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: Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Fourteen Stout (2021)

By Drew Beard | January 21, 2022 |

There were a whopping seven different releases from Goose Island’s Barrel House line in 2021, including, of course, the fan favorite Bourbon County Stout. Among those options, one in particular may have been familiar to early Goose Island devotees. Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Fourteen Stout originally debuted way back in 2014 as part of…

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Review: Bell’s Uberon

By Drew Beard | January 20, 2022 |

Oberon, the wheat beer that put well-known Michigan microbrewer Bell’s on the proverbial map, officially went barrel-aged last fall. Dubbed Uberon, this beer was already familiar to some devotees of the Comstock-based brewery from its infrequent appearances at special tap events and local beer festivals over the years. In August 2021, just as Oberon’s summer…

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Review: Shiner 1909 and Juicy Dill Pickle Straight Shooter

By Christopher Null | January 17, 2022 |

Texas’s Shiner has been busy lately, offering new beers and a large line of seltzers to boot. Today we’re looking at one of each, including a seltzer with a … particular … flavor. Shiner 1909 – A “heritage lager,” Shiner 1909 is made with heritage 2-row barley, Noble hops, and Shiner’s proprietary lager yeast. Quite…

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Review: Firestone Walker Propagator Series Vic Secret

By Christopher Null | December 30, 2021 |

Here’s a steady selection from Firestone Walker‘s Propagator Series, an R&D location known for producing semi-experimental beers. There’s nothing particularly earth-shattering about this beer — available only through Firestone’s Crafted Through Hops IPA mixed pack — but if you’re hankering for a (nearly) classic west coast style IPA, you’ve come to the right place. Well-hopped with…

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Review: Harpoon Imperial IPA: Big & Limited Edition and Green Mountain Ryed

By Christopher Null | December 29, 2021 |

Harpoon is set for winter with these two frosty-weather releases. Harpoon Imperial IPA: Big & Limited Edition – This may be a limited edition released only for the winter season — it’s made with Harpoon’s standard recipe, but with an upsized abv — but this monster IPA comes across largely as a classic imperial, sweet…

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Review: Stone Hazy IPA and 25th Anniversary Triple IPA

By Christopher Null | December 27, 2021 |

Is every craft brewery having a 25th anniversary this year? Let’s catch up with California’s Stone, which recently dropped as new hazy that does not have tangerines and such in it — plus a monster triple IPA brewed special for the anniversary. We tried them both. Stone Hazy IPA – Yep, just Hazy IPA. It’s a…

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Review: SLO Brew Holidaze IPA

By Christopher Null | December 22, 2021 |

SLO — for California’s San Luis Obispo — Brew offers this appropriately named beer as a seasonal release, a west coast IPA brewed with spruce tips and orange peel, making it extra festive. The combo works, providing a touch of sweetness and fruit to temper what can otherwise be an aggressively bitter style. It’s the…

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Review: Ballast Point Victory at Sea Imperial Porter

By Christopher Null | December 20, 2021 |

Ballast Point recently launched the availability of one of its flagship beers in 16 oz cans — Victory at Sea Imperial Porter, which was first brewed in 2007. (Ballast Point is in the process of shifting its entire portfolio from glass to cans at present.) Brewed with coffee and vanilla, it’s a powerhouse at 10%…

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Review: Lawson’s Finest Liquids Triple Sunshine

By Christopher Null | December 16, 2021 |

Vermont’s Lawson’s Finest Liquids goes big with Triple Sunshine — available for a limited time — a whopper of a triple IPA that pushes into double-digit abv territory — as well it should. It’s unctuous with notes of flamed pineapple, vanilla custard, mango lassi, and a torched marshmallow note, touched with just a hint of…

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Review: Sierra Nevada Celebration Fresh Hop IPA (2021)

By Christopher Null | December 13, 2021 |

Christmastime is when the red cans of Sierra Nevada Celebration IPA start showing up on shelves, a beer the company has brewed yearly since it was established 40 years ago. Launched to celebrate not just the holidays but the arrival of fresh hops, the classic IPA is made with a mix of Cascade, Centennial, and…

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