Craft Beer

Articles, commentary, and reviews on homebrewing and craft beer.

SUNDAY SIPS: 5 Great Beers From the Garden State

Despite getting distribution from more breweries than almost any other state in the nation, New Jersey doesn’t have a great beer reputation. That’s because unlike states like California, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Oregon and others, it doesn’t have a wealth of fantastic in-state breweries. Or rather, it didn’t used to. That’s changing. Here are five beers worth checking out from the Garden State. Kane Head High IPA New Jersey may not have the brewing bona fides that Pennsylvania boasts, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some outstanding beers worth paying attention to coming out of the Garden State. Take a tour of some great beer bars in the region and you’ll find more than a few NJ brews worth drinking. Head High from Kane, for instance, is…
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SUNDAY SIPS: 5 Saisons For Spring

Spring has sprung! One of the best parts of the warming weather is enjoying beers that match with the season. There are few styles I like more in the spring than a saison. Here are five worth drinking. 21st Amendment Sneak Attack Now that the weather has finally turned and it looks to be mostly sunny days ahead, the saison is going to become the style of choice for many craft beer lovers. No surprise there. There is something about the saison that feels like open air and bright spring days. Of course, some brewers, such as 21st Amendment, buck traditional by making their saison a winter seasonal. That’s okay. A saison is a saison no matter the time of year. This one has a…
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For Jim Koch and Sam Adams, variety is the spice of life

The following interview and article was conducting and written in 2013. I’m presenting it here after it first appeared on my separate beer blog, Celebrating the Suds. If you have one of the best selling and best known craft beers on the market, it would be easy to understand putting your time and resources into expanding its reach. When that beer is a pioneering brew like Boston Lager by SamuelAdams, it’s especially easy to understand. Jim Koch, founder of Samuel Adams, doesn’t see it that way. For him, being safe is boring. “The day I want to make the same beer every day is the day I retire,” Koch told me during Philly Beer Week. “It is as exciting today as it was in 1984…
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SUNDAY SIPS: 5 Big, Beastly Barleywines

Barleywines are an older style of beer. Big, boozy, and perfect for setting aside in the cupboard for a few years, these are beers meant to be sipped (preferably with a nice cigar). These are five worth checking out. Lagunitas Olde Gnarleywine The barleywine, especially the American variation, is a big, bad style of beer known for its refusal to compromise. Don’t believe me? Try a sip of Gnarleywine by Lagunitas. The aroma is like a rich spiced pudding. The taste is brimming with rich toffee, dark fruits, cinnamon and brown sugar, and molasses – but this is an American style barleywine, which means all those rich malts are countered with plenty of bitter hops. And unlike most barleywines, this one actually masks the burn…
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SUNDAY SIPS: 5 Sudsy Gems From California

This week, it’s five brews from what is arguably the best brewing state in the U.S., California. You can’t throw a stone without hitting a good brewery there. Here are five good beers from Cali worth checking out. Firestone Walker Easy Jack Few states can match Pennsylvania when it comes to having fantastic brewers, but among those that can is California, arguably the top brewing state in the U.S. That’s thanks to folks like Firestone Walker. All the attention goes to their anniversary beers and monsters like Sucaba, but they are masters of the little beer, too. Take Easy Jack session IPA, for example. Easy Jack is the smaller sibling of Union Jack IPA, but being smaller is no knock. The body is light and…
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