As a testament to how great of a job my friend and colleague Ken Weaver did as the Beer Editor of FSR (a trade magazine for the, wait for it, Full Service Restaurant… and yes there is a QSR magazine), it took two of us to replace him when he left. That means every other month Jeff Cioletti pens a column about beer in FSR’s “Liquid Intelligence” department along with 8 beer reviews, and then we switch off. For my first column in the June 2016 issue, inspired by that thing we get inversely proportionally to beer (the sun. I’m talking about sunshine.), I tackled the heady subject of beer menus at pubs with killer patios/beer gardens.
I might have been inclined to call pitting San Diego against Portland a fool’s errand, since both of them are clearly so awesome. But my editor Ezra Johnson-Greenough gave me explicit instructions: “don’t pull your punches (and) at least take off your gloves and slap someone with them.” Hence the above-linked blog from March 2014 in The New School.
So as a solid to him, rather than bring up, and then put on par, places like Boulder/Denver/Ft. Collins, the Bay Area, Asheville, Grand Rapids, Philly, Austin, Vermont, and others that all make reasonable claims, I will do what Portlanders are too polite (or dismissive) to do during Charlie Papazian’s annual BeerTown USA poll. Bottom line: in terms of volume and global awe and respect, it comes down to Portland, Oregon, and San Diego, California. And as everyone who’s seen The Highlander knows, there can be only one!
It’s a debate I didn’t start. And one I didn’t finish. It’s blazing ever brighter today. A half pint for your thoughts on the matter in the comments.
All the IBUs. Half the ABV. Welcome to the India session ale (ISA). This is the story for CraftBeer.com that inspired one of my most revered beer writer colleagues, Martyn Cornell from the UK, to posit, “India Session Ales – tremendous new trend or oxymoronic category fail?” What’s your favorite sessionable IPA? What’s your take on the debate over this style?
The Craft of Stone Brewing (AAB, Vol. 33, Iss. 2, 2012) is the hoppy, tell-all from CEO Greg Koch and co. It benefits from reading more like you’re listening to all the players spinning yarns on a front porch (of an industrial business park in North County San Diego).
To kick off 2011 in All About Beer (Vol. 32, Iss. 1) I looked at how beers today are conceived quite differently than when beer itself was still being created. Many generations and scientific breakthroughs later, some brewers strive to recreate traditional styles while others run shrieking from them. Authenticity versus innovation (or authenticity plus innovation) are factors allowing so deep a field of brewers to give birth to new beers.