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Losing Weight and Loving Beer

I wish I could share a secret technique to losing 40+ lbs in the span of three months, while drinking no less than 7 beers a week.  I'd feel a lot better about having put myself in the position to make this claim, if the only way out was to become a joyless obsessive and eat nothing but kale between shifts on the treadmill.  It hasn't been that hard at all.  I've eaten cake and ice cream on both of my kids’ birthdays, and basically lived what I would have labeled a good life before I committed to dropping a few pant sizes.  I don't feel like I've given anything up.  Maybe french fries… Those could come back in moderation later.  I'm just doing a better job of applying the simple guides to weight loss we've all heard before.  I'm eating less and exercising more.  There's still room in my nutritionist approved diet beer.
The exercise part isn't entirely new.  I liked to run about half an hour on weekday mornings, unless it rained, or the snow was f…
Recent posts

The Post-Malt Era of American Craft Brewing

Once seen as a key differentiation between better and mass marketed beer, the 2-row barley malt
may now be the least important ingredient in a brewery.  Malt has disappeared from our beer conversations.  There are still palettes stacked high with 50 lb bags, and fork lifts. By weight, it's still beer's second largest ingredient, after water of course.  However it's lost our attention, and its contributions intentionally minimized to better showcase on the other players - most typically hops and Yeast (or other microflora).

The mighty hop has always been a lead character in American craft beer.  There's something in our soil that makes hops express pungent aromas and aggressive flavors.  European brewers traditionally considered these hops too vulgar to feature prominently in a beer's finish.  They kept quiet about cost savings from the use of american hops to bitter.  American craft brewers found ways to feature these piney, resinous flavors as virtues and birthed…

Fathers Day Gift Ideas for the Beer Lover

June is a busy month with graduations, the coming of summer, and the wind down of the school year.  Fathers day always seems to come out of no where.  No worries.  Here are some ideas for the last minute father's day shopper.

Beer Tour
Beer tourism is a real and growing business segment.  Your city probably has one or two operators guiding minibus loads of attendees to typically 3-4 craft beer destinations.   It's a great way to sample a lot of new beers, and meet like minded folks.  Operators are a quick google away.  Consider companies like Boston City Brew ToursThe New Hampshire Beer Bus, Portland OR's BeerVanaThe Chicago Beer ExperienceIndy Brew Bus, the Evan Rail designed Eating in Prague Czech Craft Beer Tour, and even a Napa Valley Hop Train

Books
I read a lot in the summer.  If your dad does too, here are some books he may enjoy.

Barrel-Aged Stout and Selling Out: Goose Island, Anheuser-Busch, and How Craft Beer Became Big Business  by Josh Noel.  Long term C…

Nostalgia and New Ideas: Craft Beer Luminaries Find Ways To Stay Relevant

I'm not envious of the youngsters starting out in an era when good beer is available on every street corner.   Yes, things have never been more exciting in US Micro brewing but I feel the grip of  nostalgia.  New breweries are opening almost weekly.  New taprooms draw crowds to taste new, photogenic beers.  Novelty, at times, seems to surpass quality in importance to today's promiscuous drinkers.  Which isn't to say that we didn't get around in my day.  It's just that we didn't make such an effort to make an obvious trail, or tally our conquests.  Which were, admittedly, somewhat smaller in number. 

Might today's craft drinkers missing some great beers from great breweries, in a quest for the next big thing, and a desire to avoid drinking one of dad's many microbrews?  The good news is that many are doing cool things to stay interesting, and remain in conversation.

So many brewing luminaries of my youth are now ancient.  Great Lakes Brewing is 30.  Bel…

Happy Story,Tree House Expands, Canned Imports and Donald Glover - Beer Links for Monday

Craft Beer is the Strangest Happiest Economic Story in America - Derek Thompson at the The Atlantic tries to make sense of trends in the craft beer business.  The good guys seem to be winning.  What gives? 

Upcoming Improvements to the Tree House Experience - Yes, less than a year after their expansion,
Tree house is doing it again - sort of.  The house that New England IPA built will see additions adding more serving, sitting, and sheltered space to queue.  There are even rumors of a return to growler pours.  All good news from Charleton. 

Tanks for All the Beer - B. United Rewrites the rules for Importing - Shipment across the ocean changes beer.  B. United shares some of their secrets to keeping beer fresh, and competitive with shiny cans and fresh at the brewery consumption.

Donald Glover Can't Save You - A thoughtful, and lengthy look into the mind of one of America's creative polymaths.  I know it's off topic, save a rather disparaging I.P.A. joke but I really haven'…

Growing Small: Emphasizing Pilot Scale and Experimentation as Craft Breweries Expand, Remodel and Redevelop

The concept of brewery expansion is being redefined.  Growth, in this industry, isn't about capacity.  Some notable breweries who chased volumes to financial ruin.  Expansion has become more about access, and creative capability.  To borrow some bland corporate buzz words, craft breweries are right sizing and diversifying.  Craft beer drinkers are a promiscuous lot.  The promise of something new, and tasty will draw more repeat business than a stable list of class leading beers.  Nano breweries and tap room micros can't keep this secret.  Bigger players are adjusting their strategies.

Less than a year after completing a $50 million upgrade to their million barrel (bbl) a year Comstock, MI production brewery, Bell's Brewery committed another 7 million to add two "pilot" systems to their operations.  A 3 bbl system in the brewery's original building, now pub, in Kalamazoo and a 20 bbl brewhouse in the Comstock plant.  These systems will barely contribute to the…

Liberty, Diversity, Farms, and Money - Beer Links for Monday

The Story of Anchor Liberty Ale: The Beer that Started the Craft Revolution "Michael Jackson, the famed beer writer, called Anchor Liberty Ale the first modern American ale".  A great look at craft beer's roots.

What should CAMRA do now to save cask ale – and itself?The better beer movement in the US is generally may occasionally struggle with the limits of it's David v. Goliath narrative, it's generally much better served than our friend across the pond.  In the UK, the Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA) started in the early 70's championing quality beer by preserving England's traditional cask serving style from overly cold, blend kegs of macro lager.  The same Goliath as in America.  Or maybe it's Goliath's dutch cousin.  Regardless, the better beer narrative became one of tradition and preservation vs. innovations that sacrifice quality for economy.  In some minds it reduced to old v. new.  The oganization is struggling to coexist with the UK's …