When Did Rarity Start to Equal Greatness in Beer? Today, however, Duvel doesn’t even graze the “Top Beers” list. While it’s still well-regarded, by now its acclaim has been buried under a dogpile of state-of-the-art hoppy pale ales, imperial stouts and fruited sour ales. In fact, in the years since I started considering myself a “beer geek” (and the term became part of the lexicon), the craft beer industry has shape-shifted remarkably, especially among the cognoscenti. But how, exactly?
Yorkshire is a county in t'north of England. It has a distinct range of dialects; for example 'nowt' means 'nothing', 'who?' means 'what?' and 'how are you?' is asked ... differently, with further variations across the county. Yorkshire is famous for its pudding, caustic cricket commentary, rhubarb, having its own day, one of the earliest surviving film fragments, the chocolate bar, poetry, tea, and ferret legging (alternative explanation). The anthem of Yorkshire, On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at, is about hats, death and cannibalism. Like other English regions, such as Cornwall and Wessex, Yorkshire has movements towards devolution, greater autonomy and ultimately independence. But what is the essence of Yorkshire? [more inside]
"A beer pipeline has been constructed in the Belgian city of Bruges, to replace the traditional method of transporting beer by tanker." "Four years in planning and five months in construction, the Halve Maan (Half Moon) brewery will officially open a pipe that will rid the historic city center and its tight cobbled lanes of beer-laden trucks weighing more than 40 tonnes." [more inside]
Fresh Hop 2016 is upon us. Hop harvest started a couple of weeks ago. I was lucky and was able to go handpick some Citra hops off a farm on Labor Day for a local brewery here in Woodinville. Who is your favorite fresh hop ale from? Also, while this year may be hard if you can go get to the Yakima Fresh Hop Ale Festival. One of the best beer festivals in the world and right in the middle of where most of the hops come from.
In German, you create new descriptive nouns by stringing other nouns together into longer and longer words. You don't need to speak German to understand this little story about Barbara and her rhubarb pie [2m9s]. I'm pretty sure you will enjoy it.
What "Selling Out" Allows a Craft Brewery to Do (Serious Eats) Far be it from me to act as a propaganda arm for a $200 billion company headquartered in...uh, is it Belgium at the moment? But I thought it was time someone went to the original founders and employees of the numerous craft breweries that have been acquired, not just by ABI but by other corporate beverage behemoths, like Constellation Brands, Heineken, and Mahou San Miguel, to try to get the full story. What's been going on since these acquisitions—for better or for worse? Does anything actually improve when Big Beer buys you? [more inside]
Salt Lake Spirit: How Utah's Liquor Laws Foster Creativity Behind the Bar (Serious Eats) "Let's take the classic Manhattan. It's actually perfect for Utah's liquor laws. The typical Manhattan would have two ounces of whiskey to one ounce sweet vermouth. But a three-ounce cocktail is illegal here, right? So now you have to get your base liquor back to one and a half ounces and then bring everything else in line to match," Walton explains, noting that the sweet vermouth would now be cut to three-quarters of an ounce. [more inside]
To offset the taste of belly buttons, the brewers also added some flavours such as orange zest and coriander, along with a lot of hops. The final result is a Belgian-ish Witbier with a very personalised twist to keep things interesting. -- Beer made from belly button fluff has a bit of the brewer in every glass
"Nothing was more iconic than Budweiser and nothing was more iconic than America." Seeking to remind you of that fact, American-made proud anti-snob macro beer Budweiser, is issuing limited-edition cans that patriotically conflate its branding with America for the election season.
A cola pen is a calligraphy pen with a nib curved so that line width can be varied with pressure or holding the pen differently. It's called a cola pen because you can make one yourself with a cola can! Be careful, though.
Istace is now holding Rage Yoga classes in the dimly lit basement of Dickens, a bar in Calgary, Canada. “You should expect there to be foul language, laughter, and shenanigans. If these offend you, Rage Yoga is not for you.” Istace promises that her special brand of yoga will leave you “zen as fuck.” By the way, when you sign up, you get tickets for two draft pints at the discounted price of $4.00 each. Classes have been held on Monday and Wednesday nights since January.
Opinions of BrewDog tend to go one of four ways. The evangelists think the company can do no wrong. The haters cannot get past the relentless self-promotion, and loathe everything BrewDog stands for. The compromisers argue that yes, they might on the whole be happier if BrewDog toned down the language and cut the stunts, but hey, they brew such great beers you have to forgive them.... The final group, let’s call them the sceptics, reckon the beer and the hype are, in fact, inseparable. The aggressive, outrageous, infuriating (and ingenious) rise of BrewDog
Scottish brewing outfit Brewdog have open-sourced all their beer recipes, scaling them down for home brewing. 215 recipes in total, and yes, it includes both "Sink The Bismarck" and "Tactical Nuclear Penguin".
The St. Louis Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church has some issues with the Girl Scouts , particularly, "in regards to sex education and advocacy for “reproductive rights” (i.e. abortion and contraceptive access, even for minors)" (2-page PDF). Don't worry, though -- Archbishop Robert J. Carlson isn't telling you not to buy cookies: "Each person must act in accord with their conscience." [more inside]
"When we started developing the recipe for the Ultimate I.P.A., back in 2004, we had one goal: to concoct an ale so utterly undrinkable that the craft-beer community would have no option but to shower it with praise." [SLNewYorker]
Back in May, Slate published an article decrying the trend in craft beers to be overly hoppy (at least according to the tastes of the author). The next day, a rebuttal was crafted (pun intended) and posted the the Bear Flavored beer blog. The main point of contention in the counterpoint article is that more hops does not always mean more bitterness. Additionally, even if some beers were highly bitter, then why complain if some people enjoy them?
Two years ago today I last got shithoused. It was the closing night of the Lincoln Lodge, a fantastic comedy venue in Chicago in the back of a now-closed diner. They’ve since moved, but after that show, I thought I should take a breather from drinking... I’ve learned a lot in two years, so I thought I’d share that with you, in case you’d like to take a break from the booze cruise.Andy Boyle writes about lessons learned from two years without alcohol.
Annie Johnson can replicate beer from taste. “I have a real knack for tasting something and breaking it down,” she says. “If I like it, I can immediately go home and make it.” But it's her own original experiments with beer that bring amazing creations to the table: her light American lager, Mow the Damn Lawn, earned her the title of Homebrewer of the Year in 2013. She's not your average beer geek, and has things to say about strange additives (Reddit AMA), race and craft beer, and her favorite tools. She is BrewMaster-in-residence at PicoBrew. [more inside]
The Beer Mile recorded lowered to 4:51.9. Lewis Kent has retaken the Beer Mile (a mile/four laps run with a 355ml beer downed before every lap) record with a run of 4:51.9. (previously record by James Nielsen.)
The Kitchn's Beer School: Emma Christensen's thorough but friendly 20-lesson / 5-weekend course in 1-gallon homebrewing. [more inside]
SABMiller may have rejected Anheuser-Busch InBev's latest offer, but some analysts think an eventual merger is inevitable. [more inside]
Elysian, Anheuser-Busch, and the Fight for the Soul of Seattle’s Beer He was the sole nay vote in Elysian Brewing’s sale to Anheuser-Busch. Now the brewer’s legacy is at the center of the battle for the soul of Seattle beer. [more inside]
If cuisine drives (or helps) you decide your travel plans, USA Today's list of food favorites covers Best Farmers Market, Best Food Trail, Best Food Factory Tour, Best Al Fresco Dining Neighborhood and Best Local Food Scene. All those lists are pretty self-explanatory, except for the food trails, which aren't even fully described in the more verbose slideshow of the top 10. And of course there are more than 10 food trails in the US (not to mention abroad), so let's dive in. [more inside]
July 24th is the date when the Mormon settlers first arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. Commemorated as Pioneer Day, it's a day off work that is tied to a specific belief system. But non-Mormons in Utah also want to observe the holiday, and so July 24th became Pie And Beer Day. The Salt Lake Tribune article provides more background.
An Introduction to Sour Beers + 5 to Get You Started - Billy Broas, Primer Magazine: "Sour beers are hot right now, but they’re anything but a new concept. They’ve been brewed in Belgium for hundreds of years." [more inside]
Whether it’s a barbecue or a bonfire, there’s nothing quite like a cold one when it’s hot outside. Here are 11 delicious craft brews to check out this season.
How the West Coast-Style IPA Conquered the World - by Erin Mosbaugh, First We Feast:
"While many notable beers emerged from this scene—Ballast Point Sculpin, Alesmith IPA—few had the influence of Green Flash's flagship West Coast IPA. By trademarking the term in 2011 and emblazoning it across bottles in giant letters, the brewery effectively codified the regionality of the style and made it instantly recognizable to drinkers across the country (and beyond). Eagle Rock Brewery's Jeremy Raub explains, 'Green Flash West Coast IPA was a really over-the-top double IPA, which was the brewery's way to say, 'This is how we do it on the West Coast.' It was just over 8% ABV, resinous, and hoppy. It had more malt body, and it was 'dank,' as people like to call it."[more inside]
In less than a decade, the Outlaws have become become the biggest and most influential force in U.S. national team fan culture, and it’s experiencing some growing pains. What began as a small idea started by three affable friends in Nebraska has become a movement with more than 34,000 people paying $25 per year to join the club. [more inside]
In the May 1975 issue of Oui magazine, Robert Christgau and Carola Dibbell reviewed four dozen American beers, plus eleven imports.
Budweiser's Superbowl commercial Brewed The Hard Way proclaimed itself "PROUD TO BE A MACRO BEER". Carla Jean Lauter, writing at The Beer Babe: Why the pro-macro beer Budweiser ad is so dangerous.
Instead of changing the conversation with horses and puppies, it’s stared directly into the camera and declared itself. These are their terms. This is Budweisers’ manifesto – and despite the details that make it hypocritical, it’s a very powerful ad, and craft brewers are going to be feeling the repercussions for a while.[more inside]
"Here’s an understatement for you: 2014 was a great year for beer. Seriously, it’s hard to put into words just how awesome American craft beer was this year. IPAs got sessionable, then they got fresh-hopped, breweries collaborated like hip hop moguls, older (let’s call them classic?) breweries reinvented themselves with ambitious experiments while young breweries helped push the envelope of style and taste…there were hundreds, probably thousands of new beers hitting the shelves and taps all year long, challenging our palates and expectations day after day. It’s an exciting time to be alive."
A 2000 report leaked to the Toronto Star details how the Harris government struck a sweetheart deal to ensure major brewers a stranglehold on Ontario beer retail. Long suspected but never before proven, the report details how the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) was forced to submit to a subsidiary role in beer retail in the province; the then-LCBO head has confirmed that Harris forced the deal onto the province. Martin Cohn reports in the Toronto Star.
Trick or Treat? Anchor Brewing's Bob Brewer on pumpkin beers and why Anchor hasn't produced one.
Pumpkins, by themselves have very little – if any – real flavor that will survive brewing and fermentation. It’s sort of the “tofu” of the squash world in that it tastes like what you put on or into it. The flavor that everyone associates with pumpkins is pumpkin pie. What we are tasting in a pumpkin pie is actually the huge load of sugar dumped into it along with the allspice, cinnamon, clove, vanilla, ginger and other spices.[more inside]
As a taster, it’s important to know that compared with sour or salty, bitterness is slow to affect our palates. The first two are very simple chemical phenomena and require only the simplest of cellular mechanisms to fire off their signals to the brain. Bitterness, like sweetness and umami, requires an intermediate molecule, something called a G-coupled protein. It takes a little longer to do its thing, and this time dimension of tasting is something that you always need to pay attention to.
Time Magazine's Seasonal Beer Guide shows you when some breweries release various seasonal beers.
How To Home Brew Beer in Your Kitchen, from Drink [Craft] Beer:
Brewing beer in your home can be as simple, or as complicated, as you want to make it. Here, we’re going to present the simple way. There is a lot of science you can get into, but we’re going to skip a lot of that as there are a lot of people who can tell you about it a lot better than we can. And they have books out (John Palmer’s How to Brew (online), and Charlie Papazian’s The Complete Joy of Homebrewing). We’d recommend reading these books at some point. You’ll learn a lot about why everything happens, how brewing really works and just a lot more in-depth information. If you want to make this a serious hobby, those are two can’t miss books.[more inside]
In this article, though, we’re going to run through step-by-step how to brew in a small kitchen setting. We know many of you live in apartments (we do), and we’ve heard too many people say they can’t brew because of this. You can! We know this, because we do it. We’ll show you how to go about brewing your first batch. Plus, we’re including pictures to really show you how it’s done. So, let’s get brewing!
"Tasting notes: As a resident of the Pacific Northwest, I'm accustomed to IPAs so hoppy that they attempt to kick your teeth out on the first sip, and keep on fighting for the rest of the drink. In contrast, the Icky IPA is refreshingly crisp with a sly nudge of hops underlain with a tongue-twist of citrus. This is a pale ale to sip and savour, not a masochistic endurance contest with barely-concealed whimpering winces. Apparently I'm not the only one who appreciates the relative gentleness of this IPA: the Icky is their best-selling beer." [more inside]
"With a well-picked sixer by your side, there's hardly a dish out there that can't be made better." Serious Eats gives you six beers you should always have in your fridge for killer pairings. [more inside]