A recent kerfuffle between a reporter and his brewery-owner interview subject reveals something important about journalism. The goals of the reporter are not the same as the interview subject. And for readers everywhere, that’s a good thing.
Frank Boon started learning the craft of lambic-making in the 1960s, and has become the leading maker of lambics in Belgium. I visited him at his brewery in Lembeek in 2011.
One should never age most beers, and the beers one ages should never be aged very long. Leave a bottle in your cellar that dates to the Clinton administration and it’s going to suck. Unless something very rare and special happens instead.
Veteran Chicago Tribune reporter Josh Noel has spent seven years working on a complex and spiky narrative: the transition of Goose Island from indie champion to corporate hood ornament. What he delivers is the most interesting industry book I can remember reading.
The annual national homebrewers conference, Homebrew Con, happens next month in Portland. To gear up, I have been speaking to local homebrewers about their approach and philosophy. Today we have one of the most decorated brewers in America, Rodney Kibzey.
On Monday, the Supreme Court struck down a 1992 law that banned sports betting, opening the door to an estimated $150 billion in legal gambling. The beer industry will almost certainly benefit because 1) gambling increases fan engagement and 2) fans drink when they watch sports.
What is big beer up to? Let’s check in with Elysian, which yesterday sent me a press release about their latest collaboration. Oh dear....
Do you ever wish you could go back to a time before a beer style disappeared and have a pint? You can do the next best thing with this amazing video from 1973, the moment Irish porter—and the “high and low” system of pouring it—vanished from the earth.
Everyone loves a good story about a writer on a bender. I remember reading about Hemingway driving around Italy swallowing prodigious amounts of wine and snacking from a wheel of cheese he kept in the back seat. But alcohol’s dark side is something we should all treat with respect.
The idea that an intensely fruity IPA must be cloudy as a weissbier is one of the more dubious in all of beer. No surprise, then, that breweries are pushing the envelop and developing “clear hazy IPAs.” A collaboration between Fair State and Surly is instructive.
Yesterday, Molson Coors Chairman Pete Coors sent out a mild, reasonable open letter that complained about the mean language directed at big breweries by the Brewers Association. Did it reveal how worried he was that people will start paying attention to this whole independence thing?
Today, May 7, is National Homebrew Day. It's even a Congressionally-recognized day, though not a bank holiday (sorry). I use this occasion to celebrate this delightful hobby, and invite you to join in.
Each year, The Beer Bible gets a nice bump in June for Father's Day. But in May? Nothing. Sons and daughters do not purchase a copy for their mothers; spouses do not gift it to their wives. I would love to see that change. Women like beer! Moms would love to indulge this passion as much as dear old Dad.
I visited Head Brewer John Bexon at Greene King in Bury St. Edmunds in 2011. He has since left the brewery, but it remains one of the most entertaining brewery visits I've made. He was a very entertaining and informative host.
Budweiser released a new star-spangled red lager, linking it to both Old Glory and US veterans—a beer that could otherwise be safely ignored. Except that they had to go and drag George Washington into it. Time to set the record straight.
Members of a bottle club receive a certain number of special-release beers and are guaranteed access to rare beers, plus other perks. But for the most part, the access is secondary. Beer clubs allow breweries to identify their most avid fans and connect more deeply to them.
As markets become more fragmented, it becomes harder and harder to keep abreast of everything going on. The number of breweries has more than doubled in the past five years, producing a sense of FOMO among drinkers. But what happens if they just give up?
Five years ago, Bellingham, Washington was a decided laggard among impressive beer cities. Ten new breweries have opened since then, and several are quite impressive. If you find yourself in town, here are three you can’t miss.
Bellingham Beer Week is under way and one brewery is being curiously ignored. A check-in on Melvin Brewing in the aftermath of a disturbing incident of assault.
Photos from a visit yesterday to pFriem Family Brewers in Hood River, Oregon.
Old Town Brewing invited Huck Bales and I to do a collaboration beer with them to celebrate the city's agreement to quit challenging their leaping stag trademark. We made a a classic Belgian style with a twist. Or is it a modern American style with a twist? You'll have to taste it to find out.
An open invitation to tell your story here at Beervana, plus two other program notes.
The results of the first-ever reader survey are here, and they reveal some predictable patterns (a lot of you are dudes!) as well as some surprises.
"Constructive Criticism" is an irregular feature in which I speak frankly about an example of a brewery not meeting their own highest standards. Today I turn my attention to Full Sail and the way in which the brewery's constantly expanding list of bottled products offer variety without much interest.
Welcome to my first-ever reader survey. This short, seven-question, two-minute questionnaire will help me understand you and which topics interest you on the blog, so please please please consider taking a moment to fill it out.
Modern Times landed in Portland with an intense amount of hype. I’ve heard reports of twee decorations, mobs of millennials, over-hyped and over-priced beer, and I have been a little anxious to visit. But you know what? It’s both more and less than I expected, in all the right ways.
Note: post updated 4/12, 11am. Two months ago, Stone Brewing sued MillerCoors over their use of the word 'Stones to sell Keystone Light beer. Today MillerCoors responded to the lawsuit with their own account of events--and they would seem to badly damage Stone's original claims of harm.
Today would have marked the final day in the eight-day Feast of the Holy Father celebration in Bavaria. While the festival's religious observation ended long ago, one aspect of the celebration, a famous monastic beer, has lived a long and healthy life. Here's the full story of Salvator, which you know today as doppelbock.
The words of the day are "hazy" and "juicy," used with abandon to describe hoppy American ales. But what do they actually mean? How is juicy any different than "fruity," and just how opaque must a beer be to be called "hazy?" Let's dig deeper.
For thirty years, you could find a pile of Celebrator “brewspapers” near the door of every brewpub on the West Coast. But this week Celebrator’s publisher, Tom Dalldorf, announced that he was ending the print edition.