The Beer Highway in Northern California, Part II

Picture courtesy

Written by Tom Becham for

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On the next leg of our journey to Northern California, my wife and I stopped in San Francisco for a few days. Besides some of the more obviously touristy stuff, we also did some beer tourism.

Our first beer-related stop was at the Magnolia Pub and Brewery. Located in the Haight-Ashbury District of San Francisco, the neighborhood around the Magnolia still retains a bit of the old funky, hippie-ish vibe it was known for in the 60’s and 70’s, but with a more tourist-centric aspect now. The interesting people watching on the streets could fill a volume on its own. Continue reading “The Beer Highway in Northern California, Part II”

The Beer Nut: The Czar of Beers

Written by Norman Miller for and GateHouse News Service

Russian imperial stouts draw big crowds.

Breweries around the country — Portsmouth Brewery in New Hampshire, Three Floyds in Indiana and the Bruery in California, among them — hold special events when interpretations of the style are sold just that one day a year. These events draw hundreds, sometimes thousands, who just want a chance to get a taste and a bottle of these beers.

Russian imperial stouts are big beers — they’re not easy drinking, light beers. They’re robust, flavorful and strong — you’d be hard-pressed to find an imperial stout under 8 percent alcohol by volume, with many well above 10 percent ABV.

What are the origins of the Russian imperial stout style? The following is a conglomeration of several histories of the style found on numerous websites, combined with information I have gleaned from several sources over the years.

Although “Russia” is in the name, Russian imperial stouts were created in England in the 1700s. Porters were popular in those days but somehow the Russian court discovered this beer.

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