Posts in American Stories
Ommegang the Unusual

When it was founded back in 1997, Ommegang was one of the most unusual breweries in America. In some ways, it is today even more unusual. In a hop-crazy country, Ommegang favors yeast character; in a time when hyper-local is hot, the brewery looks to Belgium. Let us consider its unusual ways.

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A Monastic Brewery Rises in Mt Angel

on November 11th, volunteers and monks of Mt Angel Abbey helped erect a timber frame building that will house the new monastic brewery. Monks have overseen this project, led the development of the beers, and will be the ones brewing the beer when the brewhouse goes online in early 2018.

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Reverend Nat and the Future of Cider

Local, artisanal ciders are doing very well. There's not a clear definition of "craft cider," but by one measure these cideries were up 40% last year. In key regions like the Pacific Northwest, Upper Midwest, and New England, they have taken root and seem to have emerged as a permanent player.

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Visiting Boston's Big Brewery

Last week, I carved out time to visit the old city brewery down on the harborside where, as founder Dan Kenary joked, "Whitey Bulger used to dump bodies." And by city brewery I mean, of course, Harpoon--not that other one that has "Boston" in the title but which has never been brewed in Red Sox nation.

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Breakside Slabtown

That spirit animates the new building, which draws throngs of young pubgoers. Sound and light bounce off hard surfaces and ricochet around, creating a sense of vibrancy. The little nooks and pockets offer different types of seating for groups of varied sizes and purposes--there are even couches and coffee tables. Even in this enormous space, you can find places for more intimate groups.

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Memories of Shakeouts Past

The case in point is Portland Brewing, which became an unexpected focal point for how quickly breweries can collapse. The brewery still exists, but is a living tar pit containing the bones of two deceased breweries, and the struggling, trapped bodies of a couple more.

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