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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Firestone Walker makes plenty of beers for cold weather sipping, but their latest seasonal release seems tailor-made specifically for the holidays. Let’s be honest. Cinnamon Dolce Nitro Stout sounds more like a Starbuck’s beverage than a beer, but apparently the discovery of a local vanilla bean supplier inspired them to go in that direction for…Read More
East Brother’s latest is a big fat double IPA, clocking in at 8% alcohol and loaded with Simcoe and Azaaca hops. It’s hugely creamy but surprisingly a little bit sour, a mango-laced body countered by notes of grapefruit peel, piney hops, and a touch of white wine vinegar. Some baking spice gives the finish a…Read More
Deschutes has made a number of special edition versions of its popular Dissident sour, including this one, fermented with Oregon peaches. The finished ale is aged in oak barrels much like the standard bottling. Rather tougher and hoarier than I was expecting, the peach character doesn’t really show up until late in the game, leaving…Read More
Strainge Beast is the hard kombucha spinoff of California’s Sierra Nevada, and the product is available in (at least) 6 flavored versions, at two different abvs. The standard version of the product, available in 16 oz cans, is canned at 7% abv. The newly released “light” version is just 4% abv and comes in 12…Read More
If there’s one thing (besides quality) Firestone Walker can hang their hat on, it’s the ability to thematically put together a variety twelve-pack of their offerings which make sense and are easy to enjoy from to the next without facing abrupt transitions. This time around, they’ve gone tropical with a trio of flavored IPAs. Each…Read More
Sierra Nevada is one of the most notable and long-lived craft distilleries in the country, having grown from humble beginnings in Chico, California to the third-largest independent distillery in the country. Our coverage of the brewery has been spotty over the years. With this review we delve into most of the core lineup, going all…Read More
It’s starting to get cold out (in some parts of the country, at least), so that means the barrel-aged beer releases will soon start flowing. Founders is getting ahead of the flood this season with two new offerings under their KBS line, KBS Espresso and KBS Cinnamon Vanilla Cocoa. Espresso isn’t technically new, as it…Read More
This new trio of “Double Master” beers mark a collaboration between Alabama-based Red Clay Brewing and California’s Miura Vineyards. The partnership isn’t the usual one of pass-it-around barrel aging, as you might expect, but rather of technique, with brewer and winemaker collaborating on ingredients to include in the creation of each beer, each of which…Read More
What to do if you’re an ardent craft beer lover but can no longer indulge? For Ted Fleming, it was to create non-alcoholic beers that would sate his high standards for craft brews and retain the social buzz of imbibing in the company of friends, a common origin story for many who have embarked on…Read More
Natty Light, the brand you know and love, is spreading its wings with numerous new products including, of course, a malt beverage-based seltzer, which is available in four flavors. The twist? They’re all sour — the first ever sour seltzer, per the company — so fans of the mouth-puckering stuff may find them a refreshing…Read More