First brewed at least 5,000 years ago, beer is one of the oldest and most universally consumed alcoholic drinks. It is usually made from cereals, most frequently malted barley, but other ingredients can be used, such as wheat, corn, or rice. In the majority of cases, hops are added to the process (originally as a preservative), although in centuries past other flavorings were used. Today, a whole host of flavored beers exist, ranging from conventional ingredients such as fruit to crazier additions including bacon, donuts, and rocky mountain oysters (aka bull testicles). The most popular beer style, however, is the easy-drinking pale lager style. It used to be thought that beer in cans was inferior quality to beer in bottles, and that there was a safety worry over the use of aluminum, but that is no longer the case. Cans are perfectly safe and sales of canned beers are growing while bottles are on the decline.

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Review: Clown Shoes 12 Beers of Christmas 2020

By Christopher Null | December 25, 2020 |

Our friends at Clown Shoes (a subsidiary of Boston’s Harpoon) have dropped a mixed case of brews (a dozen 12 oz cans), featuring 12 different offerings from their collection — including a number of expressions that are exclusive to this case. Here’s a quick look at all of the beers in the holiday pack —…

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Review: Atlas Brew Works Giant Flaming Zombie Polar Bear Double IPA

By Christopher Null | December 20, 2020 |

Giant Flaming Zombie Polar Bear — GFZPB if you prefer — is Washington, DC-based Atlas Brew Works’ seasonal for winter 2020. It’s a fitting name for a fitting year — and a fitting beer, a double IPA featuring a blend of Bravo, Mandarina Bavaria, Chinook, Centennial, and Cascade hops. Aggressive with a classically creamy, resinous…

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Review: Ninkasi Steady Orbit Grounded IPA

By Christopher Null | December 16, 2020 |

  Ninkasi’s latest, Steady Orbit, is a low-abv session IPA meant to invoke a “feeling of escape, exploration, and a sense of accomplishment” — without much booze in the mix. Flavored with Mosaic, Amarillo, Citra, and Galaxy hops, it drinks more boldly than expected, with a big punch of lemon peel and orange peel, bitter…

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Review: Beers of Almanac, Holiday 2020

By Christopher Null | December 15, 2020 |

This quintet of beers is available as part of a Christmas-themed collection from Alameda, California-based Almanac Brewing, complete with holiday-friendly labels. We received five of the dozen brews for review, all tasted from 16 oz cans. Almanac Love Hazy IPA – I like my hazy IPAs to be hazy, and this super-juicy offering really does…

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Review: Lagunitas Sucks (2020) and Born Yesterday Pale Ale 2020

By Christopher Null | December 2, 2020 |

Lagunitas’s late 2020 seasonal beers are here, and we drank them. Lagunitas Sucks (2020) – An old seasonal reissued in honor of 2020, this dry-hopped double IPA is made with four types of cereal grains — barley, oats, wheat, and rye. It’s creamy and immersive, punchy with bitterness but never overdone. Instead it lets the…

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Review: East Brother Festbier and Belgian Tripel

By Christopher Null | November 25, 2020 |

As cold weather approaches, we take a fresh look at two new winter-friendly seasonals from our pals in Richmond, California, East Brother. East Brother Festbier – This decidedly German style brew takes a Marzen lager and pumps it up with Oktoberfestive notes, giving it a nice layer of spice atop its sweet malt base. Chewy…

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Review: Schofferhofer Grapefruit Hefeweizen (2020)

By Christopher Null | November 21, 2020 |

We first encountered Schofferhofer Grapefruit back in 2015, and since that time it’s been reformulated. No longer made with cochineal color — it now uses beta-carotene to give it its orange-pink hue — and it’s now billed formally as a blend of 50% hefeweizen and 50% grapefruit soda, though that fact could have eluded me…

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Review: Troegs Mad Elf Ale and Beer Cheese

By Christopher Null | November 20, 2020 |

We like beer collaborations. Beer and cheese collaborations? Even better. Made Elf Beer Cheese is a wild mashup of Hershey, Pennsylvania-based Troegs and Caputo Brothers Creamery in nearby Spring Grove. This is the third cheese collab between the two brands. Here’s how this one works: Mad Elf Beer Cheese starts with 100% Pennsylvania cow’s milk. At…

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Review: Deschutes Brewery Rip City Lager and Royal Fresh Imperial IPA

By Christopher Null | November 11, 2020 |

Two new beers from our friends in Bend, Oregon at Deschutes Brewery. Let’s go for it. Deschutes Brewery Rip City Lager – A light lager created in combination with, of all brands, the Portland Trail Blazers. Lemon is the dominant element here, paired with straightforward notes of fresh cereal and bitter hops. There’s really not…

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Review: 10 Barrel Brewing Smash and Clean Line Mango

By Christopher Null | November 1, 2020 |

Looking for something lighter? Try these libations from Bend, Oregon’s 10 Barrel — a fruit-heavy beer and a hard seltzer. 10 Barrel Brewing Smash – A slightly sour wheat ale, this passionfruit-infused beer hits up front with a big lemon note before it settles into a sweeter groove, with tropical elements in the mix. As…

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