Category: educational

  • Book review: The Complete Beer Course

    The Complete Beer Course by Joshua M Bernstein has an ambitious target: “Boot camp for beer geeks: from novice to expert in twelve tasting classes”. I felt a lot of skepticism at this claim. I have read many other books with similar aims and have usually been let down in a morass of half truths […]

  • Local craft beer quality

    With “quality” applied to something as subjective as beer, you have to be very careful how you define it. Are sales enough? Some would point to the mass brands as evidence that popularity does not equal quality. What about consistency? More consistency is better, sure. But the most consistent brands are, again, the mass brands. […]

  • Oktoberfest beers

    Those of you who are married probably think you had a pretty nifty wedding day. Now imagine you had a wedding reception that was still famous over 2 centuries later… that’s Oktoberfest! It all started in 1810 when Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria married Princess Theresa of Saxony. Their wedding reception set such a gold […]

  • Drinking locally in Scotland

    It’s all well and good saying that you always drink locally when you are at home, but what about when you are away on vacation? It’s really not difficult now that there is ready access to the internet pretty much wherever you are. It’s especially easy in a lot of European cities, like Edinburgh, which […]

  • What is “session beer”?

    The subject of session beer is hotting up in the USA, so I am providing this handy guide to people on both sides of the Pond as to why “session beer” is critical to define. But before we go any further… Note for U.S. beer nerds British Session Beers pack an awesome punch of flavor […]

  • The end of the Golden Era of National Craft beer

    I am laying out a bold thesis here: that we are at the end of the golden age of national craft beer brands. I’m not saying that we will never again see the likes of Anchor et al, but that we will see their likes much more rarely going forward. National craft beer brands are, […]

  • Calories in beer

    With the recent announcement from the regulating authorities that brewers may, if they wish, provide calorie information, how will that affect craft breweries when consumers see the calorie count? These figures are calculated by Beersmith, and are subject to natural variations in ingredients, but let’s take a look at a standard 12 oz serving, shall […]

  • Why do I drink craft beer?

    This is a comment that happens way too often. “Why do you drink that frou-frou stuff? Why can’t you drink normal beer?”  Well, because I don’t like the taste of corn in my beer for a start. Historically beer contained 3 ingredients: water, malt, hops. It was very simple, and naturally fermented. Now we add […]

  • Brewery tour: Back40 in Gadsden

    Where: Back Forty Beer C0, 200 North 6th Street, Gadsden, AL, (256) 467-4912. How to find them: if your GPS gets confused like mine did, head to Blackstone Pub and Eatery on Broad Street, turn right onto 6th St and as you head towards the train tracks you will see Back Forty right in front of […]

  • Curry and beer

    Although many people find it strange to pair anything other than a traditional lager/pilsner with a curry, there are many different options available to the more adventurous. Just remember: making the wrong choice won’t lead to disaster! (They lead to a subpar pairing, which is just as bad.) If you get the pairing wrong, just […]