The New Beer Culture Summit is a Mixed Fermentation

Update December 31, 2019: While I greatly support the Beer Culture Summit and the Chicago Brewseum's mission, I have since left the organization and will be pursuing my own projects. On a sunny August day last year, I was driving north on the Dan Ryan expressway with Chicago Brewseum founder and director Liz Garibay, bound … Continue reading The New Beer Culture Summit is a Mixed Fermentation

Containing a Kernel: Bud Light’s New Ad is Really Old

(Update 5/26/2019: A Wisconsin federal judge has ordered Anheuser-Busch to halt some advertisements suggesting MillerCoors uses corn syrup without "giving more context.") Anheuser-Busch has revived an age-old marketing tactic in American brewing, even though it might be a bad idea. The nation’s largest brewer repeatedly uses high-profile Super Bowl ads to premiere bold narratives about … Continue reading Containing a Kernel: Bud Light’s New Ad is Really Old

What’s Traditional? Revisiting History through Adjuncts

Recently, David Berg published an impassioned article on Good Beer Hunting’s website, defending the use adjuncts from both historical and scientific standpoints. Himself a brewer at August Schell Brewing for over 20 years, Berg objects to the ongoing criticism of adjunct ingredients in craft beer culture, particularly the Brewers Association’s “blacklisting” of large brewers who … Continue reading What’s Traditional? Revisiting History through Adjuncts

The Lager Beer Riot: Chicago’s ‘First North Side War’

Chicago's complicated relationship with alcohol is older than classic Old Style signs, Al Capone, or local option. The city was barely twenty-one before alcohol began permanently changing its cultural and political structure. On April 21st, 1855, one thousand German immigrants, joined by some Irish neighbors, marched on city hall in protest of liquor laws which … Continue reading The Lager Beer Riot: Chicago’s ‘First North Side War’

The Smithsonian’s Promising New Beer Historian

Six months after announcing the job we all wanted, the Smithsonian has finally revealed its choice for the National Museum of American History’s beer historian. Over the next three years, Theresa McCulla will research America’s brewing history and share her findings with the public. From this historian’s perspective, they’ve made a good choice. McCulla will … Continue reading The Smithsonian’s Promising New Beer Historian

Rhinegeist Brewing: New Church in an Old Cathedral

The Queen City of the West sits, of course, in American beer history's inner circle. In the late 1800s it was home to some of the largest and most famous brewers in the country, like Moerlein and Kauffman and Windisch-Muhlhauser, to name a few. In 1890 Cincinnati produced over 1.2 million barrels of beer (!) … Continue reading Rhinegeist Brewing: New Church in an Old Cathedral

Cellars: the Lost Underworld of Lager Beer

Both today and in the past, beer and innovation go hand in hand. The best brewers working today are the ones that collaborate, experiment with clever adjuncts and non-traditional styles, and push the envelope with new or creative technologies. I've seen breweries using centrifuges to help remove particulates left in the wort--how cool is that? … Continue reading Cellars: the Lost Underworld of Lager Beer

The National Brewery that Never Was

In early 2011, President Obama became the first brewer-in-chief. Using a personal homebrewing kit, White House chefs produced a honey ale which the president first served at a Superbowl Party (as is tradition) and later shared with Medal of Honor recipient and former USMC Sergeant Dakota Meyer. Reportedly, the White House Brewery has gone on to … Continue reading The National Brewery that Never Was

Meet the New Record, Slightly Bigger Than the Old Record: America’s Craft Beer Explosion has a Predecessor

Something wondrous happened in November 2015 for the world of American beer, and I don't just mean the Bourbon County release. After three decades or so of feverish expansion and diversification among the U.S.'s breweries and brews, the nation shattered a record that stood for 142 years. In 1873 there were 4,131 U.S. breweries and … Continue reading Meet the New Record, Slightly Bigger Than the Old Record: America’s Craft Beer Explosion has a Predecessor