October

A Cold Shift: Welcome to the World of Beer Slushies

Photo: Courtesy of Reve Brewing

Photo: Courtesy of Reve Brewing

The slushy machine has long lived at gas stations and convenience stores, doling out frosty concoctions that deliver both sugar rushes and brain freeze. Bars, too, slushify margaritas, daiquiris, rosé and more—the frozen drinks delivering good times on patios, backyards, and beaches alike.

Now, breweries are jumping into the slush. From Sweden’s Omnipollo to North Carolina’s Barrel Culture to Colorado’s Wiley Roots, breweries are creating colorful slushies that draw customers to taprooms, rounding out offerings for folks that might not be crazy for that hazy double IPA. “Our motto is, for you, for all,” says Hamlet Fort, the marketing and events manager for Denver’s Station 26 Brewing. “We want to make beers and create experiences for everyone.”

Heresy? Heaven? You make the call. My story awaits at October.

Why Is Your Favorite Brewery Making Canned Cocktails?

Boulevard Brewing is behind the Fling brand of canned cocktails. 
Boulevard Brewing is behind the Fling brand of canned cocktails. 
These are mighty crowded moments in American craft beer. To separate themselves and keep bottom lines robust, brewers are turning to non-beer beverages. Here, I take a look at how breweries are using their talent pool and infrastructure to create canned cocktails that are as convenient as they are tasty. My October story awaits...

Breweries: A Potential Savior of Strip Malls?

Illustration: Adam Waito
Illustration: Adam Waito

I grew up suburbia, strip malls crisscrossing my existence. So when I moved to New York City a couple decades ago, I put strip malls far out of mind. Not everyone can. They're a fact of life for much of American life. Many strip malls have fallen on hard times, old models replaced by the new. For October, I take a look at the state of the modern strip mall and how breweries can serve as beacons to attract like-minded businesses, turning strip malls into destinations and not just a to-do on your shopping list.

Can Craft Beer Save the Minibar?

Photo: Longman & Eagle

Photo: Longman & Eagle

It has been a longggggggggg time since I’ve bought a beer from a hotel minibar, the land of overpriced mass-produced lager and $8 bottles of water. But! Smart hotels are upgrading the in-room experience with intriguing, locally brewed. For October, I tackle how hotels are giving their rooms an IPA-fueled boost.

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.

These Beers are Better Than Egg Nog

Photo: Evil Twin

Photo: Evil Twin

With a last name like Bernstein, there’s no hiding that I light a menorah’s candles and celebrate Hanukah’s eight flickering nights.

My lineage is a little more confusing, and I’ve consumed more eggnog than you might imagine. Mom was raised Catholic, later aligning with Dad’s Judaism. The mixed upbringing manifested itself during the holidays, when we dunked fried latkes, or potato pancakes, in applesauce while sipping store-bought eggnog.

The viscous texture was a total turnoff, creamy nasal discharge sprinkled with enough nutmeg to make a pumpkin beer. Tradition never translated to pleasure, and eggnog slowly faded from our fridge. Even as a grown-up, or whatever I am now, liquor-spiked nog won’t float my boat. Give me bourbon or beer, that’s how I take my seasonal cheer.

Happily, brewing is abuzz with beers that are ace alternatives to eggnog, embracing the best attributes of winter and the maligned cocktail – minus the nauseating effects.

The Incredible Bulk: How I Learned to Embrace Bulk Beer

Header illustration: Remo Remoquillo

Header illustration: Remo Remoquillo

Since the statute of limitations has long passed, I can reveal my illicit secret: As a grunge-loving teen in suburban Ohio, I bought beer at the local liquor drive-through, mostly Busch Light 30-packs that my miscreant crew later chugged in my backyard before trampolining skyward and turning into lobsters in our hot tub, a twofer that led to less vomit than you might imagine.

Twelve, 24, 36, 48: Like some drunk cheerleader’s chant, we only bought bulk beer, following the lead of our parents and our parents’ parents. I doubt they drank cases of Natural Ice, as I did in college, before graduating and moving to Brooklyn. New city, new me!