Singling out single-hop beers
March 27th, 2014
07:30 PM ET
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Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.

Every once in a while, gazing out at the world of beer, it’s hard not to throw one’s hands up in the air and cry, “Good gracious, what wild fantasies these madmen have wrought!”How, for instance, is one supposed to choose between a beer made with yeast cultured from prehistoric whale fossils (Lost Rhino Brewing Company’s recently announced Bone Dusters Paleo Ale) and one that includes bull testicles (Wynkoop Brewing’s Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout)?

In Oregon, an intrepid brewer has supposedly fermented a concoction using yeast culled from his own beard (Rogue’s Beard Beer; no offense to brewer John Maier, but, blech). In Canada, a clutch of intergalactically-minded marketers have launched a crisp Klingon brew for Star Trek kooks (Federation o Beer’s Warnog).

Faced with all this, it’s important to remember that beer, when you come right down to it, only requires four ingredients. Organs from unfortunate bulls or prehistoric whale bones really don’t come into it. Water, a starch (typically malted barley), yeast and hops are all you need. And if you ask me, the coolest of that quartet is the hops.

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Filed under: Beer • Content Partner • Food and Wine • Sip

March 26th, 2014
10:30 AM ET
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The boozy dreams of the Star Trek faithful have finally come true.

Sadly, no, the transwarp drive is eons away and that holodeck is nowhere in sight, but we can finally drink like the ferocious Klingons.

The Federation of Beer, working with Star Trek’s blessing, has licensed and brewed a Klingon beer called “Warnog” – the first Star Trek-themed beer to come to the United States.

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Filed under: Beer • Sip

March 24th, 2014
03:00 PM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.

Last week we spotlighted outstanding new breweries around the country, from Asheville, North Carolina, to Portland, Oregon. (Sometime soon, Florida microbreweries will get a post all to themselves.)
Speaking of Florida, this week, the focus swings to a different type of drinking establishment. It’s spring break, which of course means you can find yourself in the kind of bar that Bill Hader’s Stefon raved about on Saturday Night Live: “This place has everything: Lights, psychos, Furbies, screaming babies in Mozart wigs, sunburned drifters with soap-sud beards.”

Or you can ignore spring break in a great historical spot in New Orleans and pretend it’s not spring break right outside on Bourbon Street.

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Filed under: Bars • Beer • Content Partner • Food and Wine • Holidays • Sip • Spring Break

March 14th, 2014
11:30 AM ET
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Christopher Dawson is a producer with CNN Special Projects and works with CNN's Impact Your World team. Video by Greg Bowman, Eatocracy's go-to beer guy.

If that last beer made you feel a little warm and fuzzy inside, it could be because you just did some good. You may have just donated to a charity, just by buying a drink.

I first noticed this philanthropy trend while enjoying a new limited release IPA from Sweetwater Brewery called Second Helping. The name implies having more, and the compelling flavoring of juniper berries and chocolate malts had already sold me on that proposition.

But then I read the beer’s label and learned that it was crafted to benefit a charity called The Giving Kitchen, which helps people in the food industry going through hard times. This initiative was inspired by Atlanta chef Ryan Hidinger, who brought the Atlanta restaurant community together when he fought and ultimately lost his battle with cancer. His wife and friends decided to take the generous funds that were raised to help Ryan and pay it forward by creating this charity. I admit that it got me when I read that the juniper berries were added for Ryan, because he so enjoyed cooking with them.

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Filed under: Bars • Beer • Charity • Sip • St. Patrick's Day

6 brilliant new breweries across the U.S.
March 13th, 2014
03:00 PM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.

Recently - and just in time for St. Patrick’s Day - released a study on the cheapest cities for beer drinkers. Based on some fancy math that involves a six-pack of Heineken, median incomes, beer tax and beer demand, the site determined that Washington, DC, is the least expensive city for beer drinkers. (If you’re earning the median income, you could buy more than 30,000 Heinekens a year!) Of course, now you want to know the most expensive city for beer drinkers; according to Nerdwallet, that’s Chicago.
Now you know where your income is best spent on Heineken. Also good to know for St. Patrick’s Day are these outrageously good new breweries around the country, specializing in excellent beers, stouts and ales. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Filed under: Bars • Beer • Content Partner • Food and Wine • Holidays • Sip • St. Patrick's Day

March 7th, 2014
05:00 PM ET
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Two women's beer organizations, the Pink Boots Society from the United States and Project Venus from the United Kingdom, have teamed up to create a global, all-female brew day on March 8 in order to raise awareness of women in the industry.

International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day will allow women from more than 60 breweries around the world to create their own version of the collaborative, girl-powered recipe called Unite Pale Ale.

“The beauty of the recipe is that it still leaves room for creativity and uniqueness to the individual brewsters,” says Denise Ratfield, of the Pink Boots Society and San Diego-based Stone Brewing Co. (Industry jargon uses brewster as the feminine form of brewer.)

Sophie de Ronde, head brewer of Brentwood Brewing Company in Chelmsford, England, came up with the idea that has since spread stateside with the help of Ratfield and the Pink Boots Society.

“Our goal is to continue to empower women, educate them so that the future of craft beer will see a host of talented, capable women that will bring innovation to the industry,” Ratfield says. "We are passionate and feel the need to take charge of our own professional destiny."

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Filed under: Beer • Bowman on Beer • Sip

Yuengling back in the ice cream biz after 28 years
February 12th, 2014
11:00 AM ET
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It won't share the flavor, but it will share the name.

Yuengling resurrected its ice cream this week after stopping production of the sweet treat 28 years ago.

Best known for beer, the family-owned Yuengling brewery launched its ice cream subsidiary in 1920 to help the business survive Prohibition.

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Filed under: Beer • Business and Farming News • Ice Cream • Sip

Considering beer as a gift from God
February 10th, 2014
03:15 PM ET
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Something is brewing among American Protestants, and it has a decidedly hoppy flavor.

For much of the last century in the United States, Protestant Christianity’s relationship with beer was cold or even hostile at times. Protestant organizations such as the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and the Anti-Saloon League led the campaign to make alcohol illegal.

Even after Prohibition ended, many evangelicals defined themselves by their abstention from alcohol, called “the beloved enemy” by televangelist Jack Van Impe.

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Filed under: Beer • Religion • Sip

Bowman on Beer: Larger-than-life lagers
December 10th, 2013
09:00 AM ET
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Greg Bowman is an Editor Producer with CNN Creative Services in Atlanta and is also a craft beer enthusiast. Follow his beer escapades on Twitter @gboCNN.

It might seem like there is a national beer holiday at least once a week, but today celebrates the nation's most popular beer style, lager.

Lagers are fermented slower and at a lower temperature than other beer styles. The large-scale, "macro" breweries obviously rule when it comes to this style, cornering about two-thirds of all beer sales with their light lagers. However, I hope some of you will celebrate today by trying something new. There are plenty of great tasting lagers out there that are in the style that you may be used to, but may have a bit more flavor, produced with better ingredients and brewed by American companies.

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Filed under: Beer • Bowman on Beer • Breakfast Buffet • Food Holidays • News • Sip

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