"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."
"The idea that Medieval people drank beer or wine to avoid drinking bad water is so established that even some very serious scholars see no reason to document or defend it; they simply repeat it as a settled truth. In fact, if no one ever documents the idea, it is for a very simple reason: it's not true."
Even in the grips of the Great Recession, one industry's profits are bubbling up, pouring forth, and experiencing growth in market share, dollars spent, and profit: craft beer! [more inside]
Everyone knows America's Oldest Brewery is D.G. Yuengling & Son (and daughters) of Pottsville, PA (and Tampa, FL) This family owned brewery was established as the "Eagle Brewery" in 1829 by a German immigrant named David Gottlob Jüngling. After the original brewery burned down in 1831 it was relocated to its current location. It was built into a mountain with caves dug into the side, a common practice to preserve beer and to achieve the cool temperatures required to make lager before refrigeration. Yuengling spent most of its history as a small regional brewery and only began to attract national attention years after the launch of Yuengling Traditional Lager in 1987, which went on to become the flagship product of the company and now accounts for 80% of Yuengling's production. On the strength of that growth, and with other brewers being bought out by or outsourcing production to foreign companies, Yuengling has now passed The Boston Beer Company to claim the title of America's largest brewing company as well. In this globalized beer era where giants war for market share, products from America's new largest brewer are only available in 14 states.
Greatbrewers.com releases the Beer Sommelier. Beer is increasingly considered the ideal beverage to accompany food for its palate cleansing carbonation and its diverse range of styles featuring flavor and aroma characteristics that can enhance any dish. But selecting the right beer style to complement a specific dish, and tracking down a retailer that carries that style presents inherent challenges. Masterfully select the best beer styles to pair with any dish, see examples of those styles, and track down individual beers in your neighborhood with the Beer Sommelier. [more inside]
On a less serious note, 12 signs you drank too much. (May be NSFW--some partial male nudity)
Serious vegetarians know to keep on the lookout for isinglass and other animal products in their beer. Isinglass is a fish-derived additive that's primarily used to help speed up the clarification of cask-conditioned ales, although some beer-makers will use it to reclaim batches that didn't filter properly. You can help keep your diet swimbladder-free with this awesome list.