beer

Growth Potential: How American Brewers Are Following Belgian Farm Traditions

Illustration; Danielle Deley / Good Beer Hunting

Illustration; Danielle Deley / Good Beer Hunting

For Good Beer Hunting, I take a deep dive into how American brewers are tapping into Belgian farming traditions to create compelling beers that distinctly speak of the land. It’s really interesting! I swear!

How Breweries Are Leveraging Popular Spirits Brands

Collage: SevenFifty Daily

Collage: SevenFifty Daily

It’s been an interesting time for beer sales, as volumes are falling for many of the major breweries. In an effort to reach a new audience, breweries such as New Belgium, Ballast Point and Budweiser have started partnering with distilleries to create products that can reach across both sides of the bar.

Brew U: America's Best College Breweries

The Brewery at the CIA

I spent my undergrad days at Ohio University, a charming college distinguished by brick streets, big trees and bars slinging numerous drink specials. The Greenery had quarter draft night, while the Union sold Genesee Cream Ale for a buck. One was also the magic number at O’Hooley’s where, for a single glorious hour nightly, the brewpub sold pints of beers such as Scotch ales, pale ales and stout pints for a dollar.

Power Hour might’ve been about pounding pints (my record is five), but inebriation came with a side of schooling. Beyond the buzz, drinking beer during my college years was all about the discovery of flavor—the interplay between grains and hops, water and yeast. Power Hour was the cheapest education in town, in some ways more useful than that journalism degree.

A couple decades later, colleges have caught the craft-beer bug. Not just drinking it—though I’m positive there’s still plenty of that going around—but rather colleges are installing breweries where students can cook up test batches that are served at bars and taprooms right on campus. Whether you’re a curious undergrad or a graduate looking for a liquid refresher course, here are five of the best college breweries where you’ll happily earn extra credit. The rest of my story awaits at October.

How Brewers Are Using Coolships to Create Wild Fermentations

Photo by Marcus Nilsson

Photo by Marcus Nilsson

Most beers are made with commercial yeast strains, as dependable as spring rain. Increasingly, though, brewers are going wild and creating spontaneously fermented beer teeming with native microbes. Here, I decode the trend for Wine Enthusiast magazine.

Autumn Brings Breweries, Bars and a Taproom

Photo: Cole Wilson

Photo: Cole Wilson

It's the greatest time to be a beer drinker in New York City, right? Wrong! This fall, the beer scene will get even buzzier with the arrival of new breweries from Evil Twin and Torch & Crown, as well a second location of Beer Street. I chronicled the hoppy news for The New York Times. Care to read? 

Turn on the Light: The Rise of the Low-Alcohol Craft Lager

Photo: Olivia Rae James

Photo: Olivia Rae James

Scroll through Instagram, peruse Twitter and tiptoe through Untappd, and you might assume that beer fans have blinders on for everything but IPAs and pastry stouts. Blow hype’s smokescreen aside, however, and you’ll see the light: Americans love low-ABV lagers. In January, sales data revealed that the country’s best-selling beers are Bud Light, Coors Light and Miller Lite, the first time the top three were all light. With lower-calorie beers ruling the land, craft and independent brewers are making unlikely moves, especially as conglomerates increasingly encroach on their turf. “They’re firing shots, so we’ll fire shots back,” says Night Shift co-founder Rob Burns.

Enter the era of light lagers, low-calorie craft beers and nonalcoholic sips suited for one and all. My Imbibe feature awaits your clicking finger. 

Bubbling Up? Sort of. The Latest Trend Is Carbonation-Free Beer

Photo: Jester King

Photo: Jester King

To American imbibers reared on fizz, zero bubbles may seem as off-putting as that forgotten cup of beer found after a party. However, in Belgium still beer has a proud tradition. There, spontaneously fermented lambics are sometimes kegged or bagged bubble free and served as flat as the day is long. It’s not a bug but an appealing feature—without carbonic acid, sour beers are less perceptibly acidic and can make for easier drinking.

Inspired by Belgian brewing customs, a budding group of sour- and wild-focused American breweries are saying sayonara to fizz. Is it good? Bad? Heresy? Heaven? Only one way to find out: Read my story. Or not! It's OK. I write a lot of words. 

Why Brewers Are Turning to Can Conditioning

Photo: The Referend Bier Blendery

Photo: The Referend Bier Blendery

As consumers turn away from bottles and embrace cans, producers are left in a pickle: How can they compete in this heavy-metal marketplace? Easy: By cracking the code on can-conditioning, packaging volatile sours, super-effervescent saisons, and beers teeming with wild yeast in 16-ounce cans,  bringing bottled-beer experiences to the beach koozie. Interested? I was! This was one of those ideas I got from staring at a beer cooler for far too long, till the idea started to coalesce in my hops-addled brain. Curious? Here's the story.