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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Little Sip is, well, the “little” version of Vermont-based Lawson’s Finest Liquids Sip of Sunshine, a lower abv and crystal-clear beer that evokes freshness and fairly traditional IPA leanings, with a focus on mild grapefruit, orange peel, and hints of forest floor. Decidedly west coast in style — or at least, fairly far from the…Read More
Tröegs’ latest installment in its Hop Cycle lineup of seasonally rotating IPAs is Joyous, made from a a yeast strain called Hothead Kveik and hopped with Citra, Sabro and Azacca hops. Per Troegs: “Joyous is the first Hop Cycle beer to emerge from Tröegs’ Scratch Lab, a new 3-barrel BrauKon nano brewhouse designed to replicate…Read More
Last fall, Firestone Walker released its 15th anniversary ale, somewhat confusingly dubbed XXIV because they actually started celebrating at X with the 10th anniversary. Anyway, as with all past celebratory ales, this one is a blend of various Proprietor’s Vintage offerings created with the help of some of their winemaker friends in California. Safe to…Read More
The curiously named brewery Hop Butcher for the World can be found in Bedford Park, Illinois. The focus here is on unusual brews and especially unusual hops; the sextet of beers reviewed below include some hop varieties I’d never heard of. Let’s try them. Hop Butcher for the World Choice Stock – Brewed with unusual…Read More
The “O!” in Dogfish Head’s new hazy IPA, Hazy-O!, stands for oats, of which four types are used in the brewing of this beer: malted, rolled, naked, and oat milk, the lattermost of which may raise an eyebrow or two. Big and rounded on the palate, it’s got an ample tropical note up front that…Read More
Trying Cascade Brewing’s excellent sour in January left me thirsty for more Portland beers. This month we have line-up of IPAs from the hop savants at Hopworks Urban Brewery. Let’s see if these three can stand out in a crowded field. Hopworks Urban Brewery Juicy Bear IPA is the lightest in color of the three,…Read More
All three of these new Harpoon releases have something in common: They’re all aged in whiskey barrels. Let’s hit it. Harpoon From Nova Scotia with Love – Brewed in collaboration with Nova Scotia’s Big Spruce Brewing “to celebrate the history of the province’s annual gifting of Boston’s official Christmas tree – provided each year as…Read More
Four new brews (or newly available for home drinkers, anyway) from our friends at Bear Republic, just up the road here in Northern California. Bear Republic Baba Yaga – An Imperial stout brewed with cacao, caramel malts, roasted barley, black molasses, and licorice root. The chocolate is bold, pairing nicely with the toasty, almost woodsy…Read More
Celebrating the Year of the Ox? Crack open Seattle-based Lucky Envelope’s new Metal Ox, which is brewed with Seattle Marketplace Lychee Rose Black Tea and double dry-hopped with Citra, Simcoe Cryo, and Loral hops. The beer is decidedly floral, with strong black tea notes early on in the game. From there, things settle down into…Read More
Hi-Wire Brewing is one of the flagship breweries in the sneaky good Appalachian beer town of Asheville, North Carolina. Counting four IPAs among their seven “flagship” offerings, they clearly take their IPAs seriously. They also clearly believe in truth in advertising, as demonstrated by the most recent take on their Hazy & Juicy & Hoppy…Read More