In times like these, nothing pairs better with Netflix & Chill than booze. While much of the world is on lockdown, here’s what some brewers are drinking to ease their anxiety and boredom during the COVID-19 pandemic—and it’s not just beer. Use this as inspiration for your own isolation-induced imbibing.
James Long, Barbarian Brewing in Boise, ID
Right now I'm decimating my beer and wine cellar. I've been pushing too many gems back waiting for a special occasion. Now seems fitting. Oodelallie by Yeast of Eden has been a recent fave. I couldn't help myself from singing the song from the Disney Robin Hood cartoon while drinking it. I’ve been enjoying their beer as well as Sante Adairius. Their Lady in Grey is phenomenal. Also, bourbon. Because some of these days require the hard stuff.
Yiga Miyashiro, Saint Archer Brewing Co. in San Diego, CA
Beer-wise, I've stocked the fridge up with Saint Archer’s IPA 99 and Tropical IPA. IPA 99 has been the weekday go-to beer. It’s lower ABV, lets me have a few and still be a responsible dad, and the 99 calories keep my midsection from getting too bloated. I need to be ready for those plank challenges! Tropical IPA is my favorite “take me away" beer. The real passionfruit and mango puree complements the Mosaic, Citra, and Simcoe hops. Every sip makes me think I'm sitting at a tropical beach with my toes in the sand, instead of in my living room with Wilson watching Cast Away. I've also been crushing a few Aperol spritzes, because a man can't survive on beer alone.
Trevor Howard, Hop Valley Brewing Co. in Eugene and Springfield, OR
Margarita in the day, Manhattan at night. A margarita is a good way to take your mind off things and a Manhattan is a great comfort drink before bed. Also, I always have a keg of some Hop Valley IPA on tap.
Kelly Ryan, Fork & Brewer, Wellington, New Zealand
Strangely, we had to clean all 42 of our beer lines here at Fork & Brewer prior to the shutdown, meaning I filled a few growlers with some pretty interesting beer blends. One consisted of Saison de Citra, a dry-hopped saison, Mā is White, my indigenous, herb-laden Belgian witbier, and a touch of our Charlie XPA, a little 3.7% ABV oaty pale ale with Nelson Sauvin, Citra, and Citulicious hop oil. I've also raided the cellar—multiple bottles of Lindemans Kriek and Gueuze that I'd put aside, and last night I cracked a beautiful bottle of a New Zealand pinot noir barrel-aged Belgian imperial stout. A small bottle re-ferment trial I did back in 2013, it’s one of the finest dark beers I've ever had.
Chris Juergen, Karbach Brewing Co. in Houston, TX
Throughout Houston’s stay-at-home order, I have found myself drinking a lot more Viva Chela, Karbach’s newly released cerveza. The weather is starting to warm up in Texas, and the hint of lime and salt in the Viva is a refreshing way to help me relax and unwind. Apart from that, our Weekend Warrior pale ale is what I consider my “Old Reliable”—a beer I continue to crack open to help feel a sense of normalcy during this time of uncertainty.