mixing their drink selections up depending on the occasion, choosing from beers they’ve been aging since various travels, beers from breweries they’ve collaborated with, and cocktails made with Japas beers. One of their steady favorites, though, a solid go-to that’s a dependable home run, is the Matsurika, Japas Cervejaria’s pilsner made with jasmine petals like the Asian tea of the same name.
“We like to drink Matsurika cause of its drinkability,” Maíra explains. “It’s easy and refreshing. In spite of the fact that it has flowers added, it’s a floral touch that complements the base style delicately -- Bohemian Pilsners already have this floral characteristic. It’s very versatile, pairs well with several kinds of foods (or to drink by itself just to chill).”