The Most Underrated Breweries in the PNW: a 5 Year Update

By Stephen Body
This is an unabashed revision of a post that first appeared back in February of 2017, in response to a list written by a young writer for Paste Magazine and I thought it deserved an update, as the Pacific Northwest beer landscape, battered by Covid and its attendant economic upheaval, has changed radically.

Jim Vorel is a beer writer from Atlanta; a guy who – despite what he probably thinks – I actually like but have frequently gone after like a dog on a hamburger for some of his apparently uninformed lists, many of which read as though he had simply scanned RateBeer and BeerAdvocate and then compiled them. He has also done several lists which I thought were dead-on. I know he has the capability of doing them well and, in fact, five years later, he IS doing them fairly well, with only occasional lapses. But I go after him because I’m hoping he’ll devote the same care to all of them that he does to that occasional gem.

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Stone Brewing is the New Pearl Harbor

Written by Stephen Body
“It Is Happening Again…”

Yeah, I feel okay about culturally misappropriating a Twin Peaks line and meme. I earned it, bucko. I put in TIME with that series and have stayed hands off for decades.

But, TODAY, on the day in 2022(!) when I have to read that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe V Wade, I also get the word that…and I can hardly believe I’m typing this…STONE BREWING, of all the American breweries – hell, businesses! – that I could imagine reading this about, has been sold to a huge JAPANESE brewing conglomerate, Saporro Breweries, Ltd.

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6 Bavarian Beer Gardens Worth Visiting This Summer

A cool breeze coursing through the canopy of green leaves overhead. The crunch of gravel underfoot as you seek out a table in the shade, frothy mug of beer in hand. Nothing bespeaks summer in Bavaria more than the beer garden. And nothing meets the current pandemic moment better. If you’re still on the fence about traveling this summer, an al fresco beer is one of your safest culinary options.

Written by Franz Hofer, illustrations by Ariella Basson

Beer Judge’s Diary: How Dry I DON’T Want it!?

By Ken Carman
By Ken Carman
 Is it my palate or is there a trend? I have noticed it for so long I KNOW it has to be the trend is towards more and more too dry.
 Should I blame the brief life span of IPAs that were very dry? Try googling the term. I’d forgotten that name and the name of very dry IPAs seems to have vanished from the web. What was it, 2 years at best?
 Yet, I think it started a trend, or at least that’s where beer was going. And yeast. And maybe cider and mead made brewers think, “EVERYONE wants them drier!”
 I sat at Screamen Eagle, in Inlet, NY, home to craft beer genius Matt Miller. I was next to Millie and we ordered a “Thick Mint” beer by Southern Tier. The ABV didn’t bother me: I love well done high grav. This is a stout and at 1o%, as per their site. NOT BAD! By “not bad” I mean the alcohol didn’t conquer all. I am amazed by the talent in brewing these day, though at 55% I’m be astonished if packaged in dead squirrel End of History wasn’t disgusting in every sense, especially ABV. Brewed by BrewDog.
 Problem is the Thick Mint was too damn dry. Continue reading “Beer Judge’s Diary: How Dry I DON’T Want it!?”

Is Ube, the Filipino Staple, the Next Trend in Beer?

Move over, fizzy yellow beer — bright purple has arrived. Ube, a purple yam from the Philippines (pronounced ooh-bae), which has long been prevalent in Filipino sweets, has already taken the food and cocktail worlds by storm. Now, it’s beer’s turn for a mauve makeover, and craft brewers are getting in on the fun with the lightly sweet and brightly colored ingredient.

Generally speaking, craft beer isn’t what we’d call a regular at the dessert table (for the most part). But American breweries like Tilted Mash Brewing in Elk Grove, Calif., are newly taking note of the rise in demand for traditional Filipino flavors and are beginning to integrate them into their brews, preferring ube for its exuberant hue as well as its unique yet mild taste.

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A Beer Judge’s Diary: Is THIS Where Balance and Judging Divide?

By Ken Carman
By Ken Carman
 I know I probably should have published this under Brew Biz or Beer-y Good Story, however it deals with balance. In judging that’s important.
 I understand an NEIPA can have both bitter and fruity aspects to hops. But what’s the point when you already have categories where bitter is important? Other than hazy which can easily be provided without filtering, with incomplete fermentation, what makes it unique, different from an IPA, or a Double?
 Fruity. Continue reading “A Beer Judge’s Diary: Is THIS Where Balance and Judging Divide?”

POTTENSTEIN: BEER HIKING IN THE HEART OF FRANCONIAN SWITZERLAND

-Three short hikes punctuated by lunch at Brauerei Mager, a beer in the Bruckmayer beer garden, and dinner in the courtyard of the Brauerei Hufeisen.~

Written by Franz Hofer for A Tempest in a Tankard

A rare day it was when I woke up on that glorious May morning in the “before times” after completing the 5-Seidla-Steig. Sunshine two days in a row after a week-long stretch of getting soaked and even snowed on. An auspicious start to the day. I caught the first train out of Gräfenberg along the 5-Seidla-Steig via Nürnberg through rustic villages, emerald fields, narrow chasms, and the occasional hop farm. The bus from Pegnitz plunged even deeper into the forest before emerging in Pottenstein, where I met up with Rich Carbonara, beer wanderer extraordinaire, for a day packed with hikes.

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HB TEGERNSEE: LAKESIDE BREWERY WITH AN ALPINE VIEW

Written by Franz Hofer for a Tempest ion a Tankard

~A DAY TRIP FROM MUNICH~

One of the (many) things I love about beer travel in Bavaria is this: I had just spent the morning hiking around Benediktbeuren and quenching my thirst in the shadow of its magnificent monastery when it occurred to me that I could spend the afternoon in Tegernsee and be back in Munich in time for a nightcap.

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HB Tegernsee: Lakeside Brewery with an Alpine View

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Brew Biz: Werts and All, Flytes Brewhouse, Pleasant View, TN

Written by Ken Carman
 The closing of the door to Tennessee is quickly approaching. We may visit to judge in a beer competition on a rare occasion. But after 44 years of mostly grand experiences living here, we are headed back to my long term chosen home: the Adirondacks where my family has had a presence since the 1800’s. Closer to where Millie grew up: Utica area and two sisters. Despite that much will be missed, like Emerald Dawn the 26 acre little valley we sold recently. Once almost 30 before the state decided we had to have a 4 lane in our backyard.
 For one of my last to this area Brew Biz columns I could have chosen one of the newer breweries, like Southern Grist, Crazy Gnome, Czann’s, or Monday Night Brewing the last which, for now, actually brews in Atlanta.
 I LOVE supporting small town breweries, especially close to where I live. And I knew John BEFORE my last Brew Biz: Marrowbone Creek Brewing.
 Pleasant View isn’t even Ashland City big, which reminds me of Old Forge. Old Forge is where I graduated public school: just down the road from one of our new homes we have owned for a few years now. Pleasant View is more the size of Eagle Bay even closer to one of our two places. We will wake up to even more woodland sounds in the little valley we just sold, plus Alexandria’s doughnuts. And aromas far too tempting.
 John Nelson: owner of Flyte; along with his wife Trish, is a delightful study in how great brewers come to the craft from odd angles.
John helped me judge cider for Music City Brew Off last year, and we visited his brewery several times quite a while before that. Continue reading “Brew Biz: Werts and All, Flytes Brewhouse, Pleasant View, TN”

THE HOFBRÄUHAUS AND THE ORIGINS OF BOCK BEER

Written by Franz Hofer

THE HORNS OF A BOCK-LIKE DILEMMA
Duke Wilhelm V found himself caught between a rock and a hard place in matters of beer.

Despite the promulgation of what we now call the “Reinheitsgebot” by his forbears in 1516, and despite subsequent attempts to regulate the quality of beer in Bavaria, the regional draught was variable at best. That wasn’t the case with beer brewed in northern Germanic realms at the dawn of the early modern era. Particularly well-regarded was the rich and strong beer from Einbeck, a Hanseatic town near Hannover — so much so that the Bavarian court ordered shipments of the beer for festive occasions.

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