Whether your trail beer is found at a pub in the Smoky Mountains, a brewery in New England, or in a “trail magic” cooler stowed in the woods by a kind, empathetic soul, beer is part of Appalachian Trail culture.
Mikkeller beer to help refugee children; San Francisco Brewers Guild offers free shuttle service; brewing luminaries to teach at Vermont’s Sterling College; and MillerCoors Breweries reach landfill-free status.
At Hotel Vermont’s Juniper Bar in Burlington, pillowy handmade dumplings are browned in Vermont Creamery cultured butter and sautéed with freshly foraged wild mushrooms, roasted Jerusalem artichokes, black truffles and herbs from the hotel’s garden.
Ryan Witter-Merithew is a man of many faces. There’s the inventive, open-minded brewer whose talent earned him a job at Hill Farmstead; the loyal friend for whom others come first; and then there’s the eternally mischievous malcontent who likes nothing better than to wind people up on Twitter.
As the popularity of craft breweries spreads, so does their presence at larger, music-focused festivals like Vermont’s Hop Jam, Colorado’s Telluride Blues & Brews, Delaware’s Firefly Music Festival and West Virginia’s All Good Festival.
The owners of this sometimes-noisy, always-busy beer bar and restaurant pride themselves on serving great food, but also their community. Expect a draft list that includes locals like Hill Farmstead’s Edward and Lost Nation’s Gose, plus regional standouts like Allagash White and Unibroue Terrible.
New California law combats keg theft; GABF beer brewed entirely with N.C. ingredients; Hill Farmstead expansion to double production capacity; and Maui Brewing joins in-flight beers from craft breweries.
The vast majority of craft brewers make forgiving, warm-fermenting ales. But new lager-focused breweries are taking a two-tracked approach to changing that, making fresh versions of the German classics and pushing American lagers into new territory with pumpkins, coffee, rye malt and candi sugar.
A university town where Tibetan prayer flags are draped on the porches of old houses and outdoor recreation is at the heart of the culture, Burlington’s open-minded population has embraced the craft beer movement.
After Hurricane Irene demolished The Alchemist brewpub in 2011, John Kimmich and his wife, Jen, have focused solely on tweaking Heady Topper at their production brewery, where they’re at capacity brewing 9,000 barrels a year—all of which is sold within a 30-mile radius.
Sean Lawson can brew, at most, around 600 barrels of beer per year. He is his only employee. He distributes his beers to a handful of local bars, bottle shops and farmers markets. Despite all that, his brewery, Lawson’s Finest Liquids, has built a cult following of beer drinkers clamoring for all the IPA and Maple Stout he can produce.
Visitors to Vermont’s Drop-In Brewing Company may not notice anything different about the brewery. However, for two weeks a year, the beer is just a secondary product at Drop-In; the fully operational brewery doubles as the training grounds for the American Brewers Guild Brewing School in Salisbury.
Westvleteren Trappist Ales to make US debut in 2012; scientists decipher genetic code of Brettanomyces yeast; SABMiller purchases Foster’s Group; House Bill 4061 legalizes homebrew sharing at Michigan meetings; and Prohibition Pig to open in place of The Alchemist Brewpub.
Long Trail lends a hand to citizens in need; brewers throughout the Northeastern US cope with floods; can extra bubbles give Foster’s a lift?; Yuengling expands distribution to the Buckeye State; and the world’s strongest fermented beer, fresh from a deer.
For about a half-decade now, rapid expansionism has defined the United States craft beer market. But with the recent announcements of market retreats by many large and mid-sized breweries, the needs of beer drinkers will soon fall once again to local brewers.