Category: Craft Beer

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The Right Beer For BBQ

Are you grilling? Then you need to know which beer styles are right for chilling. From octopus to chicken to steak, here's an easy guide to creating the perfect pairing.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Craft Beer

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Design a Beer Recipe in 10 Steps

Too many homebrewers are overwhelmed by recipe design and as a result stick to kits. While kits can produce solid beers, writing your own recipe means you can tailor the beer to your tastes exactly. Many brewers just don't know where to start, how to select ingredients, and the way everything fits together. This post isn't about ingredients or process (although I'll mention both), each of my recipe posts gives some insight into why I selected particular malts, hops, yeast, and techniques. This is a meta-post about the process I go through each time I write a recipe.
So here are the 10 steps I go through for every batch I brew.

The Mad Fermentationist
CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Category: Craft Beer

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Four Beers for Your 2017 Super Bowl Chili Recipe

Super Bowl food comes in many flavors, from all kinds of places.
Super Bowl Sunday is just around the corner. There may be chicken wings or homemade guacamole - but the king of the Super Bowl buffet must be chili!
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Craft Beer

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Confluence of Craft

Why Mark Legenza returned to Chicago to create On Tour Brewing.
The Hop Review

Category: Craft Beer

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Jester King Gotlandsdricka: Beer of the Vikings

Farmhouse ale from Austin, Texas made with yeast as wild as a viking raid – skol!
Alcohol Professor

Category: Craft Beer

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Loch Lomond Scotch Crosses Our Shores

Expressions of Littlemill, Glen Scotia, Inchmurrin and Glengarry whisky are available in the U.S. for the first time.
Alcohol Professor

Category: Craft Beer

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A Pub Crawl with Lauren Woods Salazar of New Belgium Brewing

Since beginning at New Belgium Brewing in 1997 as a part-time assistant, Lauren Woods Salazar has only continued to move up, into roles that didn't even exist prior.
The Hop Review

Category: Craft Beer

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Guinness Releases Two New Limited Edition Beers

Antwerpen Stout and Rye Pale Ale are out of the Open Gate!
Alcohol Professor

Category: Craft Beer

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Logan Plant & Jenn Merrick of London's Expanding Beavertown Brewery

The UK–birthplace of the IPA–is witnessing a beer renaissance. A renaissance that had quietly been taking cues from fellow scenes, simmering on the back burner and just waiting to boil over.
The Hop Review

Category: Craft Beer

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The Evolution and Metamorphosis of Pumpkin Beer

Nothing signals the arrival of fall for many beer drinkers more than the appearance on store shelves and tap handles of an array of pumpkin ales, pumpkin porters and pumpkin stouts.
Alcohol Professor

Category: Craft Beer

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Low Dissolved Oxygen (DO) Brewing Lager

After my friend Trevor talked my ear off about it, I read the German Brewing Forum's collaborative treatise on low dissolved oxygen (Low DO) brewing.

The Mad Fermentationist
(CC BY-SA 3.0 US)

Category: Craft Beer

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Ed Atkins & Elk Mountain Hop Farms

Despite how the acreage looks today, things haven't always been so golden at Elk Mountain Farms.
The Hop Review

Category: Craft Beer

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Battle of the Breweries in Green Bay

Hinterland vs. Titletown – two of the city’s most enduring craft breweries are right near each other, and couldn’t be more different.
Alcohol Professor

Category: Craft Beer

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BYO Boot Camp: Burlington and Santa Rosa

In less than two months, Michael Tonsmeire will be flying to Burlington, VT for the Brew Your Own Boot Camps on November 4th and 5th.

The Mad Fermentationist
(CC BY-NC-SA US 3.0)

Category: Craft Beer

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Serve Yourself Craft Beer?!

Leatherhead Brewing in Green Bay, has a system that let's you pour your own beer! This is a fun, if potentially dangerous concept.
All photos by Kevin Gibson.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Craft Beer

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A Chat with Dogfish Head, Victory, Stone, & Deschutes

What happens when you put some of the top brewers all together in one room? Magic.
They touch on the importance of collaboration, and some very strong opinions on the heart and soul of brewing.
The Hop Review

Category: Craft Beer

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Crafting a Lager Brand: Sean Farrell of Lake Brothers Beer Co.

By The Hop Review 710
Founder of Lake Brothers Beer Co. Sean Farrell and his partner are looking to fill a market niche many maybe didn't notice was missing.
The Hop Review

Category: Craft Beer

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'Westvleteren' Blond with Brett

We all suffer from brewer’s block once in awhile. So, I’ve come up with seven tricks for coming up with something to brew.

Category: Craft Beer

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Alcohol Consumption Throughout Human History

Life without cold beer? Actually, most of humanity wouldn't have had access to it. Yup, times were tough.

Category: Craft Beer

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From Mexico to the Glass: Interview with Chef Rick Bayless

With a half dozen restaurants under his belt, along with an Emmy, several cookbooks, a food line (Frontera), Top Chef judge, Top Chef Master winner and several other prominent accolades, this Chicagoan can now add 'Brewery Owner' to the list of accomplishments.

Category: Craft Beer

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Field Trips: Howells & Hood

So many beers, so worth making the time.

Category: Craft Beer

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Big Beach Brewing Opening Soon

Gulf Shore's first ever craft brewery is primed to take advantage of the new Alabama beer laws.

Category: Craft Beer

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Drinking Beer in Oslo and Drammen, Norway

Beer highlights and other interesting discoveries on a trip to speak in Norway.

Category: Craft Beer

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Beer Review: Founders Mosaic Promise

New IPA is simple, restrained and nearly perfect.

Category: Craft Beer

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Flagstaff Beer Walk

Learn more about the local beer screne happening now in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Category: Craft Beer

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Blue Toad Cider

Despite its small size, Blue Toad Hard Cider creates some big and bold ciders that everyone from the cider lover, to the uninitiated, can find something to enjoy.

Category: Craft Beer

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White Labs: For the “Beer Geek” in All of Us

The tasting room at White Labs has been open for some time now, but I finally made it down to San Diego a few weeks ago and I made it a priority to stop by and see what the tasting room had to offer.

Category: Craft Beer

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London's Historic Pints And Pubs

A very handy guide to the colorful histories of some of London's legendary pubs. Bring history alive with your next pint!

Category: Craft Beer

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Brewer Q&A: Vaclav Berka of Pilsner Urquell

If you've ever reached for an cold pilsner at any point in your drinking career–and if you're reading this, there's no doubt you have many times–there's but one brewery you can give thanks to: Pilsner Urquell.

Category: Craft Beer

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Plows to Pints: Farm Brewing Sprout In VA

As craft brewing explodes nationally and particularly in the Mid-Atlantic states, farm brewing has become one of the hottest trends seeking to satisfy thirsts of beer lovers.

Category: Craft Beer

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Barrels, Legislation & Festivals: Interview with Katie Long

Chicago Craft Beer Week is upon us. Eleven days and hundreds of events, from the North Shore to the south 'burbs, celebrating Chicago's favorite beverage. Kicking off with the acclaimed Beer Under Glass event in Garfield Park, and coming to a close several beer-filled days later in Lincoln Square, it's no small feat to put on a celebration as large as CCBW. And more impressive yet, is that it's made possible because of a team of just two, one being Guild Coordinator Katie Long of the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild.

Category: Craft Beer

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Veterans Turned Brewers

There are a growing number of breweries owned and run by veterans across the country.
Ask Sean of Heritage Brewing to compare his time in the military to the brewing life, and he'll tell you: “Long hours, hard work and low pay is the first thing to come to mind, and team ethic.”

Category: Craft Beer

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Dark Saison 7 Etrog: Tasting

The aroma is hard to place. There is some pale-coffee and dubbel-like maltiness, damp hay, and a touch of citrusy perfume.

Category: Craft Beer

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Beer + Whiskey with Jay DiPrizio of Chicago Distilling Co.

It's no secret that the Second City loves to imbibe. Yet as popular as craft beer and artisan cocktails have become, it's surprising how few distilleries have rebounded within Chicago since Prohibition. And while there are over 1,000 craft distilleries across the U.S., there's only a handful who've managed to set up shop in Chicago. One such operation calls a very popular stretch of Milwaukee Avenue home; Logan Square’s Chicago Distilling Company.

Category: Craft Beer

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In Ontario with Founder Luke Pestl of Bellwoods Brewery

Like many growing up in the Midwest, our perception of Canada was practically limited to what Ontario could convey. As such a large landmass–stretching from New York to Minnesota–it only makes sense that the province be producers of plenty great exports. But sadly, in terms of beer, we may never had known. Ontario craft beer just hasn't made its way across the border. At the heart of this great region, on Lake Ontario, sits the country's largest city: Toronto. A city, that in the last few years, has undergone it's own impressive beer renaissance.

Category: Craft Beer

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Growler Chill: Keeping Growlers Fresh

Now opening a special beer won't be a race against the clock!
A new product, Growler Chill, is heading to market! Not only will it chill and dispense three growlers (standard 64-ounce or 32-ounce howlers) at once, it claims it will keep the beer fresh longer as well – up to three weeks longer.

Category: Craft Beer

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Copper & Kings Releases Cr&ftwerk Brandy

Copper & Kings American Brandy has released apple and grape brandy products aged in new white oak barrels, apple brandy products aged in bourbon barrels and sherry casks, and absinthe distilled with lavender, citrus and ginger. So, it wasn’t a surprise when founder/owner Joe Heron contacted me and asked me to try his new brandy aged in beer barrels, known as Cr&ftwerk Brandy.

Category: Craft Beer

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Sour Brown: One Batch Two Barrels

Split batches are wonderful! However, with sour beers you always have to be cautious not to read too far into them as identical worts aged in identical barrels under seemingly identical conditions can diverge as the microbes compete.

Category: Craft Beer

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The Most Remote Brewery In America

What do suppose it means to be the most remote brewery in America? I found the source of the claim in a blog post from 2014 at “Brew York.” The way they figured it, the most remote brewery is the one that is the farthest distance from any other brewery. It had to be worth the trip.

Category: Craft Beer

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You Owe It To Yourself To Try These 8 Wet-Hopped Beers

Have you ever wanted to like IPAs but just couldn't due to the overt bitterness that often accompanies the style? Have you ever thought about trying a wet-hopped or fresh-hopped beer? Or, did you just automatically avoid it thinking you were just getting another bitter brew?
If you did, you're missing out.

Category: Craft Beer

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Brewing Sour Beer at Home

After almost three years of blogging about sour beer (among other things fermentational) I think most of what I have learned about brewing them at home is buried somewhere in the roughly 250 posts on this site. That said there isn't anywhere on the blog where the bulk of my opinions and experiences have been coalesced for easy reference. I did put up a lengthy post about Brettanomyces a year or so ago, but that covered just one aspect of sour beer production.

Category: Craft Beer

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New Brewery: Brouwerij West

Brouwerij West’s Brian Mercer has been making beer commercially since 2010, but it’s 2016 that hallmarks a new chapter in the gypsy brewers book of beer. On Saturday Feb, 27 2016, Brouwerij West celebrated its official grand opening at the port of Los Angeles nestled right next door to Crafted LA in San Pedro. The space is an immense portside warehouse brimming with potential and opportunity. As it stands now, Mercer, business partner David Holop, and brewer Jeremy Czuleger have put together a beautiful space showcasing a spectacular brewhouse.

Category: Craft Beer

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Do Home Brewers Have A Crystal Ball?

One study says "yes."
Dr. Bart Watson believes craft beer may largely go as home brew goes. His theory comes from plenty of research on past entries from the American Homebrew Association’s National Homebrew Competition, which is the largest beer competition in the world.

Category: Craft Beer

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Cider Making With Paul Cade Of Broken Nose

If you're a beer fan, you already know about the explosive growth of the craft industry. Heck, with over 4,000 breweries now in operation in the US, you can bet there's one not too far from your front door. But often overlooked amidst the bevy of beverage options available is the craft cider, beer's apple-centric distant cousin. A long time favorite of drinkers in northern Europe, cider is making quite the comeback in the United States, growing by leaps and bounds in recent years. That trend hasn't gone unnoticed in Chicago, as places like Eris Cider House and cider focused pub, The Northman aim to open their doors in 2016.

Category: Craft Beer

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The Beer Travel Guide To Tucson

In the Southwest, it's Arizona rising as far as craft beer goes. With a statewide brewing scene that's just starting to make waves, folks are turning to cities like Tucson for a look into this recent beer ingenuity.

Category: Craft Beer

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11 Mistakes Every New Homebrewer Makes

I was inspired by coaching one of my coworkers through his first batch of homebrew (an English bitter) to write up a list of the mistakes that many new homebrewers make. Several of these are things I did on early batches, while others I have tasted at homebrew at club meetings. Many of these issues stem from poor kit instructions, bad homebrew shop advice, and common sense that just doesn’t work out.

Category: Craft Beer

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New Belgium Drops Three New Brews

Amidst a flurry of pineapple IPA releases by a variety of breweries, Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing recently dropped an intriguing Citradelic Tangerine IPA, a new year-round beer, as well as a Belgian pale ale and a pair of gluten-free brews.

Category: Craft Beer

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Brew Bucket Mini and Brewmaster

I recently procured a brew bucket mini and brewmaster Chronical from Ss Brew Tech, and while I haven’t had the chance to take the conical fermentor for a spin, I did make some cold brewed coffee in the mini. It’s rad. The following will be a review of the Brew Bucket Mini and a sort of sneak peak/first look at the brewmaster fermenter.

Category: Craft Beer

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Beer Giants Struggle with Craft Beer Craze

Anheuser-Busch InBev, brewer of Budweiser, Stella Artois and more than 200 other brands, is already the largest beer maker in the world, controlling more than 20% of global sales. It may soon get a lot bigger: this week it reportedly plans to bid for its closest rival, SABMiller, in a deal that could create a company worth some US$275 billion.

Category: Craft Beer

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Who Leads Italy’s Craft Beer Movement?

Visiting a land steeped in vinous tradition, but now waving its flag in another direction.

Category: Craft Beer

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Alltech Releases First-Ever Global Craft Beer Survey

A survey of 128 countries around the world by biotechnology leader Alltech shows not only huge growth in the craft beer industry but suggests possible growth ahead in the East.

Category: Craft Beer

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Extract Lambic Recipe

Extract beers get an undeservedly bad rap. Experienced homebrewers who brew with malt extract often sound apologetic: “I work 90 hours a week and have three young kids… what other option do I have?” The truth is that if you use the same process (full-boil, pitch enough healthy yeast, control fermentation temperature etc.) that you would for all-grain, extract can produce some excellent examples of some styles!

Category: Craft Beer

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Drink In The Prettiest Place In NY

New York has been getting a lot of fame for their number of ever-proliferating craft distilleries (and breweries, and wineries, and chocolates, and tea…), but what a lot of people don’t realize is that New York isn’t synonymous with New York City. A ton of fun stuff is going on in the Hudson Valley, one of the most idyllic places to get a little sauced – especially during the fall.

Category: Craft Beer

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Softer, Juicier, and Uglier APA

I’ve always put appearance way down the bottom of the brewing-importance hierarchy. If an ingredient or technique benefits flavor/aroma/mouthfeel, but harms clarity or color, then I’m all for it! However, even I have to admit that I may have gone too far with this batch of New-England-style hoppy pale ale.

Category: Craft Beer

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5 Ways to Drink Sustainably

Fall is here! Thankfully, there are many opportunities to toast the season in a sustainable way!

Category: Craft Beer

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Passion Fruit Sour Wheat Beer

Passion fruit is one of the few fruits that is almost always used as a flavoring rather than consumed straight; passion fruit mousse being the classic example. This is largely because it has a potent flavor and loads of seeds. I was at the supermarket a couple months ago and happened to see fresh passion fruit for $3 each. Many brewers (and chefs) skip the actual fruit and opt for purée, but I bought two with no plan of what I'd make with them.

Category: Craft Beer

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Church of Beer

A number of breweries have opened in former churches the past few years, begging phrases like “church of beer” to be passed around. From Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh to the St. Joseph Brewery & Public House in Indianapolis to McMenamins Old Church Brewery & Pub, the idea isn’t new, but the quaintness doesn’t get old.

Category: Craft Beer

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Chocolate Butternut Squash Porter Recipe

Like my annual slice of pumpkin pie, I think I'm going to enjoy pumpkin ales more than I usually do. As far as clean pumpkin ales go, stouts and porters provide the best base.

Category: Craft Beer

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Interview with Goose Island Brewmaster

As it is at any brewery, there's no position more important than Brewmaster. That person is usually the be-all and end-all for brewing decisions, whether it be creating the next brew day recipe or picking out equipment for the expansion of the facility.
At a brewery as big as Goose Island, the job of Brewmaster comes with even more responsibility and a constant magnifying glass on every decision made. The man making those decisions for Goose today is Jared Jankoski, former brewer at New Glarus, now leading one of the most talented brewing teams in the industry. Over glasses of Bourbon County Coffee – fresh off the bottling line – we sat down with the fourth Goose Island Brewmaster to dig into his past, present responsibilities, why he doesn't always like Goose Island alumni breweries, and even the name of his 'famous' cat.

Category: Craft Beer

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Detour Seattle: The Beer Scene

I don’t get to travel back home very often, but when I do make the trek up to the Seattle area, I’m always very excited to see how the beer scene is doing. I didn’t really get a chance to enjoy or explore the Pacific Northwest’s microbreweries growing up, so beer didn’t enter my drinking vocabulary until later in college. I was a pretty responsible kid. I do remember the Red Hook and Pyramid brands; both threw work at my Dad’s sign shop and I can vividly recall our house filled with tap handles from these, as well as Samuel Adams, but that was way back when.

Category: Craft Beer

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Cranberry Dark Saison Tasting

Hard to believe Alex and I are already talking about our eighth annual dark/funky Saison! The bottle I’m drinking tonight is from batch #6 (recipe), brewed almost two years ago with the help of a few of the Modern Times Kickstarter backers.

Category: Craft Beer

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Culinary Focus Brewing: Moody Tongue

As hand-crafted beer continues to diversify and mature, we're starting to see more breweries cater to a different type of drinker. A market previously dominated by wine and cocktails, you're now almost as likely to see beer at the tables of your local BYOB restaurant. High-end restaurants have also taken notice as an increasing number of menus from the hottest chefs in town are built with beer in mind. Great beer and food have always been quite the pair, something that people everywhere are starting to remember. You won't find a bigger proponent of this idea than former chef, and Founder of Moody Tongue Brewing Company, Jared Rouben.

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Sake Making: Part III

Kip's final installment of a three part series chronicling a homebrewer's attempt at making sake.

Category: Craft Beer

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Beer Flows Like A River & Dachshunds Run Wild

It was opening day for Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, the largest Oktoberfest celebration in the U.S., and the wiener dogs were everywhere. In fact, I quickly realized I had to be careful where I stepped when I made my way into the crowd that had gathered around the makeshift racetrack in the middle of Fountain Square. It’s hard to see a Dachshund in a crowd, and I didn’t want to step on one.

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African Homebrewing Traditions

The African tradition of brewing has been passed down and enjoyed by generation after generation. There is an art to preserving abundant ingredients in the natural environment by fermenting them into drinkable alcohol. It takes time and patience to learn. Not everyone can do it. Of course, commercial brewing has long replaced homebrew as the African alcohol of choice, but traditions remain, especially for people who can’t afford the high prices of factory-brewed beer or for the devoted connoisseurs who prefer traditional elixirs.

Category: Craft Beer

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Sake Making: Part II

We are back with the second part of our sake special. We were about 20 days in at the end of the last post, just starting the main mash/ferment – The Moromi.
(To read part one, click here.

Category: Craft Beer

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French Blonde Ale Recipe and Tasting

Every Labor Day for the last 20+ years my wife’s family has thrown a big barbecue in her ancestral homeland of northeastern Ohio. For this year's festivities, Audrey and I decided to brew a batch specifically for the event. The goal was something that would be accessible and appealing to people who like beer: refreshing, moderate alcohol, low bitterness, and clean fermentation.

Category: Craft Beer

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Sake Making: Part I

Sake has a special place in my heart, but for as much as I love it, I know almost nothing about it’s production, history, and modern day iterations other that it’s Japanese and it’s good. I’m going to try it out myself and hopefully you can glean some information from me as I go through the sake brewing process.

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Different Beer Glasses Affect Drinking Speed

A recent paper shows that the shape of your beer glass can influence how quickly (and potentially how much) you drink.

Category: Craft Beer

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Discussing Collaborations with Cleetus Friedman

Cleetus Friedman is the Executive Chef at the Fountainhead group of restaurants that also includes nextdoor shop Fountainhead Market, THR favorite The Bar on Buena, neighborhood dive Montrose Saloon, and The Northman, the soon-to-be Northcenter cider pub. When not busy managing the fantastic food at each location, Cleetus has somehow found time to brew dozens of beers, collaborating with some of the biggest names in the local and national craft beer scene.

Category: Craft Beer

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Ambient-Spontaneous Yeast Starters

Fermenting beer with truly wild microbes (that is to say not ones found in a tube, pack, or bottle) has recently started in earnest among American sour beer producers. Russian River, Allagash, Jolly Pumpkin, Midnight Sun, and Jester King have all tried their hands at spontaneous/ambient fermentations. Despite this recent surge in interest, allowing the yeast and bacteria present in the environment to ferment wort is nothing new.

Category: Craft Beer

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The Brewers of Goose Island Clybourn

Chicago is a brewer's kind of town. The city's history is chock full of beer, dating back to the 19th century, persisting through the dark days of Prohibition, and finally to the near constant industry expansion we see today. If you define, as most do, the "modern" craft beer movement as beginning sometime in the late 1980's, there's an unquestioned name that pioneered the local movement during an otherwise miserable time for craft beer in Chicago. That name is Goose Island, founded in 1988 by John Hall. With over 60 breweries, either open or planned, now gracing our Chicago city brewery map, Goose Island is by far the oldest consistently operating brewery.

Category: Craft Beer

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Beer Gadget Alert: HopBlast

As a lover of APAs and IPAs, one of my favorite parts of enjoying a beer is the aroma. As we all know, aroma is tied to flavor, and a well-made IPA is a bounty on both the nose and the palate. Heck, part of the hopping process in brewing is about adding aroma; grab yourself a dry-hopped beer, and it’s likely to be big on the nose. That’s no accident. But when I ran across the HopBlast, well, I was taken aback at the idea.

Category: Craft Beer

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How to Homebrew: All Grain Beer

Over the years I've gotten numerous emails asking me to do a post detailing how I brew. This is the answer to those requests. What follows is not the only way, or necessarily the best way, but it is how I brew. The pictures were taken during the brew day for my Citra Pale Ale, a relatively simple, moderate gravity batch.

Category: Craft Beer

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10 Homebrewing Myths Debunked

Homebrewing has a host of hotly debated topics when it comes to how to brew: hot-side aeration, dry yeast rehydration, aluminum pots, the need to rack to secondary etc. I’m not touching those with this post. What I want to highlight is 10 things I’ve heard repeated over-and-over again, that annoy me because they either aren't true or don't match my experience. While the internet deserves credit as a great resource to homebrewers, it has also led to ideas and “facts” being repeated by people who assume they are true "because someone on a message board said so."

Category: Craft Beer

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Wort Under Pressure

One of my least favorite aspects of brewing beer is making a starter a few days before. While not the hardest thing in the world to do, it can be a colossal pain in the ass to lose an entire night (and kitchen counter top) to DME. So how do you make a process so crucial to a healthy fermentation more convenient? Batch pressure canning!

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A Memorable Beer from Kentucky: Citra Ass Down

Kentucky is not exactly an epicenter of brewing, but it’s making strides. One of the prides of Kentucky is Against the Grain Brewery & Smokehouse in Louisville, a brewery that has grown quickly into an entity that distributes across the U.S. and into Western Europe and Canada. And after a recent expansion that brought about a $1.7 million production brewhouse, Against the Grain began canning one of its signature beers, a double IPA called Citra Ass Down.

Category: Craft Beer

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The Non-Beer-Drinkers Guide to Beer

I’m going to throw this out there… I’m not a beer drinker. Well, okay I’m not a ‘fancy‘ beer drinker. I prefer Coors Light to an $8 pint of some fancy local IPA any day. College consisted of Keystone, Coors, and the like. If I’m at a party and someone hands me a beer, I’ll try it out. But my general rule is that if I can’t see through the glass, there is no way in hell I am going to enjoy that beer. Hoppy is gross, I don’t want that bitter taste, and why drink beer when I can drink wine instead? These are generally my thoughts while tasting nice beer.

Category: Craft Beer

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Review: Victory Brewing’s WildDevil Beer

When brewers have fun, beer drinkers have fun, too. With craft beer’s ridiculous rise in popularity over the last few years, brewers have been having a lot of fun. While the American IPA is one of the most popular beer styles, with its floral notes and bitter hops, an appreciation for sour beers also has emerged. It’s only natural that the two would meet at some point, and that’s exactly some of the fun mentioned.

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On Pairing Beer and Food

A while ago, I gave a talk on beer pairings at Dig-IN. What surprised me is that my talk filled the speakers tent. Given the level of interest I observed, I thought it might be a good idea to carry the conversation over to the blog.
It all starts out with the ingredients. There are a number of ingredients and steps to making beer and as any homebrewer can tell you, it's a lot like making a soup. The increased number of ingredients are only one of the reasons that pairing beer with food is not only easier than pairing wine, it's also more diverse.

Category: Craft Beer

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Review: Tongue Ninja Sour Double IPA

National IPA Day is Aug. 6, and we at Alcohol Professor are celebrating the days leading up to the “holiday” with posts on a few interesting IPAs, some of which may be familiar and some of which may not. Just when you think every weird brewing hybrid must have already been tried, something else comes along. For me, it was in the form of my friend Nick texting me from a road trip to say he had a beer that would “blow [my] mind.”

Category: Craft Beer

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Beer-Making Can Teach Students About Business

Next time you are in your local grocery store, step in to look a little more closely at the beer cooler. Amid the brightly colored, creative packaging lies the final battle for the ultimate goal – your purchases. But, what battles were fought to get the beer to that particular cooler? More importantly, what might those battles say about larger trends in business today? At Miami University’s Farmer School of Business, we designed an experiential class to go in depth with these issues, leveraging the lessons of the beer industries as a way to better understand larger trends in business strategy and supply chains.

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Move Over Wine: Beer Culture in Scandinavia

Nordic Food Lab is a non-profit, open-source organization that investigates food diversity and deliciousness. Established in 2008, we combine scientific and humanistic approaches with culinary techniques from around the world to explore the edible potential of the Nordic region – the flavors that say something about us and imbue the foods we eat with a connection to this place and this time. We work to broaden our taste, generating and adapting practical ideas and methods for those who make food and those who enjoy eating.

Category: Craft Beer

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Small Brands, Big Impact: Craft Beer is Top of the Hops

The brewing industries in many countries are undergoing dramatic changes, with increasing numbers of craft breweries challenging the traditional volume-based business model of major corporations.
In the US for example, more than 400 breweries opened in 2012, an increase of 17% from the year before. Craft beer continues to grow even when beer consumption overall is declining in many markets around the world. This certainly seems to be the trend in countries like the US, Canada, New Zealand and indeed Australia.

Category: Craft Beer

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Founder’s Centennial IPA: Balance Makes the Beer

A Founder’s Brewing Company PR rep sent me a couple of cans of the brewery’s well-traveled Centennial IPA in advance of Aug. 6, which is National IPA Day. Hey, I’ll bite—er, drink. I’d had Centennial before, but only a couple of times. And why not start celebrating early? (Heck, I might start celebrating on Aug. 7 for next year.) The cans were wrapped so tightly in plastic sheets that it took me a good five minutes to liberate the two beers I was sent, and of course I then had to cool them. But it was no surprise at all to find that the beer was well worth the effort.

Category: Craft Beer

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Tin Whiskers Brewery Bucks The Trend Of Secret Recipes

If there’s one business that values secrecy it’s brewing beer. Most breweries hold their cards very close to their chests. They keep their recipes and techniques away from the prying eyes of competitors to retain a competitive advantage.
One outfit trying to buck that trend is the Tin Whiskers Brewing Company. Based in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Tin Whiskers is a......local open source craft brewery on a mission to make technically excellent beer.

Category: Craft Beer

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The ABC’s of Craft Brewing

It’s widely known that homebrewing can be incredibly rewarding, entertaining, and a creative outlet for self-expression. The same goes for sharing that home brewed beer with friends. But did you know that it’s actually not technically legal to do this? If you're thinking of opening your own brewery, you need to read this.

Category: Craft Beer

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When IPA Meets Whiskey

A beer guy's take on Corsair Distillery's hopped whiskeys.
I’m a beer guy through and through, but as a resident of Kentucky I’m sort of beholden to also pay attention to bourbon and whiskey. And so it was that, while in Bowling Green, Ky., recently for an authors’ conference my girlfriend suggested we visit Corsair Distillery.
Hey, I’m always game to take a tour, sip a few whiskey samples and get another stamp in my Kentucky Bourbon Trail passport. But this small-batch distillery, which also has operations in Nashville, Tenn., had a bit of a surprise waiting for me. OK, several surprises, three of them in the form of whiskey distilled with hops.

Category: Craft Beer

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How Two Friends Started Alabama’s Craft Beer Boom

Michael Sellers and Jason Malone, co-founders of Good People Brewing are responsible for kickstarting Alabama’s craft beer boom. The pair are true pioneers in the city of Birmingham, the state of Alabama, and the Gulf Coast region in general. Sellers and Malone, friends from college, then homebrewers, reconnected over beer and realized that Birmingham needed a brewery. And, in 2006, they were crazy and ambitious enough to try to do something about it. Now Good People is Alabama’s oldest and largest brewery.

Category: Craft Beer

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The Almighty Kumquat And Beer

Chances are, if you’re a home brewer, you have a particular style and ingredient you enjoy most. For me, it’s the saison and a sour citrus fruit that I didn’t truly discover until I read Randy Mosher’s Radical Brewing. In his book, Mosher described a stand-in for the Seville Orange, a citrus which is traditionally used by Belgian brewers in Witbier and other spiced ales. Seville, or bitter oranges, are also the primary ingredient in Southern marmalade. As cool and traditional as these oranges are, they can be difficult to find in Southern California and so Mosher suggests the use of whole kumquats as a stand in. The kumquat mimics the sweet, bitter, and sour elements of a bitter orange very closely, but also adds flavors of its own, which I find irresistible.

Category: Craft Beer

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Talking Beer With 21st Amendment Brewery

The Chicago beer scene just got a little bigger thanks to new arrival 21st Amendment Brewery's distribution. Since 2000, they've been pumping out award-winning beers from their San Francisco brewpub, located just a few blocks from AT&T Park. With a lineup that includes a session ale, black IPA, Baltic porter and–arguably their most famous beer–a watermelon wheat, there's a little something for every beer drinker. And for the first time ever, Chicagoans will have easy access to their recognizable lineup of craft cans – thanks to their new Midwest distribution footprint that began April 1 here in the city.

Category: Craft Beer

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Session Beers: Drinkable, Flavorful and Less Alcohol

In recent years, the craft beer industry has been booming, and with that comes very flavorful, but very high alcohol by volume (ABV) brews. While most beers range in ABV from 5-7%, there are a number that reach into the teens. These beers may taste great, but have more than one pint at lunch and you are done for the day! However, there’s a trend happening within the industry that aims to change that – session beers.

Category: Craft Beer

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Memorial Day Drinks Our Writers Are Sipping

Memorial Day, the weekend most of us in the U.S. regard as the first official weekend of summer, is here! Last year I wrote about cocktails with a military connection as a way of celebrating this holiday in tribute to our fallen soldiers. This year I’m turning to some of our staff of alcohol professors to share what they’ll be imbibing on the long weekend as the grills fire up while our glasses cool down.

Category: Cocktails

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Old School Innovation: Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter IPA

In a craft beer market in which some of the old guard face being disregarded by fickle beer snobs in search of The Next Big Thing, I’ve been watching with interest as Sierra Nevada works on keeping things fresh. Sierra Nevada has been quietly bringing intriguing and delicious small-batch products to the market, and with some success. I watched as last year’s Harvest Series unfolded, and nearly fell in love with one of them. And now I cannot get enough of the recently released Hop Hunter IPA.

Category: Craft Beer

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Let's Play Beer!

Beer and baseball just go together. Something about the warm sun and a cold beer is just what a fan needs to stay cool. Every team has its own character, and beers also have their own character, even within styles. Taste a porter, pale ale, or wheat beer from any brewery in the United States, and you will get a different experience depending on your location and the bar you are sitting at. Someone who really loves craft beer and baseball should come up with a fun list of beers to pair with their favorite team. Beers that reflect the character of the team, not just a great beer from every city.

Category: Craft Beer

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New Brew: Sam Adams Rebel Rider Session IPA

Once upon a time, Samuel Adams (aka Boston Beer Company) was the pre-eminent craft beer brand. It made beers no one else was doing at the time and managed to find distribution all over the world. Today, however, the old brands like Sam Adams Boston Lager seem passé to many craft beer enthusiasts. It isn’t that the beer is bad, just that craft beer has gone in a different direction, one that more or less mandates that it be hip, funky or otherwise weird.

Category: Craft Beer

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New Brew: Innis & Gunn Irish Whiskey Cask Stout

You know a barrel-aged beer is serious when there’s an age statement on the bottle. Heck, plenty of whiskeys don’t even have an age statement these days. Well, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, leading Scottish brewery Innis & Gunn is about to drop a beer that might even put an Irish coffee to shame. Aged for 60 days in Irish whiskey chips, this Scotch-Irish stout is well worthy of replacing your Guinness when the green goes on. That is, if you can find it.

Category: Craft Beer

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How Beer Created the State of Belgium

Around the world, Belgium is famous for its beers and its brewing tradition. However, there is another link between beer and Belgium: historically, the country owes its very existence to beer.

Category: History

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T.J. Bennett of Montañita Brewing Company

At the end of last year, I [Jack] made the trek down to Ecuador to visit a few friends and take in this small, beautiful country. Of course, as it's been, I can no longer travel without also exploring the beer culture of any given place. Such was the case with Ecuador, too. Besides the widely-available mass produced lager offerings, I stumbled upon a few smaller craft operations. Unfortunately, my experiences with them were not all that exciting at the time. To help sway my (and hopefully your) opinion of South American "craft," brewer T.J. Bennett of Montañita Brewing Company and I connected to discuss the subject further.

Category: Craft Beer

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Rebekah Graham of The Publican

Ever since acclaimed chef Paul Kahan opened what is now arguably the anchor of the West Loop, in 2008, The Publican has received nothing short of rave reviews. Just ask anyone in Chicago who fancies themselves a fan of pork. Or is looking for some of 'America's best brunch.' Or is conscious of local, sustainable fare. Or, well, the James Beard Foundation.
Add to the aforementioned list: fanatics of great wine, beer and cider. And ever since their original beverage list was composed, it's needed tending to in order to stay atop the ever-changing trends. Enter: Rebekah Graham; extensive traveler, industry veteran and all-around fan of the adult beverage. She's been with The Publican since day one. And we've been excited to sit down and talk with her since we met while judging a beer fest last year. And our excitement was warranted, we can say with certainty, because Rebekah has one of the most unique perspectives of anyone we've spoken to thus far. That's in part due to the fact she is both a Certified Sommelier as well as a Cicerone CBS. We caught up to learn how it is possible to balance such an extensive beer, wine and cider knowledge – all the while managing at one of the Midwest's best restaurants.

Category: Craft Beer

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Ecuador: Beautiful Country With A Beer Problem

It's quite possible you couldn't paint a more beautiful landscape if you tried. Honestly, much of this place looks like a frame right out of Jurassic Park. Thick, lush vegetation pinned between the Andes to one side and Amazonia to the other. You could spend half your time in this place snapping photos worthy of gracing any postcard. The perfect place to enjoy a delicious, hoppy, local pint...
Recent travels had landed me in South America, a respite from the bitter Midwest winter. The country: Ecuador. My to-do list included Andean hikes, Incan ruins, a cuy dinner, something dubbed "the swing at the end of the world" – and a now current staple of any of my travels: a craft beer hunt. The latter being the hardest bit to accomplish, but not much of a surprise really.

Category: Travel

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Untapped Festival: Beer Lover's Haven

It all started with a love of high-quality, craft beer and a passion for emerging local and national bands. UNTAPPED was specifically designed by us as an event equally focused on both, an uncommon balance rarely found at festivals and events. The aim never will be about the quantity of selection, but rather about curating the best in must-taste brews and must-hear music… a few of our favorite things, so to speak!

Category: Craft Beer

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Kevin Cary of Begyle Brewing

Begyle (and that's pronounced Bee-gyle), is a relative newcomer to the Chicago craft scene but has already made a big splash. Hot off their accolade "Best New Brewery: 2013" by Chicago Magazine, they've been managing to keep quite busy, and their neighbors happy. Their tiny growler-filling room tucked away between the L and Metra in North Center has quickly become a destination for thirsty beer geeks in the know.
With the city on the brink of Chicago Craft Beer Week, we sat down with Kevin Cary, founder and brewer at Begyle to discuss everything from Michigan roots, pre-Untappd beer tracking, and how it all came together to form one of Chicago's most exciting, and community-centric breweries.

Photography provided by the infinitely talented and beer loving Melinda Myers.

Category: Craft Beer

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Claudia Jendron of Temperance Beer Co.

It's not a stretch to say that the people behind Temperance Beer Company are pioneers. For one, the brewery is the first to open in the city of Evanston since the Prohibition era; no simple feat in a community that was dry until 1972 and still has a practicing temperance movement.
And as it is with any brewery, there must always be a Brewmaster. Claudia Jendron is carving out her own path in a largely male dominated industry, and she's leaving quite the foot print. Her English Style IPA Gatecrasher has just won a silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival; a huge (and as we found out, unexpected) honor. On a recent trip along Evanston's Purple Line, we stopped in to chat with the award-winning brewer to discover her roots, what's going on at Temperance, and what the future holds for one of the country's brightest brewers (in our humble opinion).

Category: Craft Beer

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Calvin Fredrickson of Spiteful Brewing

As the craft beer industry continues to explode, breweries everywhere are getting bigger to meet ever increasing demand. Just this week alone, we've heard plans for a $40 million expansion for Michigan's Founders and an all new, massive river-front production facility in planning for hometown brewery Finch. This is, undeniably, a good thing, as craft beer continues its seemingly unstoppable march toward market-share relevance.
Spiteful Brewing in Chicago's Northcenter is not taking this approach. In an industry where the trend is to get big, fast, a few guys in a one-thousand square foot basement are brewing some of the city's best, and freshest beer. Spiteful has committed 100% to their neighborhoods, to their accounts, and to Chicago.
Meet Calvin Fredrickson, Spiteful's Business Guy #2. Since joining the team in February 2014, he's been the man tasked with distribution, marketing, and event planning... in addition to helping brew, bottle, and label their product each week. Someone this busy doesn't have much time to chat, but we were able to corral him long enough to talk fresh beer, the challenges of working in a small space, and the past and potential future for Spiteful Brewing.

Category: Craft Beer

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Lagunitas and Tony Magee

"Lagunitas Sucks."
The founder of the nation's second largest craft brewing operation, Tony Magee, said so himself. The statement is something he embraces and hopes holds true, too. According to his reasoning, you're always improving and you're bound to make mistakes along the way; but by definition – if you are to improve – it must mean that you 'suck' at the moment.
It's that kind of no-bull-brutal-honesty (and mild self-loathing) that has been the backbone of the Lagunitas brand from the beginning. But don't be fooled, the business savvy that's helped build Lagunitas Brewing is really what's impressive here.
The road to get the Petaluma, California-based brewery to where it is today has been no small feat. And Tony will tell you himself, in the matter-of-fact but friendly way that only he could. He never doubted he could do it, despite the improbable journey he's taken since 1993. He'll also tell you thatLagunitas really is a 'Chicago' brewery. And, in a way, it was this city that influenced the West Coast craft movement and in turn, built one of the world's top beer brands.
Photos by Melinda Jane Myers

Category: Craft Beer

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Cicerone Certification Program Explained

So you think you know beer? Could you blind taste one and put it in its correct style category? Would you be able to diagnose and fix a problematic draft system in order to pour a perfect pint. Do you know what a beer clean glass is and how you go about creating one? In order to complete any of the three levels of the Cicerone Certification Program you better be able to do all that, plus much more.
Founded in Chicago by the legendary Ray Daniels, the Cicerone program aims to educate its students on all things beer. We sat down with Virginia Thomas, long time Business Manager for Cicerone, and she explained what it takes to become a Master Cicerone. With only seven Master Cicerones in the world, if you can pass the final exam, you'll be joining an elite club.

Category: Craft Beer

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Dispatch from the Beer Blogger’s Conference 2014

The Beer Bloggers Conference, organized and run by Zephyr Adventures, had its fifth conference in San Diego in August. The purpose of the conference is to bring together bloggers from all over the country to celebrate craft beer, particularly in the city the event is held in. Breweries, brewpubs, and distributors sponsor the event, hoping to get the attention of bloggers and writers who will spread the word about their products on blogs, social media and other publications. Other sponsors like CraftBeer.com (the online content arm of the Brewers Association) and the National Beer Wholesalers Association are involved to give bloggers and writers their perspectives, and other sponsors like WordPress, Sucuri website security, and others to show off their tools and toys.

Category: Craft Beer

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Why Beer Glasses Matter

Leading Louisiana brewery Abita Brewing recently paired up with glass manufacturer Spiegelau to demonstrate why the glass used to drink a beer is as important to enjoyment as the beer itself. This demonstration made a believer out of me regarding the proper shape and thinness of glassware. We did side by side comparisons with shaker pints and even tried the same beer in two differently shaped Spiegelau glasses, and the difference was immediately apparent.

Category: Craft Beer

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12 Days of Beer Gifts

I grew up singing with my classmates and family a song about partridges in a pear tree, and a bunch of other weird gifts over a 12-day span leading up to Christmas. In those days, I was perplexed why the song didn’t include things like action figures and video games, while strongly endorsing go-to presents like eight maids a-milking. How much milk does one person need? Here are 12 wet and wonderful beers and beer gift packs that should make that beer lover on your list light up like the proverbial Christmas tree or menorah.

Category: Craft Beer

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Great American Beer Festival Report

This was my second time in Denver for GABF, but the first time I was there as a member of the media. This year there were over 49,000 total attendees of GABF, including people with tickets, media, exhibitors, sponsors, volunteers, and brewers. Tickets for the event, which is four 4-hour sessions spread out over three days (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday – all session tickets sold separately) sold out in 32 minutes for 2014. For comparison, in 2007, tickets were still available until the week of the event.

Category: Craft Beer

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Beer Wholesalers Conference Report

I’ve long been fascinated by the middle tier of distribution: the laws that surround the post-Prohibition three tier (producer/brewer >distributor >retailer) system of alcohol distribution have been criticized loudly by consumers and behind closed doors by brewers. Some brewers’ business models align better with the three tier system than others. I know a lot of local distributor craft beer sales reps who are passionate about bringing more breweries to the New Orleans market, and are proud to consider themselves an integral part of the region’s craft beer growth over the past few years.

Category: Craft Beer

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Eisbock: A History of the Original 'Ice Beer'

To drink any beer in 2013 is to experience the culmination of hundreds of years of development, experimentation, and even a few happy accidents. For no style is this more true than for the German Eisbock. Once a rare find in the US, the last few years have seen more transatlantic shipping of bottles, and even occasional kegs.
To fully understand and appreciate Granitbock Ice, it is best to understand the style variations used to make it.
With flavors of dark fruit brandy and a well-hidden alcohol content of 11.5%, you might also be surprised to learn that the extra step in the brewing process required to achieve these qualities is the same treatment used to create Bud Ice.

Category: Craft Beer

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Bittersweet Cider: Can it Return to America?

Before German immigrants brought their rich brewing culture to American shores in the mid-1800s, another alcoholic drink was the choice of the middle class: hard cider.
But with the rise of beer, hard cider in America slowly but surely disappeared, even though apples continued to be a chief crop here.
And now cider has returned as an alternative drink to beer, favored by those who eschew beer’s bitterness or want to get their buzz on without any gluten involved.
The problem is that most of the new brands are light and sweet. How much of a resemblance do they have to the ciders of old? Probably not much. So what do you look for to find the good stuff?

Category: Craft Beer

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What is Beer?

Though “beer” and its cognates or derivatives in many other languages have come to refer rather narrowly to northern European beverages fermented from malted grains (barley, wheat, rye), among anthropologists it is used much more widely for any beverage where the majority of the alcohol derives from a grain or starchy vegetable. Wine-making involves fermenting sugars that are already present in fruit; brewing is a more complex art in which starches must first be converted to sugars and then fermented, with or without first sprouting (malting) them.
As with all things cultural, though, there’s still plenty of room for fuzziness.

Category: Craft Beer

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Understanding the Craft Beer Revolution

Drinking alcohol seems to be one of the few things humans everywhere do. Beer in particular has long been a part of human history. Many people enjoy raising a pint with friends. But how do they go about choosing what to drink and where? What senses are drawn on to decipher what flows from that stein of beer? And does it matter if that beer is delivered in glass, aluminum, or some other vessel? Rather than simply guess, I’ll explore potential answers with one of the great beer pairings: Science!

Category: Craft Beer

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Masa Shiroki Knows Sake

It is important to Masa Shiroki to make the distinction that Sake is rice wine and not a beer product or by-product, “It all comes down to your choice of words – fermentation instead of brewing. I think the misconception is from when people came to Japan to study the art of Sake making and someone saw the process and associated it with beer but it is not like beer. Sake is wine – it is a rice wine.”

Category: Craft Beer

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Beer for Whisky Lovers

The joke I always make to people about my drinking preferences is that I am bi-spiritual, meaning, I equally enjoy wine as much as I do spirits and cocktails. However, the category that has mostly eluded me is beer. I like it fine, but I don’t really nerd out on it the same way I would about bourbon or a white Moroccan Faranah or a good Negroni variation. There are occasions nothing else will do in a moment, though, especially on a hot day, or with fragrant, spicy foods like curries.

Category: Craft Beer

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Home-Brewing Sake!

One of the greatest parts about home brewing is being able to experiment with drinks of any shape, size, flavor, and origin. From beer, to mead, to wine, as long as you have basic equipment, you have the potential to make a pretty good glass of whatever ails you. So what do you need to know about brewing Sake?

Category: Craft Beer

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Girls' Pint Out!

I love it when women tell me how happy they are with Girls' Pint Out. Even women who are very comfortable going out and drinking with men or mixed groups are happy about it. For my first event back in December, I was nervous that just a couple of my friends would show up – but we had more than 25 women hanging out, most of whom I’d never met till that night! And now I have some new, kickass, beer drinking girlfriends.

Category: Craft Beer

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Beer and Cider in the Isle of Man

While researching history on the Isle of Man, I took the opportunity to “research” some of the wonderful food and drink available. The Falcon’s Nest Hotel in Port Erin, a village in the south of the island, is a Victorian resort with a beautiful secluded bay and sandy beach offered the perfect backdrop to enjoy some national and local brews. Join me on this refreshing journey!

Category: Craft Beer

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Craft Beer & Baseball

Last year, 15.6 million barrels of craft beer got quaffed, which is 2.3 million more than in 2012. And as of the end of 2013, 2,768 craft breweries – including brewpubs, microbreweries and regional craft breweries – were in business, including 413 new breweries that opened. Of those new craft breweries, there were 65 in California alone.

Category: Craft Beer

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Pairing Beer and Easter

Easter is a Christian tradition that stands as the culmination of Lent in Catholicism and also marks the rise of Jesus Christ for all manner of Christian religions. It’s also a time when families get together to eat a lot of food.
Along with said food, they usually have a few drinks to help pass the time and get them through the day. So, we figured we’d point out some possible Easter food and beer pairings.

Category: Craft Beer

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World Cup: Quarter Finals Beer

Eight enter, and four advance to the next round. On Friday, July 4 and Saturday, July 5, the quarter finalists will be battling for soccer supremacy. I’ve done some digging around to find a representative beer for each country!

Category: Craft Beer

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Home-brewed Lambics and Sours

Simon Ford, a San Pedro native, is an attorney by day, and a master home brewer by night. Lambics and the funky stuff are Simon's specialties. He brews by himself in his garage and then moves everything down into his cellar temperature basement where the real magic happens. Come learn what happens next.

Category: Craft Beer

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Imperial Stout from Iceland

Ölvisholt Brugghús is surely one of the most beautiful breweries in the world. Located in the south of Iceland in a region lush with agriculture, Ölvisholt Brugghús was originally a small dairy farm before Jon Gunnlaugsson transformed his parents’ property in 2007. Like all of the world’s best beers, the offerings from Ölvisholt evoke the region, the cuisine, and the people who gave them birth. Food pairing recommendations included!

Category: Craft Beer

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The Shandy: Any Good Options?

Whenever folks start talking about favorite summer beers, someone inevitably mentions the shandy and causes me to break into hives and get the dry heaves. And yet, the shandy lives on. Could it be that behind those sickly sweet, artificially flavored monstrosities there really was something worth a sip? Perhaps mixing a decent beer with a nice soda would yield something enjoyable? The tasty results of my visit to the lab are here for you to enjoy!

Category: Craft Beer

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Why Supplements and Beer Shouldn't Mix

A long long time ago – in the 90’s(!) – health-enhancing, energy-inducing, nutritional supplements started sneaking their way into everything we ate and drank - but is that really wise? Find out what they've tried in the past - and what to look out for!

Category: Craft Beer

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Review: Stainless Steel Brew Bucket

If you’re like me, home brewing sanitation is one your top priorities. It’s this focus alone that causes stress when determining whether to ferment in plastic or glass. Glass is sanitary and easy to clean, but it’s also heavy and fragile. Plastic is cheaper, lighter weight, and doesn’t result in 13 stitches after unfortunate carboy accidents, but on the other hand it’s also porous and easily scratched. But what other option is there?!

Category: Craft Beer

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Oktoberfest: a Tradition Worth Seeking Out

As October winds down and before the holiday beers come into the market, it’s time to take a moment to reflect upon the annual Oktoberfest beer season.
The Oktoberfest tradition originated in the Bavarian city of Munich in 1810 to celebrate the wedding engagement of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria, and came to the United States over the following 150 years wherever German immigrants settled. In New Orleans, for example, the German population influx was one of the factors that led to the city’s reputation as the brewing capital of the South before Prohibition, leading to extensive Oktoberfest celebrations in the area that remain active to this day. Oktoberfest is about more than just the beer style. It’s a tradition started more than 200 years ago that is still close to many communities in the United States.
Tasting recommendations included!

Category: Craft Beer

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Early American Beer

It seems that each year they arrive earlier, and it doesn’t feel quite right, when you are still wearing flip-flops, to see them reappear, their labels glowing with evilly grinning jack-o-lanterns or jolly over-stuffed gourds lolling about in fields and tumbling out of wheelbarrows. Happily, though, the unseasonal acceleration of pumpkin beer season has nothing to do with climate change–and, while the rising tide of pumpkin brews may be a modern phenomenon, brewing beer–or ale– with pumpkins is actually as old as the United States itself!!

Category: Craft Beer

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Guide to the Beers of Oktoberfest!

Oktoberfest is upon us: lederhosen, bratwurst, schnitzel and beer. Lots of delicious, German beer.
I often find that there isn’t a lot of understanding about the difference between German-style beers and others. At the end of the day, it’s all about malts, hops and yeast for any beer, but the beer heritage in Germany is deep and unique.
So, for anyone out there who is about to crash an Oktoberfest celebration – and there will be a lot of you – here’s a brief guide to some of the more recognizable beer styles and what to expect from them (with a little help from the very complete list at GermanBeerInstitute.com).
Recommendations for your to try included!
Originally posted to The Alcohol Professor

Category: Craft Beer

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