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  • 2 O'Clock Tasting: Cigar City Brewing

    2 O'Clock Tastings - July 29, 2014

    If you were to list the best beer states, Florida would likely not rank very high. The great Tampa Bay-based Cigar City Brewing is aware of this reputation while also fighting against it. From the "Tampa Bay Brewing History" essay on their website, to the first line of their About page (which acknowledges their state is better known for theme parks), to beers with names like Florida Cracker, to the many Florida-centric ingredients they use, Cigar City is deliberately inseparable from their home state. It's a mutually beneficially relationship. Florida gives Cigar City a unique identity and Cigar City, with their hundreds of unique beers released since opening in 2009, has seriously elevated Florida's beer reputation.

    We talked to Cigar City's Vice President Justin Clark while writing Make Some Beer: Small-Batch Recipes from Brooklyn to Bamberg, so check out our book outtake if you want to more about some of the brewery's most experimental beers.

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  • Make Some Beer Book Outtakes: Evil Twin Brewing

    Behind the Scenes - July 28, 2014

    We love Evil Twin Brewing’s sensibility, from its tongue-in-cheek beer names to the vibrant design of its bottles and cans (not to mention the globally-respected beer!). Brooklyn-by-way-of-Denmark founder and brewer Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø has developed a cult following for Evil Twin’s inventive beers, irreverent attitude and his much-loved Brooklyn bar, the beer mecca TØRST.

    While writing Make Some Beer: Small-Batch Recipes from Brooklyn to Bamberg, we spoke with Jeppe about how Copenhagen resembles Brooklyn, working at NOMA (considered the best restaurant in the world), and what’s with all the triangles in Evil Twin’s label. Our conversations with Jeppe when writing the book also led us to our recently announced collaboration Beer Making Kit, bringing Evil Twin's Bikini Beer to the stovetop!

    Read on for an outtake of our interview with Jeppe!

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  • America's Preference for Beer Over Wine, Stone Brewing's Expansion to Berlin, and More Beer News

    Beer News Mashup - July 25, 2014

    • We had a feeling about this one, but now it's official: Americans prefer beer over wine and even bourbon (even though sometimes we like ours aged in bourbon barrels!). [TIME]
    • Europe's getting lucky these days! Stone Brewing just announced it will convert a historic German gasworks plant in Berlin into a brewery and international hub for its operations. [LA Times]
    • The Lonestar State has its fair share of popular craft breweries in Austin, but the small and mighty Big Bend Brewing Company has injected a jolt of excitement into its rural Texas home. [The New York Times]
    • Pint upgrade: by law, Washington DC breweries can now serve 16 oz instead of just a one-time pour of 12 oz to visitors. [The Washington Post]
    • Beer and dinner pairings are becoming a mainstay, but have you ever thought about what doughnut would pair best with your stout? [Vita.mn]

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  • Weekend Beer Events 7/25

    Beer Events - July 24, 2014

     Photo courtesy Brooklyn Brew Shop Instagram 

    The varied beer offerings happening across the US this weekend makes us want to travel to every corner of the country to enjoy beloved stand-bys and find new craft favorites! From the established classic Oregon Brewers Festival-celebrating its 27th year-to newcomers like NYC’s Beer and Bacon Classic and superhero-themed Heroes Brew Festival (on the same day as Comic Con, no less!), there’s something for every kind of craft beer lover. Read on for the week’s top beer events!

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  • 2 O'Clock Tasting: Evil Twin Brewing

    2 O'Clock Tastings - July 23, 2014

    Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø is one of our favorite people in Brooklyn. We love his bar, TØRST, and we love the madcap beers he brews under the Evil Twin moniker. Just yesterday we announced a collaboration Beer Making Kit with the brewery - their Bikini Beer, scaled down to the kitchen!

    Jeppe, the founder and man behind Evil Twin Brewing, was a physics and English teacher in his native Denmark before starting Copenhagen's Ølbutikken, a highly regarded beer store. He founded Evil Twin in 2010 as a nomadic brewery, then moved it to Brooklyn in 2012 when he relocated there with his family, opening the beer bar TØRST the same year.

    The creativity behind Evil Twin's beers is evident in the spectrum of colors present in the five Evil Twin beers we sampled. Those beers were: Justin Blåbær, a Berliner Weiss; Ryan and the Beaster Bunny, a Farmhouse Saison; The Cowboy, a Smoked Porter; Even More Denmark, a Chocolate Stout, and Imperial Donut Break, an Imperial Porter (What other brewer would make a beer with actual glazed donuts and have it taste incredible?). Read on for our tasting notes and be sure to add your own in the comments if you've tried these Evil Twin beers!

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  • Pre-Order Today: Evil Twin Brewing & BBS Bikini Beer Beer Making Kit

    Behind the Scenes - July 22, 2014

    It's no secret that Brooklyn is a hotbed for beer-filled creativity, and we're thrilled to announce a brand new collaboration within our home borough alongside Brooklyn-based (by way of Denmark) Evil Twin Brewing and its master brewer Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø! Inspired by our conversations with Jeppe while writing Make Some Beer: Small-Batch Recipes from Brooklyn to Bamberg, we’ve teamed up with him to bring the strikingly well-balanced, deliciously light-bodied, and heavily hopped Bikini Beer to the stovetop with an exclusive collaboration Beer Making Kit!

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  • Recipe: Micheladas

    Cooking with Beer - July 21, 2014

    Light, refreshing, a little spicy – the Michelada has long been a go-to for bright summer mornings or the late, hot afternoon. We love this beer cocktail for its cool, vegetal quality and for its simplicity. Originating in Mexico, and cousin to the more tame Chelada (an equally thirst-quenching concoction consisting of just beer, lime juice, and sea salt), the Michelada takes a great light beer to the next level with the addition of tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, and a bit of hot sauce. You can even swap out the tomato juice for Clamato juice (a mix of tomato and clam juice) to feel like you're right on the beach.

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  • Brewing Beer with Yeast From an Ancient Whale Bone, the Growing Oklahoma Craft Beer Scene, and more Beer News

    Beer News Mashup - July 18, 2014

    • Yeast makes alcohol from sugar, but can it also keep you from overindulging? [NPR]
    • Beer's an ancient beverage, and when its brewed with yeast from a 35-million-year-old whale bone, you know it'll really taste like what the cavemen drank. [The Drinks Business]
    • Court's in session: Full Sail Brewing Company is claiming that a Georgia law firm has confusingly used the likeness of its popular Session Lager. [ABA Journal]
    • Five Oklahoma breweries are leading the craft beer renaissance in a state with some of the strictest beer laws in the US. [Paste Magazine]
    • No hands required: there's a trick to pouring beer with your head, and it's been caught on video. [Grub Street]

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  • Recipe: Beer & Ginger Grilled Chicken

    Cooking with Beer - July 17, 2014

    A grill does amazing things to chicken on the bone—especially when that chicken's marinated in beer. Smoky and slightly charred, yet still super-moist and flavorful, it's the perfect platter-topper for any outdoor weekend by the grill. Adding a delicious beer means delicious chicken! If you don't have any Grapefruit Honey Ale on hand, try Left Hand Brewing's Good JuJu—a ginger-packed pale ale.

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  • Weekend Beer Events 7/18

    Beer Events - July 16, 2014

     Photo courtesy Brooklyn Brew Shop Instagram 

    The summer continues to heat up, and if you’re like us, you’ll want to cool down with a beer this weekend. From relaxing at a lakeside beer festival, to altruistic beer-drinking in the Colorado plains, to celebrating Christmas in July, this weekend’s best beer events range drastically. Whether you’re in a bathing suit or a Santa suit, there will be beer to enjoy for all.

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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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