Beer Cafes and Bolleke: Beer for a Day in Antwerp

Written by Franz Hofer for A Tempest in a Tankard

Like so many cities and towns in Belgium, Antwerp is but an hour and change by train from Brussels. If you’re like me and your trips to Belgium never amount to more than about five days at a time, these medieval cities and towns end up as day trip destinations, even if they merit several days. But with a modicum of advanced planning, you can spend an enriching day in Antwerp. And you won’t be at a loss for beer and places to drink it.

A historic port that accrued its wealth through the diamond trade, Antwerp started life as a fort during Charlemagne’s time. During the 1500s, it emerged as the region’s premier port after Bruges’ once-bustling port silted up. By mid-century, Antwerp was one of Europe’s most important cities, boasting a population of around 100,000 inhabitants, one of whom was Pieter Paul Rubens. The city suffered several reversals of fate over the next three centuries till Napoleon Bonarparte rebuilt the ports in 1797. By the late nineteenth century, Antwerp was the world’s third-largest port after London and New York.

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A Season for Strong Beer

Written by Franz Hofer for A Tempest in a Tankard

You have to admire a city where the rhythms of life revolve around excuses to tap a keg and raise a mug of good cheer.

Munich is one such city where the seasons are marked by festivities that involve a healthy amount of imbibing. Most of these beer festivals have their roots in Catholicism and are, more often than not, bound up with the arrival of spring, summer, autumn, and winter.

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Barleywine Commentary: Victory Old Horizontal Barleywine

By Ken Carman

I started this as a profile for PGA, but decided a commentary might be more appropriate. The Professor not only agreed but is hoping to make this a semi-regular feature with rotating writers.

Barleywines tend to be high abv. Yes, but this is higher alcohol-ish. Not much, but annoyingly so. But more than that I am going to abandon my standard BJCP-type review because, IMO, the 2015 Guidelines contributed to this. I understand that commercial versions of American Barleywine have gotten more hoppy, but this is what you get. It was annoyingly bitter, so much so it was hard to drink. And what the hell is wrong with having a sweeter barleywine? The bitter masks the rich goodness a great barleywine has to offer. Continue reading “Barleywine Commentary: Victory Old Horizontal Barleywine”

STONE BREWING BERLIN: A ROCKY LANDING RIGHTED?

Written by Franz Hofer for A Tempest in a Tankard

I headed out to Stone Brewing’s Berlin outpost in Mariendorf with less than great expectations. Stone’s arrival in Berlin had been anything but auspicious. During a press conference in 2014, co-owner Greg Koch presided over the destruction of a pallet of main-stream German beers crushed with a rock dropped from a forklift. The symbolism was lost on no one, and the exercise in cultural tone-deafness did little to endear Stone to the German drinking public beyond the craft beer converts in the crowd.

Koch came to have misgivings about this public display of arrogance, stating in an interview with Nina Anika Klotz of Hopfenhelden that it wasn’t a performance he was keen on repeating. He acknowledged that the stunt “was not meant as an insult toward beer.” His target all along, he claimed, was not the German brewing tradition per se, but rather the industrially produced beer lining the shelves of German discount supermarkets like Rewe and Lidl — beer, he emphasized, that was undermining the sterling reputation of German brewing.

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Weed killer in your wine and beer? That’s what a new U.S. PIRG study found

A new report by the public-interest advocacy group U.S. PIRG reveals that tests of five wines and 15 beers, including organic ones, found traces of the controversial weed killer glyphosate in 19 out of the 20.

They include brands like Coors Light, Miller Lite, Budweiser, Corona, Heineken, Guinness, Stella Artois and Samuel Adams.

“The levels of glyphosate we found are not necessarily dangerous, but are still concerning given the potential health risks,” U.S. PIRG said.

Glyphosate, best known as an ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, is a probable human carcinogen, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization.

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Global Craft Beer on a Sea of IPA: sameness masquerading as difference?

Written by Franz D. Hofer for A Tempest in a Tankard

Franz Hofer
American-style IPA, that beloved child of the craft beer renaissance, has left the building. In recent years, IPA has become detached from its local context on the West Coast of the United States to emerge as a globalized signifier of everything exciting and novel about beer and tastes in beer. IPA in all its subsequent iterations has become so dominant that it now does double duty as an agent for craft beer in general, itself a stylized approach to the production and consumption of beer. This free-floating global style has since reterritorialized itself in local contexts the world over, sometimes threatening to displace home-grown local styles that had become mundane and less desirable through their familiarity. Local breweries and taprooms have sprung up on every urban corner and every countryside crossroad serving this global style in a local setting, introducing its enthusiastic patrons to an exciting new taste and powerful elixir.

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Rodenbach and Dogfish Head to Produce First Collaboration in Famed Belgian Brewery’s History


Brouwerij Rodenbach, the highly regarded Belgian brewing company founded in West Flanders in 1821 and known for its tart, oak-aged ales, is doing something unprecedented. For the first time in its nearly 200-year history, Rodenbach will produce a beer in partnership with another brewery. The recipe hasn’t been chosen yet, the label design is no more than a twinkle in an artist’s eye, and the sour ale won’t appear on shelves until 2020, but one key detail has already been decided: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery is the other half of the collaboration.

“The goal is to bring as much taste and flavor as possible in a sessionable beer,” explains Rudi Ghequire, Rodenbach’s master brewer. “Beer is more than hops and only hops.”

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Brew Files – Episode 54 – Where’s There Smoke

In every beer lovers curve of beer love, there comes a moment when they discover the world of smoked beers. Drew sits down with Devon Randall of Imperial Western Beer Company to discuss her approach to making both subtle and in your face smoked beers!

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