To satisfy beer geeks, trading is on the rise

There are now more than 2,700 breweries in the United States (probably 2,800 by now, given the almost daily brewery opening). We could easily pass the all-time mark of 3,286 (from 1870) this year or next, given that there are more than 1,700 breweries in planning. Since breweries are popping up like dandelions in the spring, eventually every mid-sized city will have a brewery and local beers will be available anywhere in the nation.

This unbelievable growth makes it near impossible to try everything. There are simply too many options, and too many breweries and brewpubs that are only available in a few zip codes. Rare beers, and the booming online beer culture, has led to a rising tide of beer trading. Continue reading

Autumn beers and their malty goodness

It’s late-August and the fall beers have arrived in force. Until recently, autumn offerings focused almost exclusively on rich, amber, malty brews based on the traditional German Oktoberfest style. Nowadays, fall beers feature enough pumpkin ales that attempting to try all of them might actually lead to seeing Schroder’s Great Pumpkin. Continue reading

Pairing beer and food

With breweries and beer choices multiplying like yeast cells in wort (beer before yeast transforms the sugary water into BEER), people are giving real thought to how to best pair beer with food.

When the only brews available were choices of light lagers, pairing beer with food was simple – either beer worked with the food or it didn’t. Those light beers do pair well with some foods because their crisp, refreshing, palate-cleansing nature washes away fats in, say, pizza or a burger, but their ideal food partners were limited. Continue reading

First column: About Good Brew Hunting

Most Americans think of beer as light, yellow, fizzy, refreshing, and almost flavorless. From Prohibition through the late 70s, that’s exactly what it was. Thankfully, that light lager monopoly has been losing its grip on the American consumer at an ever-increasing rate, leading to a golden age of more-than-golden beer in America. Continue reading