Of beer and land

CRAFT by UMH (Under My Host. Even I only slightly get the name) is a new digital magazine by a very enthusiastic publisher named Cori Paige. She’s got the kind of enthusiasm that when she reached out to me via the FB to ask if I might muse about beer for her new digimag, I’d have had to have been some kind of putz to say no.

Since I can’t find the link to the first story I did for Craft, which was a fun exercise in pairing songs about beer with a beer each, here’s the most recent one published online. And I somehow got to put my Religious Studies major (A: don’t ask. B: I double majored.) to work. For the “agrarian issue,” I wrote about the link between brewing and the development of human society through the lands, ages, and religions.

An Oral History of BridgePort India Pale Ale

This is the second installment of this type of oral history of a Portland beer that would go onto help shape not only the Portland beer scene, but impact the national beer climate as well. Crazy to think that before this beer debuted in 1996, most beer drinkers in America had no clue what an India Pale Ale was.

Image courtesy BridgePort

Image courtesy BridgePort

Willamette Week “Drank” reviews

Wherein I review the following new releases on shelves or on tap:

Flat Tail: Cider Wit (Jan. ’12)

Philadelphia’s: Barrel-aged Betsy Ross Golden Ale (Feb. ’12)

Everybody’s Brewing: Little Sister ISA (Mar. ’12)

Lompoc: Batch 69 Baltic Porter (Apr. ’12)

Fort George: Roses on Roses (May ’12)

Hopworks Urban Brewery: Abbey Ale (June ’12)

Double Mountain: Devil’s Kriek (July ’12)

Base Camp: In Tents IPL (Nov. ’12)

Salmon Creek: Märzen (Dec. ’12)

Caldera: Mogli Bourbon-oaked Imp. Chocolate Porter (Jan. ’13)

Agrarian: Espelette chili beer (Apr. ’13)

Flat Tail: Lemon Diesel (Aug. ’13)

Lucky Labrador: Black Sheep bourbon-aged CDA (Sep. ’13)

Finally, well, most recently, this review of Rogue’s Brutal IPA…per the editor’s request to review it particularly as it tastes having traveled to Amsterdam. (Jan. ’14)

Pop Art: Craft Soda is Fizzing Over

sidebarSoda water dates back to the 18th century, and many of America’s most popular pop brands emerged in the late 19th century. Today, business is bubbling among craft soft drink producers. It’s no surprise that many flavorful soda concoctions hail from craft brewers…Look for sodas with fresh fruits, hand-squeezed juices and spices like coriander, cardamom and capsicum—creative, full-flavored beverages even a beer geek can get behind.

An Oral History of Widmer Hefeweizen

Edit: This story was awarded 2nd place in the “Brewspaper” category at the inaugural North American Guild of Beer Writers (NAGBW) awards in October 2013)

When Willy Week resurrected the Beer Guide, I was tasked with writing the oral history, as it were, of one of this city’s most seminal beer offerings: Widmer Brothers’ Hefeweizen. It has protagonists, controversy, some romance, and pretty much everything needed for a Hollywood blockbuster save for a rando choreographed fight or homecoming dance scene. Oh, this story also netted me a 2nd place finish in the inaugural award ceremony of the North American Guild of Beer Writers!

Image courtesy Widmer Bros.

Image courtesy Widmer Bros.

Modern Cider

AAB 33.3

AAB 33.3

Modern Cider is the cover story of AAB Vol. 33, Iss. 3, 2012. It’s, as their title puts it, “Not your father’s hard cider” (for the record, don’t call it hard cider to folks in the industry; it’s cider–that “soft” stuff is juice since you don’t call grape juice wine.). Today it gets barrel-aged, Brett-o-mized and sake’d out.

Copenhagen Rising

Charlie Papazian’s now-extinct Beer Town USA online poll, by virtue of the name, excluded foreign cities. Otherwise people might vote for Munich or London, or probably Brussels. But there’s a pretty strong argument that they’d all be dead wrong. The answer may very well be Copenhagen. No longer are the Danish merely famous for their, uh, Danishes…the craft beer movement is gaining traction throughout Scandinavia and credit goes to Mikkel Borg Bjergsø—known to beer geeks the world over—is the mind behind the Mikkeller brand.