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  • 2 O'Clock Tasting: Ninkasi Brewing Company

    2 O'Clock Tastings - July 15, 2014

    Ninkasi Brewing Company is smartly named for the Sumerian goddess of fermentation, whose credo dictated that making, enjoying and sharing beer enlightens us (we agree!). Not long after founders Nikos Ridge and Jamie Floyd began brewing out of a German restaurant in Springfield, Oregon in 2006, the duo started hand-delivering kegs to local establishments. Being extremely connected to their community has proved to work well over time—Ninkasi is one of the most popular breweries in the Pacific Northwest these days, generating 95,000 barrels per year!

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  • Hop of the Month: Nelson Sauvin

    Hop of the Month, Brew School - July 14, 2014

    Named after both its founding region in New Zealand and the Sauvignon Blanc grape, Nelson Sauvin is an exciting, distinctive hop varietal that was released in 2000. Hailing from a small bay on the north coast of the country's South Island, Nelson Sauvin is a perfect summertime hop; it possesses strong fruity aromas and flavors of tropical fruit and crushed grapes that mingle with citrus like tangerine and grapefruit. Known to impart a cool climate white wine "fruitiness", its bold, dominant hop character is at home in new-world styles and can be used to produce pithy ales as well as delicate yet bitter lagers.

    This bright, juicy hop has recently grown in popularity in the US with its fellow countrymen - Montueka and Riwaka. They're all lucky to call New Zealand home: the nation has hardly any natural pests (therefore no pesticides are needed, hooray!).

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  • The US Hits 3,000 Breweries, New Glarus Brewing's New Wild Fruit Cave, $120 Black Truffle Pilsner, and More Beer News

    Beer News Mashup - July 11, 2014

    • 2014: The new 1873. There are now over 3,000 breweries in the United States - the most since the 19th century! [CNBC]
    • Ever wonder how your city might taste like as a beer? A microbiologist and chemical ecologist in Richmond, VA are collecting local wild strains of yeast to create distinct batches. [Richmond.com]
    • Employees Only (at Harpoon): One of the Northeast's biggest craft breweries will become an employee-owned company as of August 1. [The Boston Globe]
    • An Oud Bruin is New Glarus Brewing's first release from it's new wild fruit cave. Move over, IPAs - sour beers are in. [Isthmus]
    • Culinary beers guide Moody Tongue Brewing, which will soon release a Shaved Black Truffle Pilsner that will cost as much as $120 a bottle. Thankfully, they're big bottles.[Chicago Tribune]

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  • Weekend Beer Events 7/11

    Beer Events - July 10, 2014

     Photo courtesy Brooklyn Brew Shop Instagram 

    Head outdoors (or out West) for this weekend’s best beer events! Whether you prefer to be near water, mountains, or barbeque, there’s an array of beer festivals to attend over the next two days. From a vast showcase of 100+ beers in Coney Island to a beer fest in the woods celebrating Minnesotan brewers and Breckenridge Brewery’s 24th Anniversary Hootenanny, summer is in full swing with these great craft beer events:

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  • Summer Wheat, Seven Ways

    Beer List - July 9, 2014

    Summer Wheat, Seven Ways

    Crisp, spicy wheat beer makes us think of summer days at the beach and warm nights in the backyard – it’s the perfect complement to the heat of July and August (even though we like to drink it year round).

    We love to stop by the local farmer’s market and pick up interesting ingredients to experiment with in our small batches – and our Summer Wheat is a perfect beer to try out new brewing ideas.

    We’ve rounded up seven different ways to treat your Summer Wheat to upgrade post-boil - try one or mix and match (think orange & mint, lemon & lime, etc.). Just remember to strain out any additional ingredients after the ice bath!

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  • 2 O'Clock Tasting: Against The Grain

    2 O'Clock Tastings - July 8, 2014

    There are many reasons to try a beer. Perhaps you're a fan of the style. Maybe you enjoyed the beers made by the brewer at another brewery, or you heard positive things from a friend. Maybe it just sounds good. Or, as was the case with Against The Grain Brewery, the packaging caught your eye. Featuring irreverent and witty cartoon illustrations, Against the Grain's bottles are full of attitude that jumps out at you on the shelf. Located in a former train station on Main Street in Louisville, KY, this rapidly expanding three year old brewery and restaurant brews on a 15 barrel system, in addition to brewing at Pub Dog Brewery in Maryland.

    We sampled two Against the Grain ales: Citra Ass Down, an Imperial IPA, and 35k, a Milk Stout. Have you tried these Louisville beers? Leave your own tasting notes in the comment section!

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  • Make Some Beer Book Outtakes: Cigar City Brewing

    Behind the Scenes - July 7, 2014

    Cigar City Brewing is known for experimental beers—they’ll tell you themselves that some, like the Cucumber Saison or Horchata Ale, are for adventurous drinkers. Because of the focus on production for its home state of Florida, Tampa-based Cigar City has been able to make an incredibly varied amount of beer, and prides itself on letting brewers follow their muse.

    While writing Make Some Beer: Small-Batch Recipes from Brooklyn to Bamberg, we toured down to the land of palm trees and Cuban coffee to stop by Cigar City and chat with Vice President Justin Clark, who gave us the details on being inspired by cocktails and the weirdest beers Cigar City has conceived.

    Read on for an outtake of our interview with Clark!

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  • Keg-powered Rocket Launching, Goose Island now on board United flights and more beer news

    Beer News Mashup - July 3, 2014

    • Here’s the secret to perfect beer head, and how to break out your beer smarts at this weekend’s holiday barbeque. [Parade]
    • If you need a tongue-in-cheek beer recommendation, here are 11 options that that will complete your summer grill days! [Clickhole]
    • The best camping complement: Vermont State Parks is pairing up with Whetstone Station Craft Beers on two state park-named beers this summer. [VTbeer.org]
    • Blast off! No, really – six rocket enthusiasts in Portland, Oregon are launching a rocket into space powered by kegs of beer from Burnside Brewery. [Mashable]
    • Fly the delicious skies! United Airlines just launched a partnership with Goose Island Beer to serve its classic 312 Urban Wheat Ale on board flights. [Chicago Sun-Times]

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  • Weekend Beer Events 7/4

    Beer Events - July 2, 2014

     Photo courtesy Brooklyn Brew Shop Instagram 

    This holiday weekend, craft beer festivals are in abundance across the US and abroad. From a Belgian beer fair on Japan’s coast to a baseball and beer fest in Oakland, CA, and even a cask ale extravaganza near London, beer lovers all over the globe have a reason to celebrate. Read on for our best beer event picks for the weekend!

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  • 2 O'Clock Tasting: Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.

    2 O'Clock Tastings - July 1, 2014

    Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. is based in Buellton, California, a small town about 40 miles northwest of Santa Barbara. Named for a nearby mountain, this rapidly growing brewery was launched in 2010 and is run by father/son team Jim and Jaime Ditenhofer. With intricate drawings inspired by Southern California adorning their bottles and taps, Figueroa Mountain strives to capture the spirit and flavors of its region.

    We sampled three beers from 22 oz. bombers: Hoppy Poppy IPA, an American IPA; Hurricane Deck Double IPA, an Imperial IPA; and Davy Brown Ale, an American Brown Ale.

    We logged our tasting notes for the Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. beers we sampled, but if you've tried others, add your own in the comments!

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  • 12 Recipes For A Beer-Filled 4th of July

    Beer List - June 30, 2014

    Whether you are planning an Independence Day bash worthy of the history books or hosting a laid-back rooftop gathering with friends to watch the fireworks, we know the main ingredient to make your 4th of July menu shine: beer, of course!

    We’ve gathered 12 of our favorite recipes – from delicious dips and grilled mains to homemade sweets and beer-spiked cocktails – to help you plan the ultimate beer-filled spread in celebration of stars and stripes.

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  • Dogfish Head opens an Inn, the FAA bans drone beer delivery, and more beer news

    Beer News Mashup - June 26, 2014

    • Bad news for those hoping for beer-delivering drones. [Venture Beat]
    • Craft beer in France? Oui! [Modern Farmer]
    • Great new breweries are opening in every corner of New York City. [Grub Street]
    • Off-centered lodging for off-centered people? Dogfish Head's craft beer empire now include an inn! [Delaware Online]
    • Lagunitas is already thinking about expanding, despite opening their Chicago brewery last week. [The Press Democrat ]

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  • Weekend Beer Events 6/28

    Beer Events - June 25, 2014

     Photo courtesy Brooklyn Brew Shop Instagram 

    With 4th of July right around the corner, it’s really starting to feel like summer around here. We’ve rounded up this weekend’s best beer events, and with gatherings ranging from a craft beer bash at the zoo, to a beer dinner with a craft brewing titan, and a colossal festival in one of the best beer states, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be outdoors with a pint in hand!

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  • Two O'Clock Tasting: Other Half Brewing Co.

    2 O'Clock Tastings - June 24, 2014

    Founded in 2013 by Matt Monahan, Sam Richardson, and Andrew Burman, Other Half Brewing focuses primarily on fresh and hoppy IPAs and Pale Ales. Their approach is similar to that of many West Coast brewers; the flavors are big and bold with complex notes of citrus and pine.

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  • Recipe: Beer Can Chicken

    Cooking with Beer - June 23, 2014

    When it comes to cooking with beer, Beer Can Chicken is a popular starting point, and we get it. It's easy. Grilling is involved (and grilling is fun). But most important--it's nearly impossible to end up with anything but intensely moist chicken. We dry-rubbed ours heavily and cooked it with a store-bought Belgian-style saison. There's no need to use homemade beer on this since it's more about the moisture and less about the flavor of the beer you choose. Your best bet is to go with something that isn't too hop-forward but still totally delicious.

    There are articles against and supporting the use of an actual can (and the potential hazards) so we opt for a stainless steal rack (and the ability to use whatever beer we have in the fridge).

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  • Searching for New York Barley, The Nashville Brewing Scene, 3 Floyds in Copenhagen and More Beer News

    Beer News Mashup - June 20, 2014

    • Scientists are looking for a way to make East Coast beers truly local by growing New York barley. [Mashable]
    • Less water, more beer: Several large U.S. brewers are feeling the squeeze to conserve more water due to shortages. [Denver Post]
    • Denmark is getting a dose of the Midwest U.S.: 3 Floyds is teaming up with Mikkeller for a new brewpub in Copenhagen. [Politiken]
    • Country music isn't the only thing in Nashville! Craft brewing has taken Music City by storm. [Nashville Scene]
    • Kelp ale - the new oyster stout? The owner of Marshall Wharf Brewing Co. in Belfast, Maine thinks so. [Bangor Daily News]

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  • Weekend Beer Events 6/21

    Beer Events - June 19, 2014

     Photo courtesy Brooklyn Brew Shop Instagram 

    Fun beer events abound this weekend at a wide range of localities. Sip craft beer while eating crabs at Baltimore's Inner Harbor (pass the Old Bay!). Take a scenic railroad to a craft beer festival in Colorado or run a 5k to one Georgia. Support a non-profit in Minneapolis while viewing beer-themed posters. And get a taste of Italy's burgeoning beer culture near Milan this weekend. We wish we could do it all!

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  • Recipe: Beer & Coffee Breakfast Cocktail

    Cooking with Beer - June 18, 2014

    Lovers of booze and chocolate covered pretzels rejoice--we've made a beer cocktail just for you. The perfect option for any Sunday brunch in need of a hearty cocktail, this combination of stout, cold-brewed coffee, and Averna (a tasty Italian amaro) is elevated to new heights by sprinkling of cocoa powder and coarsely ground sea salt just prior to service.

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  • 2 O'Clock Tasting: Gigantic Brewing, Revisited

    2 O'Clock Tastings - June 17, 2014

    We recently gathered around our tasting table to try three beers from Portland, Oregon’s Gigantic Brewing. The 2 year old Gigantic focuses on one-off beers; they avoid brewing the same beer more than once and when a beer sell out, generally within three months, it's gone forever. Gigantic Brewing is also notable for the artwork that adorns their bottles. Featuring colorful and off-beat illustrations, the artist is actually listed on each bottle.

    This is not the first time we’ve tasted Gigantic Brewing’s beers; we had their only year-round offering, Gigantic IPA, along with their High Fidelity and Hellion last fall. Here we sampled three of their seasonal beers; Bang On!, a Bitter/Pale Ale, Dark Meddle, a Vienna Lager, and Most Premium Russian Imperial Stout, a Russian Imperial Stout.

    Were the flavors of these beers “gigantic”? Were they as whimsical and colorful as their labels would imply? Read on to find out! And if you've tried this Pacific Northwest brewery before, be sure to leave your tasting notes in the comments.

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  • Hop of the Month: Summit

    Hop of the Month, Brew School - June 16, 2014

    For a young hop, Summit is an unique and fascinating variety. First released commercially in 2003, Summit was developed in Washington's Yakima Valley and is the decedent of an openly pollinated Nugget hop plant that was then cross-bred with Zeus and other citrusy hop varieties. One of the few dwarf hops commercially available, Summit is typically grown on low trellises and must be picked by hand. The hop has an extremely high alpha acid content, ranging from 16.0% up to 19.5%, which makes it an excellent bittering hop.

    Summit hops were originally intended for use by large capacity brewers as a money-saver. Because the hop is so bitter, it can be used in smaller quantities and money can be saved on storage. Supplies of Summit are more stable than most hops because brewers need less, due to the extreme bitterness. Supply is also helped by Summit's mold and fungus resistance.

    But Summit is not a one-trick pony. It's highly valued for its unique citrusy flavors that call to mind orange zest and grapefruit. The hop, which pairs well with herbal hops, also can have garlic and onion aromas when used late in the boil. Summit is primarily used in IPAs and Pale Ales, but it also appears in stouts.

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