Jim Koch came from a long line of brewers. For five generations, each of the eldest Koch sons pursued a career in the noble art of brewing, but when Koch came of age, the market for quality beer in the U.S. was virtually nonexistent. Instead, Koch attended Harvard University and pursued a successful career in […]
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Every brewery has its own unique and interesting story, and Brooklyn Brewery is certainly no exception. Co-founder Steve Hindy spent six years as a Middle East correspondent for the Associated Press, living in both Beirut and Cairo. Like many westerners in the Middle East, he found that the only way to obtain beer in a […]
I mentioned last week that hops are traditionally added at various points during the boiling process of brewing. However, it is also possible to add hops directly to the fermenting vessels in a technique known as dry hopping. Certain chemicals in hops have anti-bacterial properties and act as preservatives, so dry hopping was first used […]
The beer market in the 1980s was dominated by a few megabrews, leaving beer lovers wanting something other than the mass-produced pale lager so ubiquitous at the time. The megabrew culture was especially strong in the Midwest, where the overweight, sausage-eating football fan stereotype was alive and well. Can you imagine “Bill Swerski’s Superfans” sipping […]
Purists will tell you that beer should be made with only four ingredients: water, malt, hops and yeast. In fact, this principle was enshrined in the so-called Reinheitsgebot, or German Beer Purity Law, of 1516. Actually, the Reinheitsgebot only listed three; they didn’t know that yeast existed back then. As a matter of fact, nobody […]
You can’t talk about craft beer in America without at least mentioning Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. Naming it after a favorite childhood vacation spot in Maine, Sam Calagione opened Dogfish Head Brewing & Eats in 1995 as a brewpub in Rehoboth Beach, Del. Calagione, a curious homebrewer, crafted the first beers served at the restaurant […]
You might say that Breckenridge Brewery started out of necessity. Originally from the East Coast, founder Richard Squire began his career, oddly enough, in the garment industry. He was skilled in the industry, having successfully developed a line of outdoor clothing in a young market. However, the call of the mountains eventually took hold. Squire […]
Every year, thirsty flocks of wide-eyed travelers wander into southern Germany with one purpose — to drink and celebrate beer! Oktoberfest, which is German for October Fest (did you know that?), happens every year from late September until early October in Munich, Bavaria. The festival actually began in 1810 as a celebration of King Ludwig […]
Having realized that every beer I’ve reviewed so far has been from an American brewery, I’ve decided that it’s time to shift gears a bit and turn to a part of world where beer and brewing are very much part of the cultural identity: Bavaria. Many of the great beer styles originated in this southeastern […]
Like Ron Burgundy and many other dignified gentlemen, I enjoy sipping Scotch whisky from time to time, preferably while quietly reposing on a large piece of expensive furniture. So when I first laid eyes on a bottle of Founders Dirty Bastard Scotch Style Ale, it seemed a match made in heaven. Really, scotch and beer are […]
Like many other beer lovers, India pale ale is the style that first turned me on to craft beer. The American version of IPA is uniquely defined by its strong hop character and intense flavors. A few weeks ago I reviewed a great example of the IPA style (Green Flash’s West Coast IPA), and I […]
Tucked away in the quaint, quiet suburb of Downingtown, Pa., in the depths of an ill-fitting industrial park, there is a hidden gem. Amid towering glycol-jacketed fermenting vessels and immense grain silos stands Victory Brewing Co. Founded in 1996 by former financial professionals and homebrewers Ron Barchet and Bill Covaleski, Victory shines as a beacon […]
Farmhouse ales, or saisons, which is French for “seasons,” are so named because they were traditionally brewed as refreshments for farmhands in rural Belgium. Because refrigeration had not yet been invented, brewing during the summer months was not feasible due to the possibility of airborne bacteria spoiling the beer. Brewers instead produced their saisons during […]
Vermont is perhaps best known for its charming small towns, exquisite maple syrup and roving throngs of bearded hippies. But Vermont is also home to several outstanding microbreweries, one of which is Otter Creek Brewing Co. in Middlebury. Otter Creek started as a small microbrewery in 1991, long before the craft beer craze really took […]
Grain is one of the key ingredients in beer, and most beers are made using barley, a common cereal grain. The barley is “malted,” which changes its chemical composition to allow for the extraction of sugars embedded in the grains. But barley is not the only option available to the brewer; indeed, many types of […]
Before I delve into this week’s beer, let’s talk about beer in general to develop some context. These days, most beers can be distinctly classified as either ales or lagers. Ales are usually fermented and aged warm, around the low end of room temperature. Ale yeasts are happiest at this temperature, and they convert the […]
Last week I reviewed a light, delicate beer perfect for a summer day — the Troegs Sunshine Pils. This week I’ll be shifting gears a bit by reviewing a veritable hop bomb, Green Flash Brewing Co.’s West Coast IPA. The India pale ale style originated in England in the mid-1800s. The famed brewing waters of […]
Summer is nearly here, and with summer comes warm weather, baseball games on TV, and of course, summer beer styles. Among the many traditional summer styles, I have to say that Pilsner is one of my favorites. And when I say Pilsner, I’m not talking about Bud Light Lime or Miller Chill. I’m talking about […]
One of my favorite warm-weather styles is the saison, which I have been missing the past few months. So in honor of the return of air conditioning season, I took a browse through the Belgian style section and came away with Lavery Brewing Co.’s Liopard Oir Farmhouse Ale. Lavery Brewing Co. is the brainchild of […]
Last week I wrote about Weyerbacher’s Insanity, a barrel aged barleywine. Well, this week I couldn’t resist cracking open Heresy, the bourbon barrel-aged version of Old Heathen, Weyerbacher’s Russian Imperial Stout. Why this sudden interest in barrel-aged beer, you may ask? Well, the superficial reasons are that I happen to like bourbon and that I […]
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