Beer Beats Out Wine as Americans’ Booze of Choice

Beer beat out wine as Americans’ favorite alcoholic beverage. (Roslan Rahman / AFP / Getty Images / August 20, 2012)

Written by Tiffany Hsu for

Score one for beer. The beverage is the favorite alcoholic drink among Americans, more popular than wine and liquor.

A new report from pollster Gallup found that 39% of U.S. drinkers prefer beer, while 35% favor wine. Less than a quarter list liquor as their top choice.

The majority of men go for beers, as do the biggest portion of drinkers under age 54 and those from the Midwest. But women, East Coast residents and older Americans all lean toward wine.
Continue reading “Beer Beats Out Wine as Americans’ Booze of Choice”

Brew Biz: Werts and All

Written by Ken Carman for

Ken Carman is a BJCP judge; homebrewer since 1979, club member at Escambia Bay and Music City Homebrewers, who has been interviewing professional brewers all over the east coast for over 10 years.

Everyone has their own personal beer story. This is mine.

The picture above is of Bill Newman who started one of the first micros in upstate NY: Albany. I was into beer long before that, but was keyed into the start of craft beer and was visiting relatives: so we stopped for a visit. Newman Brewing is gone now: at the end Matt Brewing/Saranac brewed their beer. Equipment and having space is a pricey affair, so Bill decided to vend out. He chose probably the best, if not one of the best, companies to brew with… especially at the time where some breweries were giving their vendors “whatever’s closest to what they asked for we’ve already brewed.”

That’s a quote from a brewery tour in the early 90s, just south of Cinci. I had no respect for that brewer after that, and felt bad for their customers.

But I got into beer long before that. It started with me hating beer.
Continue reading “Brew Biz: Werts and All”

Beer Profile: Halcyon by Thorndike

Profiled by Ken Carman for

This is a delight: an English take on an American version of the style. Not quite an Imperial, as claimed: would need a tad more body for that. But very close, so I’ll give it to them.

The nose indicates a typical grapefruit-y, cascade/centennial-isg quaff. Visual is urine light color (sorry) with nice long lasting rocky head with some pillow. Bubbles cling to glass.
Continue reading “Beer Profile: Halcyon by Thorndike”

A New White House Facility: A Brewery

Written by David Jackson for USA Today

Obama picture courtesy Alex Brandon, AP

The Obama administration confirmed today it has added a new facility to the White House: A small beer brewery.

Officials discussed the brewery after President Obama told some Iowa residents that he had some of its product stocked aboard the bus he’s using for a three-day tour of the Hawkeye State.
Continue reading “A New White House Facility: A Brewery”

Brew Biz: Werts and All

This is an archived edition from PGA, featuring some of the best brewed here at The Professor over the years.

Ken Carman is a BJCP judge; homebrewer since 1979, club member at Escambia Bay and Music City Homebrewers, who has been interviewing professional brewers all over the east coast for over 10 years. This edition of Brew Biz was originally published in The Score: a publication of Music City Brewers, two years ago. And republished here at PGA in 2009. It is a review of a fine brewpub in Connecticut.

Written by Ken Carman

Willimantic Brewing
967 Main Street
Willimantic, CT 06226
Phone: 860-423-6777

Brewer and co-owner: David Wollner

Going postal?

Hey, if Willimantic is “going postal” I’m all for stopping by this old post office started in 1909; surrounded by beers brewed to the extreme, and interesting menu entries identified by zip codes and outdated postal cliche’s. Besides, one person’s “outdated cliche…” …a little like saying “I’m repeating my repetition…” is another old man’s nostalgia. And I’m “old,” so it suits me fine.

Continue reading “Brew Biz: Werts and All”

Butter Popcorn Chemical Linked to Alzheimers

Courtesy another site who WON’T credit their writers

The culprit here: diacetyl, is also one of the major defects in beer… occasionally acceptable in small quantities in some style, but not many.

NEW YORK (CBS NEWS) – An ingredient used in artificial butter flavoring for popcorn may worsen the effects of an abnormal brain protein that’s been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

A new study in Chemical Research in Toxicology examined diacetyl (DA), an ingredient used to produce the buttery flavor and smell in microwave popcorn, margarine, candy, baked goods and even pet food. It is also created naturally in fermented drinks like beer, and gives some chardonnay wines its buttery taste, according to the study.
Continue reading “Butter Popcorn Chemical Linked to Alzheimers”

Brewers Assoc. Reports Craft Beer Sales Up, Number of U.S. Breweries at 125-year High

Written by John Foyston for The Oregonian

Boulder, CO • August 6, 2012—The Brewers Association (BA), the trade association representing the majority of U.S. brewing companies, has released strong mid-year numbers for America’s small and independent craft brewers1. Dollar sales were up 14 percent in the first half of 2012, while volume of craft brewed beer sold jumped 12 percent during that same time period.

Barrels sold by craft brewers for the first six months of 2012 are an estimated 6.0 million barrels. Despite a number of challenges, including decreased overall beer sales, the mid-year numbers show signs of continued growth for craft breweries. The industry currently provides an estimated 104,000 full-time and part-time jobs, contributing significantly to the U.S. economy.
Continue reading “Brewers Assoc. Reports Craft Beer Sales Up, Number of U.S. Breweries at 125-year High”

Time for a Gripe Session

Written by Tom Becham for

Image courtesy
Sam Calagione, owner of Dogfish head Brewing, and poster boy for craft brewing, once said, “We like to say our industry is 99% asshole free.”

Largely, I’ve found Mr. Calagione’s statement to be true. But there is always that 1% to contend with, both in the form of individuals and companies.

In the category of companies, I have a particular beef with those who want to profit from the craft beer boom, but don’t care about delivering a quality product. There are many such examples I could list, but the most recent and vexing one involved a recent visit I made to the Total Wine chain here in California. I picked up a bottle of Jever Pilsner, a classic German example of the style, as I’d not ever had it before. And part of this is my fault, of course, for not looking at the back label and seeing the “best by 04/20/12” stamp. So, of course, when I opened the bottle, an overwhelming smell of skunky hops hit me like a brick. And there was no carbonation whatsoever. The beer was just too old and lightstruck (green bottle, of course) to be any good.

You’d think a large chain like Total Wine would have enough respect for customers to keep their stock updated. They certainly have enough staff standing around doing nothing that they could spare one or two to remove old product from display areas. But most likely, they’re just trying to eek out a few more bucks at the expense of hapless customers. Of course, they’re also being disrespectful to the brewers, as presenting a spoiled product may just lose business for the brewery in question in the long run. Unfortunately, this chain carries many products unavailable anywhere else in this region.

My example of an individual may be more controversial. Recently, I attended the Stone Brewing Sour Beer Fest, at the brewery grounds. (I resist posting any tasting notes from that festival, as at festivals, my notes tend to start out very detailed and meticulous, but after about the tenth sample, consist of profundities which in their entirety might read, “Yum!”) While there, I saw “Dr.” Bill Sysak, Stone’s Cicerone and one of their PR people.

Bill is apparently very popular with many people, and my issues with him may be partially my fault. Nonetheless…
Continue reading “Time for a Gripe Session”