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.
You can’t drink double IPAs all day, that’s for sure. In response, breweries have started rolling out lighter lagers that pair lower ABV with loads of flavor—upgraded lawnmower beers for the modern era. I tackle the trend for Men’s Journal’s March issue, in print and online.
This year, Men’s Journal hired me to create their inaugural Final Pour competition, a contest modeled after the NCAA’s basketball tournament. The gist: 64 breweries, both the vanguard and buzzy newcomers alike, battle for supremacy. I helped pick the field, get bottles and cans for the photo shoot and, well, wrote up dang near every word.
It was a ton of work.
But it turned out great.
In the March/April 2019 issue of Imbibe magazine, I take a deep look at what compels people to travel for beer. When flights of beer are available at every brewery taproom around the corner, why book a flight to drink beer? It’s a fun dive into obsession and frequent-flier miles, RVs and road trips gone awry. The story is currently on newsstands only for the moment. Journalism: not everything is free!
Well, it was a pretty good seven-year run, give or take, of writing about beer for Culture. This year, though, the magazine decided to nix its beer coverage. Alas! Here’s my final column for the magazine about the surprisingly delicious intersection of coffee stouts and cheese.
Hazy beers have gone from a niche to a mainstream, the foggy IPAs available far and wide. For Wine Enthusiast, I tackle the widespread trend. Juicy IPAs sold at gas stations! It’s a new world for sure.
Each January for Imbibe magazine, I tackle some of the movers and shakers that are going to change the way that we’ll drink and think over the course of the year. Most of the content isn’t online (hey, we’re trying to get people to buy magazines), but you can find my write-up on Hollie Stephenson, the head brewer at Guinness’s U.S. outpost in Baltimore. She’s helping bring the brand into the 21st century by, say, fermenting witbiers with Guinness yeast. It’s a wild new future for a historical brand.
I spent much of my youth wandering malls, buying cassette tapes and eating McDonald’s burgers in the food court. It was my childhood, no changing that, but I don’t have a hankering to return to a mall anytime soon. But if there’s one thing that could change that, it’s beer. Beer! Taking advantage of ample square footage, affordable real estate and a captive audience sick of Sbarro, a number of breweries have taken root in malls that are trying to re-cast their image for a new generation. I tackle the story for SevenFifty Daily.
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.
As regulations have loosened on marijuana sales in America, brewers have started exploring the fragrant new world of beers that are both inspired by and infused with cannabis derivatives such as THC and CBD. It’s a wild new world of flavor and aroma, buzz delivered in a different package altogether. I look into this burgeoning new world for my latest New York Times article. Curious about a new future for beer?