Category: Feature

Brewing in the Land of the Thunder Dragon: The Farmhouse Beer Culture of Buddhist Bhutan Feature by

While most Asian cultures make alcohol from rice, the Bhutanese farmhouse ales Sin Chang and Bang Chang start with 100 percent raw wheat. Reserved for religious and special occasions, these Wheatwines are a part of life for many.

Going Their Own Way: Top Brewers Seek New Opportunities Feature by

After putting in a decade or more at successful companies, a growing number of lauded brewers are fleeing the daily grind to launch their own operations. But why would they want to leave, and why now?

A Journey Through the Past: London Brews Porter Again Feature by

While it once represented up to three-quarters of the beer drunk in London, Porter’s popularity took a big hit after WWII. Today, enterprising brewers with a passion for the style and its history are rescuing this dark ale from obscurity.

Ancient Ales: Breweries Find New Fans with Old Recipes Feature by

While many brewers chase experimental hop strains, sequence yeast, and use technology to dial in new recipes, a handful of others are looking to the past for inspiration, hoping that ancient ales will excite a new generation of drinkers.

Breaks and Brews: Surf Town Breweries Appeal to Wave Riders Feature by

A far cry from the hokey corporate bars that market themselves with surfboards and beach themes, authentic surf culture has shaped a growing number of breweries across the country—from the company ethos to the beers themselves.

Leave the Abbey, Join the Playground: The Crucial Influence of Foreign Breweries on Belgian Beer Feature by

With a focus on experimentation and, especially, hops, a new generation of Belgian brewers takes its inspiration not from its Trappist or Lambic-producing forefathers, but from brewers in the US and the UK.

Can You Taste the Music? Breweries and Bands Collaborate on Beers Inspired by Song Feature by

As brewery-band collaboration projects become more commonplace, new research suggests that neurological connections between how we process taste and sound could exist—potentially taking musically-inspired beers to a new level.

Breaking Bread with Seto Õlu: Uncovering a Forgotten Kingdom’s Brewing Tradition Feature by

Hidden in Eastern Europe and forgotten for centuries, the fruity, slightly sweet, and full-bodied õlu, or beer, made by the Seto people is reminiscent of British Mild Ale, Kvass, a beverage made from fermented bread, and even root beer.

If They Build It, Who Will Come? National Brewpubs with Neighborhood Aspirations Feature by

Taking cues from the pub and taproom model used by smaller breweries, big players in the beer industry, from 10 Barrel to Blue Moon and Lagunitas, attempt to cash in on the convenience and sense of community of urban outposts.

Higher Prices, Brighter Futures? The Changing Landscape of Beer Retail Feature by

As craft brewers push to distinguish themselves from Big Beer, revenue from higher-priced premium beers is increasing faster than any other craft segment. Will that make the $8 six-pack a thing of the past?

Far From the Field: Downtown Breweries Embrace Urban Farmhouse Beer Feature by

Trading sprawling fields for rooftop gardens, urban farm breweries from Los Angeles to Chicago and New York bring a new kind of authenticity to farmhouse-style beers.

The Imitation Game: How Breweries Create Consistency Feature by

As many of the largest craft breweries open additional locations in new markets, they’re up against a difficult task: making sure their famed flagships taste the same everywhere.

Pure, Not Simple: German Brewers Experiment Inside the Reinheitsgebot’s Boundaries Feature by

While some German brewers make beer that flouts the Reinheitsgebot, many more are committed to brewing within its strictures while employing creative tactics, like adding hop varieties that mimic flavors of prohibited ingredients.

Beyond the Pale: Is the Pale Ale Passé or Poised for Reinvention? Feature by

Once an industry staple, Pale Ale has ceded shelf space to the popular IPA and its Imperial and Session cousins. Has the former flagship style seen its last days, or can it be reborn with a renewed emphasis on hop and malt varieties?

From the Balcony: Previewing the Next Chapter in the Beer Industry’s Business Saga Feature by

A look at the beer industry post-2015, the year that Big Beer acquired successful craft breweries left and right and infused mind-boggling amounts of money into the business. Their plan? Buy more shelf space.

Wholesale Wars: The Battle for the Future of Beer Distribution Feature by

While Anheuser-Busch’s spree of brewery acquisitions makes headlines, its wholesaler purchases have spawned a war at the distribution level that could be one of craft brewing’s most important fights yet.

Finding Mr. Fuggle: The Largely Mysterious History of England’s Two Greatest Hop Varieties Feature by

The history of British hop strains Goldings and Fuggles has long been shrouded in mystery. Will new evidence reveal the identities of the people who lent their names to this pair of influential varieties?

The Etiquette of Cooperation: 7 Simple Ground Rules for Successful Collaboration Beers Feature by

With collaborations between breweries more common than ever, veterans of the concept share a few simple ground rules to make these partnerships a success.

Clipped Wings: Eager to Soar, Georgia Breweries Face Setbacks, Opposition Feature by

In one of only two states that still doesn’t allow breweries to sell directly to consumers, Georgia brewers rally together against restrictive policies.

Appellation Ales: Sipping on the Frontlines of America’s Hybrid Revolution Feature by

There’s a growing wine-beer movement across the country, from the coasts of Oregon to Midwestern prairies and even Texas hill country. Brewhouses stacked high with barrels are increasingly looking and acting like wineries.

Ale in the Family: As Craft Brewing Matures, Sons and Daughters See a Future in Ales and Lagers Feature by

Do family-run breweries have a future in the current environment? With breweries proliferating at every turn, generational succession is a critical long-range consideration for some companies.

Voices for Change: Balancing the Needs of Diverse Members, Brewers Guilds Strive to be Inclusive and Effective Feature by

Brewers guilds must educate, protect and promote. It’s taken the craft brewing industry some 35 years to be able to produce 12 percent of the beer bought in America. No one accomplished that feat alone. There is strength in numbers.

Biiru o Nihon Onegaishimasu! (Two Beers, Please!): Exploring Japan’s Budding Beer Culture Feature by

In 1994, a new law allowed breweries to produce a minimum of 600 hectoliters per year. Microbrewing in Japan was born. Over 200 microbreweries sprang up in a few years. Today that number is half of what it was. Yet the beer culture in urban areas like Tokyo and Osaka is twice as strong.

Swanky Beer: The Strange History and Surprising Diaspora of a Lost Style Feature by

Devon, Cornwall’s nearest English neighbor, has its legend of White Ale. Was there a similarly exotic indigenous beer style in Cornwall. Naturally, mentions of a mysterious brew known as “swanky” among lists of Cornish recipes online, generated considerable excitement.

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