The 20 Most-Read BeerAdvocate Stories of 2018
For the second consecutive year, stories about hoppy beers—particularly those of the juicy or hazy variety—proved most popular with our readers. From Todd and Jason Alström’s observation about the meteoric rise of New England India Pale Ale (our second most-read article), to Aleszu Bajak’s exploration of the source of turbidity in hazy IPAs and Paul McMorrow’s examination of the origins of Tree House Brewing Company, there’s clearly a lot of interest in this broad topic.
Once again, Andy Crouch’s Unfiltered opinion column, which he has contributed since January 2007, ended up among our most popular stories more than once this year (measured by number of pageviews as of December 7, 2018). Rebecca Kirkman, our former associate editor, has more than one piece in the top 10 for the second year running, too. Somewhat surprisingly though, two beer cocktail recipes—one developed by a West Coast bar manager, the other by an East Coast mixologist—also ended up on the following list.
Only one longer feature ranked highly among reader favorites this year, but it happened to be a piece that also received recognition from the judges of the annual writing competition presented by the North American Guild of Beer Writers. For their revealing profile of Raf Souvereyns and his anachronistic business model, writers Gail Ann Williams and Steve Shapiro took first place in the National or International Reporting category at the organization’s awards ceremony in Denver in late September.
Don’t see your favorite feature or interview here? Want to remind people of another article you enjoyed reading in 2018? Share it in the comments, and stay tuned for more candid, entertaining, and thought-provoking content in the new year. Finally, if you value our work and what to help us continue to publish the best stories about beer and brewing, please consider supporting independent beer journalism by becoming a BeerAdvocate Premium Member.
1. 50 of the Best New Breweries
Since 2011 we’ve reached out to our writers, subscribers, and followers to help us build our annual feature on brewery openings, highlighting the country’s most promising newcomers. This year, we also included seven Canadian breweries. Read more.
2. It’s Official: New England India Pale Ale Is a Style by Jason and Todd Alström
Like it or not, the New England India Pale Ale is a style, and one that you’re going to see much more of as brewers continue to jump on the hazy hype train. Read more.
3. What Defines a Double IPA?
Years ago we ran a regular question-and-answer column called Ask the Beer Geek in the magazine. Almost ten years after it first appeared, The Beer Geek is still explaining the differences between IPA and Double IPA. Read more.
4. Drinking Pains: Beer and Gout by Evan Benn
Beer has long been associated as a gout trigger due to its relatively high levels of purine, an organic compound that, among other functions, helps form the base of human DNA. Beer gets the bulk of its purine content from brewer’s yeast, which has about three times the purines as baker’s yeast. Read more.
5. Of Tykes and Taprooms: Do Kids Belong in Breweries? by Andy Crouch
Whether or not to welcome kids into taprooms has become a hot-button—and often unexpected—issue for brewery owners aiming to please a wide variety of beer drinkers. Read more.
7. Crushing Lager Myths with Firestone Walker’s Matt Brynildson by Todd Alström
More and more independent brewers are getting into lager brewing, but plenty of misinformation still exists. We asked Firestone Walker brewmaster Matt Brynildson to help us dispel five common myths. Read more.
8. A Nanoblendery Grows in Belgium: New Stirrings in the Old World of Lambic Beer by Gail Ann Williams and Steve Shapiro
In a region of Belgium best known for orchards and vineyards, 32-year-old Raf Souvereyns is reviving Lambic production with his small blending operation Bokkereyder. Connoisseurs worldwide are taking notice. Read more.
9. Reading the Leaves: Do Tea Beers Have a Bright Future? by Rebecca Kirkman
Tea and beer are having a moment. Since the beginning of 2018, a wave of new beers incorporating the ingredient have been released across the US. Read more.
10. Hops Of Wrath: A Low-ABV Beer Cocktail with Bourbon, Lemon, and West Coast IPA by Ryan Autry
This quaffable beer cocktail has big citrus notes and a bitter palate-cleansing stage, making it refreshing and complex in flavor without send you over the edge after a few drinks. Read more.
11. How to Make a Sea Mule Beer Cocktail by Rob Bagley
The four other ingredients in Chesapeake & Maine’s light, tart, and citrus-forward Sea Mule cocktail serve to accentuate the prominent flavors of Dogfish Head’s sessionable SeaQuench Ale. Read more.
13. Hazed and Confused: Seeking Clarity in IPAs by Aleszu Bajak
What’s wrong with unfiltered beer? Nothing, traditionally speaking. Grains like oats and wheat, which brewers have used for hundreds of years, are known for rendering cloudy beer. But when it’s a hazy American IPA, people start arguing. Read more.
14. Mutants and Transformers: A Look into the Future of Craft Brewing by Andy Crouch
The rapid transformation and mutation of American craft brewing will undoubtedly persevere in the year ahead. Yet one thing always remains the same: the absence of boredom. Read more.
15. Three Beers to Pair with Nashville Hot Chicken by Rebecca Kirkman
Nick Bishop, Jr., suggests three Tennessee-brewed beers to complement the hot chicken served at his family’s Nashville-based eatery, Hattie B’s. Read more.
16. Russian River’s New Brewery Opens in Windsor This Week by Ben Keene
Located on 15 acres in Windsor, Calif., Russian River’s new 85,000 square foot facility will include a brewery, a tasting room, a gift shop, and a restaurant. Read more.
17. Dogfish Head Bets on Sour Ales with New Brands, Line of Wild, Barrel-Aged Beers by Rebecca Kirkman
After experiencing rapid growth with kettle sours, Dogfish Head is investing in the category at large by collaborating with sour-focused breweries and ramping up production from its sour and wild ale cellar. Read more.
18. 5 Sources of Inspiration for Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout by Ben Keene
Founders head brewer Jeremy Kosmicki reveals the five beverages that inspired Kentucky Breakfast Stout, from Redhook Double Black Stout to Jim Beam. Read more.
19. Nate Lanier and Damien Goudreau of Tree House Brewing by Paul McMorrow
The Tree House Brewing Company started with four friends making homebrew in a rural Massachusetts barn. The tiny brewery has grown into the producers of one of New England’s most sought-after beers, Julius IPA. Read more.