close up of beer

Rise In Craft Beer Fuelling Home Brew Business

 

MAL West’s home brew business is booming as Queensland’s interest in craft beer continues to bubble.

The Booval business owner has moved into a new shop on Hamilton St, after outgrowing his previous premises.

It’s been three years since Ipswich Brew Co opened and during that time, Mr West’s client base has steadily grown.

Now he serves about 1000 people.

“We just got busier and busier so we needed to hold more stock and the old shop got really crowded,” Mr West said.

“Then we took over a section of the old Chinese restaurant next door but quickly outgrew that too.

“There’s two sides to the popularity – the huge savings to be had and the fact you can make a better quality product than the mass produced beer.”

Mr West opened his Booval shop after spotting a gap in the Ipswich market.

Mal West from Ipswich Brew Co. has moved to Hamilton Street across from Booval McDonalds. Rob Williams

He said the rise of craft beer had opened a new world for people, who genuinely enjoyed the variety of flavours now found in bottle shop fridges.

“The craft side of things is really growing,” Mr West said.

“Home brewing is not just about people drinking cheap booze, it’s about giving people the tools and knowledge they need to make good quality stuff. People are trying these boutique beers and realising the old XXXX or VB is not the be-all and end-all.

“The rise of craft beer has opened their eyes to the possibilities. You can literally make anything.”

It’s not just the secret to making delicious beer Mr West is selling in his shop, he sells sausages and cheese-making kits too.

“Making cheese is easier than you might think, you just need some milk and a 4 litre pot,” Mr West said.

Mal’s top brewing tips

  • Get the temperature right: 18 degrees
  • Keep it clean: you don’t want bacteria ruining the taste of your beer
straight from the keg

We brewed an ancient Graeco-Roman beer and here’s how it tastes

We brewed an ancient Graeco-Roman beer and here’s how it tastes

File 20180417 163982 u7h74c.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
Barn Hammer Brewing Company Head Brewer Brian Westcott, Matt Gibbs of the University of Winnipeg and Barn Hammer owner Tyler Birch teamed up to re-create an ancient beer.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Lipnowski

Matt Gibbs, University of Winnipeg

Beer is the most consumed alcoholic beverage in the world; it is also the most popular drink after water and tea. In the modern world, however, little consideration is typically given to how beer developed with respect to taste. Even less is given to why beer is thought of in the way that it is.

But today, Canada is in the middle of a beer renaissance. A relative explosion of craft breweries has led to a renewed interest in different methods of brewing and in different types of beer recipes.

In turn, this has driven interest into historical methods of brewing. It is a rather romantic idea: That very old brewing processes are somehow superior to those of the modern world. While almost all of the beer on the market today is quantitatively and qualitatively better than that produced in the ancient world, attempts made by both historians and breweries recently have had some good results.

For example, the collaboration between University of Pennsylvania archaeologist Patrick McGovern and Dogfish Head Brewery that resulted in their “Midas Touch”, based on the sediment found in vessels discovered in the Tomb of Midas in central Turkey, and the Sleepy Giant Brewing Company’s ancient beers created as part of Lakehead University’s Research and Innovation Week.

Beer made an old-fashioned way is shown at Barn Hammer Brewing Company in Winnipeg in March 2018.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Lipnowski

Why re-create ancient beer and mead?

From an academic point of view, researchers have realized eating and drinking are important social, economic and even political activities. In the ancient world, food, drink and their consumption were important indicators of culture, ethnicity and class. Romans were set apart from non-Romans in several ways: Those living in cities versus those who didn’t, those who farmed in one place versus those who moved around, and so on.

One of the other ways in which this distinction was made was in the different foods people ate and in the liquids they drank. This is clear in the ancient Graeco-Roman debate surrounding those who drank wine and those who drank beer.

Although the saying “you are what you eat” is a fact in terms of physiology, the Romans also believed that “you are what you drink.” So Romans drank wine, non-Romans drank beer.

These indicators (real or not) even exist today: The English drink tea, Americans drink coffee; Canadians drink rye, the Scottish drink scotch.

So the re-creation of ancient beer and mead (an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting honey and other liquids) allows us to examine many things. Among them are these cultural and ethnic considerations, but there are other important and interesting questions that can be answered. How has the brewing process transformed? How have our palates changed?

The “Roman” recipes and their recreation

The Romans left us a variety of different recipes for food and drink. Two of them form the basis of an ongoing research project between the co-owners of Barn Hammer Brewing Company — Tyler Birch and Brian Westcott — and myself that attempts to answer some of these questions.

The first is a recipe for beer that dates to the fourth century Common Era (CE). It appears in the work of Zosimus, an alchemist, who lived in Panopolis, Egypt, when it was part of the Roman empire. The second is a recipe for a mead probably from Italy and dating to the first century CE, written by a Roman senator called Columella.

Both recipes are quite clear concerning ingredients, with the exception of yeast. Yeast, or more appropriately a yeast culture, was often made from dough saved from a day’s baking. Alternatively, one could simply leave mixtures out in the open. But the processes and measurements in them are more difficult to recreate.

The brewing of the beer, for instance, required the use of barley bread made with a sourdough culture: Basically a lump of sourdough bread left uncovered. To keep the culture alive while being baked required a long, slow baking process at a low temperature for 18 hours.

Zosimus never specified how much water or bread was needed for a single batch; this was left open to the brewers’ interpretation. A mix of three parts water to one part bread was brewed and left to ferment for nearly three weeks.

The brewing of the mead was a much easier process. Closely following Columella’s recipe, we mixed honey and wine must. The recipe in this case provided some measurements, and from there we were able to extrapolate a workable mix of roughly three parts must to one part honey.

We then added wine yeast and sealed the containers. These were placed in Barn Hammer’s furnace room for 31 days in an attempt to imitate the conditions of a Roman loft.

What did we learn?

First of all, it’s worth noting that the principles of brewing have not changed significantly; fundamentally, the process of brewing both beer and mead is arguably the same now as it was 2,000 years ago. But as true as that may be, even now the production of Zosimus’ beer — particularly the baking of the bread — was labour-intensive.

Mead decanting.

This led to another question: Did the link between baking and brewing depicted so clearly in ancient Egyptian material culture and archaeology persist even centuries later?

Second, we recreated beer and mead from the Roman Empire as faithfully as we were able. The data all suggest that the beer is a beer, and the mead is a mead, right down to the pH level: The beer, for instance, stands at pH 4.3 which is what one would expect from a beer after fermentation.

Third, as the photos here make clear, the mead looked like red wine, the beer was quite pale but cloudy. Neither case was particularly surprising, but what was interesting was the difference between the first tasting of the beer and the second 10 days later.

In the former, the beer looked liked a sourdough milkshake; in the latter, the beer looked like a pale craft ale, and one that would not be out of place in the modern craft beer market.

Fourth, with respect to taste, the beer was sour but quite smooth, and had a relatively low ABV – Alcohol By Volume: the measurement that tells you what percentage of beer or mead is alcohol — around three to four per cent. The sour taste resulted in diverse opinions: Some people liked it; others hated it. The mead was incredibly sweet; it smelled like a fortified wine due to presence of Fusel alcohols, and had an ABV upwards of 12 per cent.

While general tastes may have changed, there are modern palates that appreciate ancient beer and mead. Is this a physiological question? Perhaps, but what seems clear is that ancient indicators based on what people drank are likely more indicative not only of the Romans’ beliefs and opinions about non-Romans, but also their prejudices against them.

The ConversationUltimately, what the project suggests so far is that while the brewing process may not have changed that much, in some ways neither have we.

Matt Gibbs, Associate Professor and Department Chair of Classics, University of Winnipeg

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

 

frothy beers - good picture

Why bland American beer is here to stay

Why bland American beer is here to stay

File 20180312 30989 klloff.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
Americans tend to prefer beers that have corn or rice ‘adjuncts,’ or fillers.
RetroClipArt/Shutterstock.com

Ranjit Dighe, State University of New York Oswego

Although craft beer has experienced explosive market growth over the past 25 years, the vast majority of Americans still don’t drink it.

Only about 1 in 8 beers sold in America is a craft beer. For the first time, the three best-selling beers in America are light beers: Bud Light, Coors Light and Miller Lite. Bud Light alone has a greater market share than all craft beers combined.

So while the selection has broadened dramatically, most people’s tastes have not. Even craft beer companies are adjusting to this reality: A recent Chicago Tribune article noted that craft breweries are releasing beers that are “less hoppy and in-your-face” in order to appeal to the majority of Americans who prefer “big corporate lagers.”

In other words, they’re brewing blander beers.

How did Americans come to prefer such bland beer? As an economic historian, I’ve extensively researched the political economy of alcohol prohibition, and the unique history of the U.S. temperance movement might bear some responsibility for country’s exceptionally bland beer.

The ‘lager bier craze’ clashes with teetotalers

Unlike European countries with beer preferences and styles that have evolved over centuries, America lacks a homegrown brewing tradition.

The classic American beer is an “adjunct pilsner,” which means that some of the malted barley is replaced with corn or rice. The effect is a beer that’s lighter, clearer and less hoppy than its counterparts in countries like England, Germany and Belgium.

In colonial America, English-style beers and ales predominated, but rum and then whiskey were the drink of choice. Cider, easier to make at home, overtook beer by the early 19th century.

However, the American beer market grew during the great mid-19th century wave of German immigration. German lagers were an immediate hit, partially because the German brewing method of bottom fermentation – which involves a relatively long fermentation period and cold storage – made for a more consistent, storable product than top-fermented ales. The lagers were also mellower, though they were dark and hearty compared to what would become popular later.

But the “lager bier craze” dovetailed with another big trend: the temperance movement, which at various times sought to reduce problem drinking, reduce drinking more generally and eradicate alcohol consumption completely. From 1830 to 1845, the temperance movement gained momentum as more and more Americans were taking voluntary “temperance pledges” and giving up spirits and cider.

A print from the 1800s promotes ‘lager bier’ as a ‘healthy drink’ and a ‘family drink.’
Library of Congress

German brewers always maintained that beer was a “temperance beverage,” unlike ardent spirits such as whiskey. And indeed, European temperance movements did tend to regard beer as relatively harmless.

But activists in the American temperance movement – which by then had become more about abstinence and intertwined with evangelical Protestantism – didn’t buy the argument. The 1850s saw the first big push for state-level prohibition laws, which ended up being passed in a handful of states. Those laws didn’t last for a variety of reasons (including the Civil War), but they did serve notice to the brewers that they needed to work harder to convince the public that beer was a temperance beverage.

Perfect for a midday drink

In the 1870s, American beer would become mellower still with the advent of a new type of lager: the Bohemian pilsner. Clearer, lighter and blander than the Bavarian lagers that had previously dominated the market, pilsners looked cleaner, healthier, more stable and less intoxicating.

As an 1878 issue of the trade publication Western Brewer noted, Americans “want a clear beer of light color, mild and not too bitter taste.”

Brewers and drinkers who wanted to avert the temperance movement’s gaze naturally chose light pilsners over dark lagers. But lighter beer also was a good fit for the long hours of American factory workers, many of whom ate at saloons between shifts. Coming back to work drunk could get you fired, so if you wanted a beer or two with the salty saloon fare, the weakest beers were the best bet.

Pragmatism and personal taste soon became intertwined. Anheuser-Busch introduced Budweiser in 1876 – whose rice adjuncts produced an even milder beer – to great success. Pabst Blue Ribbon, with its corn adjuncts, became a national sensation as well.

In 1916, Gustave Pabst, the son of Pabst Blue Ribbon’s founder Frederick Pabst, told the United States Brewers Association that “the discrimination in favor of light beers (is strongest) in those countries where the anti-alcohol sentiment is strongest.”

Nonetheless, the drumbeat of the temperance movement started getting louder.

Prohibition leaves its mark

By the late 19th and early 20th century, the temperance movement had returned in force. Efficient organizing campaigns by the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and the Anti-Saloon League led to a new wave of state and local prohibitions and, finally, a push for national prohibition.

An 1888 photograph of the New Hampshire Woman’s Christian Temperance Union.
Keene Public Library and the Historical Society of Cheshire County

National constitutional prohibition, as decreed by the 18th Amendment and the Volstead Act, was devastating to the beer industry in the short term. But in the long term, it further laid the groundwork for a nation of bland beer drinkers.

Careful estimates by economist Clark Warburton found that alcohol consumption during Prohibition may have actually risen for wine and spirits but fell by two-thirds for beer, which was harder to conceal. Although Prohibition may have introduced a generation of young people to cocktails, they had hardly any exposure to beer – and certainly hadn’t acquired the taste for hearty beer.

In March 1933, eight months before the 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition, Congress modified the Volstead Act to allow the production of “non-intoxicating,” low-alcohol beer and wine, with a maximum of 4 percent alcohol by volume.

The new, watered-down beer was a huge hit with the public, which hadn’t tasted a full-strength legal beer since 1917. Dark beers and ales had accounted for some 15 percent of the market before World War I. But in 1936 their share was just 2 to 3 percent. In 1947, researchers at Schwarz Laboratories analyzed the alcohol, hop and malt content of American beers in the 1930s and 1940s and remarked that many of these early post-repeal beers were “too hoppy,” “too heavy and too filling” for consumers’ tastes. The report noted “a corrective trend” in which brewers sharply reduced their hop and malt content.

More adventurous brewers and drinkers were also stymied by post-Prohibition laws. State and federal policies effectively banned homebrewing, and most states required a “three-tier” system of brewers, distributors and retailers that made it more difficult to make and market specialty beers.

The blandification of American beer continued for another 70 years. During World War II, American troops got 4 percent alcohol beer in their rations, exposing yet another generation to the joys of weak beer. The hop and malt content of beer fell sharply and steadily over this period. Hop content fell by half from 1948 to 1969, and the rise of “lite” beer in the 1970s accelerated the trend. Hop content fell 35 percent from 1970 to 2004.

Despite the phenomenal rise of craft beer, light beers are still dominant. The craft beer explosion is a remarkable story, but perhaps we should stop calling it a revolution.

The ConversationFor now, bland beers are still king.

Ranjit Dighe, Professor of Economics, State University of New York Oswego

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

 

BEST beer making

Fed up with Big Beer’s incursion, independent craft breweries push back

 

A new seal began to appear on bottles and cans of American craft beer in 2017. It both certifies that the beer came from one of the nation’s independently owned and small-scale breweries and signals that these upstarts are fighting back against the corporations trying to co-opt their authenticity and craftiness.

The corporate juggernauts often called “Big Beer” clearly get the multifaceted appeal of independently brewed craft beer powered by a thirst for locally made products like beer made from traditional and unusual ingredients. That’s why they’re trying to beat back the competition by giving off the same vibe as the craft breweries that have eroded their edge – when they’re not running Super Bowl commercials that deride people who drink craft beer.

Like other researchers studying this trend, we see the growing taste for beer from small-scale artisanal breweries as a consumer-based social movement. We believe the new label will help craft brewers to hold their ground because many enthusiasts don’t want to be fooled into drinking a fake version of a product that commands a premium due partly to its diversity and authenticity.

Montage of photos with the new independent craft brew seal. Brewers Association, CC BY-SA

Only two giant players remain in the domestic market after years of mergers: Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors.

This duopoly is using three main strategies to quash its tiny competitors. It buys out craft breweries and launches its own “craft” brands, which do not fit the artisanal industry’s own definition since they are mass-produced. It also derides craft beer drinkers.

Masquerading as upstarts

We call Anheuser-Busch’s Shock Top, MillerCoors’ Blue Moon and similar beverages “imposter beers” or “crafty beers.” They tend to leave their big corporate parents off the label – which of course stresses local origins.

Blue Moon’s packaging, for instance, notes prominently that it is made in Golden, Colorado. That geographic detail, the labels’ imagery and a prominent reference to the Blue Moon Brewing Company (with no reference to MillerCoors) suggest a source with modest means, not a multibillion-dollar behemoth.

Consumers who felt deceived when they discovered that Kirin beer was made in the U.S. and not Japan – despite advertising that suggested it was imported – sued Anheuser-Busch in 2013 and won. So did plaintiffs in a similar lawsuit regarding Beck’s, also brewed by Anheuser-Busch. But Big Beer has prevailed in court with litigation involving consumers who felt misled about what kind of company brewed their beer rather than its geographic origin.

For example, an irked beer drinkersued MillerCoors for misrepresenting its Blue Moon label as a craft beer. MillerCoors responded that any definition of what makes a beer “craft beer” is meaningless.

U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel agreed. Essentially ruling that beer is beer, no matter how big its brewer is, he dismissed the case – letting Goliath get away with posing as David.

Snapping up competitors

Big Beer also acquires small labels and even, in some cases, homebrewing supply companies.

This infiltration almost always occurs on the sly. The labels and usually even the beer itself stays the same after ownership changes.

Many craft beer enthusiasts lament the “loss” of well-loved craft brewers like Goose Island and Breckenridge, which now belong to Anheuser-Busch, and Lagunitas, a label Heineken now owns.

Anheuser-Busch and its Big Beer peers like Constellation Brands, which imports and brews Corona and other premium beers, have bought out or acquired large stakes in at least 33 craft brewers in recent years.

This spree is leaving craft brewers and customers trying to figure it out two things. First, does the ownership matter? Second, what is Big Beer up to?

We interviewed nearly 20 New England brewers and brewery owners to see what they thought. Some surmise that Big Beer is capturing some labels to study the industry and culture. Others suspect nefarious ploys to control shelf space and taps – and protect the market share of the biggest and most cheaply produced beers from any additional craft beer encroachment.

Similarly, Anheuser-Busch’s purchase of craft label Wicked Weed in 2017 prompted Jason and Todd Alström, brothers who run the popular Beer Advocate website, to complain about what they call “zombie beer brands.”

That is, beer that appears to be locally brewed by independent owners but what they called Big Beer’s “soulless” competition for the real thing.

Taunting craft beer drinkers

When Big Beer isn’t imitating its craft brewing competitors, it counters their appeal by belittling their customers.

In a commercial that aired during the 2015 Super Bowl, Budweiser declared that it is “proudly a macro beer,” not to be “fussed over” or “dissected” or imbibed by consumers of “pumpkin peach ale.”

Budweiser’s 2015 Super Bowl commercial that belittled craft beer fans.

The company doubled down on its big-is-better meme the next year. In a similar commercial, Budweiser sneered at the origin stories of many craft breweries – which often begin as homebrewing pastimes – that Budweiser is “not a hobby” and “not small.”

Budweiser dissed craft beer and craft beer drinkers in this 2016 Super Bowl commercial.

Budweiser also feminized male craft beer drinkers and implicitly questioned their sexuality. The 2016 commercial boasted that its beer is “not soft” and “not a fruit cup” to a thumping, masculine beat.

Some craft brewers retaliated with parodies.

Ninkasi Brewing in Oregon mocked Budweiser’s anti-craft message.

Who is winning?

All but US$23.5 billion of the $107.6 billion Americans spent on beer in 2016 flowed toward Big Beer. But the volume of beer sold has stagnated since 2013 as American craft breweries, which now number more than 5,200, gained ground.

In 2017, U.S.-brewed beer fell by 4 million barrels to 170 million barrels. However, sales of imported and craft beer sold straight to consumers (versus at bars or restaurants) rose measured by dollars, as did domestic super-premium brands like Michelob Ultra Light and Bud Light Lime, according to the market research firm IRI Worldwide.

We expect independent craft brewers, which are gaining a bigger market share overall, to prevail.

But we’re not underestimating Big Beer, especially when Blue Moon Belgian White was the top-selling “craft” brand sold directly to consumers in 2017.

This article has been updated to correct where Blue Moon labels say the beer is made: Golden, Colorado.

 

Fed up with Big Beer’s incursion, independent craft breweries push back

File 20180201 123826 10b9w6t.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
Many enthusiasts judge craft beer by more than its flavor.
Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com

Ellis Jones, College of the Holy Cross and Daina Cheyenne Harvey, College of the Holy Cross

A new seal began to appear on bottles and cans of American craft beer in 2017. It both certifies that the beer came from one of the nation’s independently owned and small-scale breweries and signals that these upstarts are fighting back against the corporations trying to co-opt their authenticity and craftiness.

The corporate juggernauts often called “Big Beer” clearly get the multifaceted appeal of independently brewed craft beer powered by a thirst for locally made products like beer made from traditional and unusual ingredients. That’s why they’re trying to beat back the competition by giving off the same vibe as the craft breweries that have eroded their edge – when they’re not running Super Bowl commercials that deride people who drink craft beer.

Like other researchers studying this trend, we see the growing taste for beer from small-scale artisanal breweries as a consumer-based social movement. We believe the new label will help craft brewers to hold their ground because many enthusiasts don’t want to be fooled into drinking a fake version of a product that commands a premium due partly to its diversity and authenticity.

Montage of photos with the new independent craft brew seal.
Brewers Association, CC BY-SA

Only two giant players remain in the domestic market after years of mergers: Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors.

This duopoly is using three main strategies to quash its tiny competitors. It buys out craft breweries and launches its own “craft” brands, which do not fit the artisanal industry’s own definition since they are mass-produced. It also derides craft beer drinkers.

Masquerading as upstarts

We call Anheuser-Busch’s Shock Top, MillerCoors’ Blue Moon and similar beverages “imposter beers” or “crafty beers.” They tend to leave their big corporate parents off the label – which of course stresses local origins.

Blue Moon’s packaging, for instance, notes prominently that it is made in Golden, Colorado. That geographic detail, the labels’ imagery and a prominent reference to the Blue Moon Brewing Company (with no reference to MillerCoors) suggest a source with modest means, not a multibillion-dollar behemoth.

Consumers who felt deceived when they discovered that Kirin beer was made in the U.S. and not Japan – despite advertising that suggested it was imported – sued Anheuser-Busch in 2013 and won. So did plaintiffs in a similar lawsuit regarding Beck’s, also brewed by Anheuser-Busch. But Big Beer has prevailed in court with litigation involving consumers who felt misled about what kind of company brewed their beer rather than its geographic origin.

For example, an irked beer drinker sued MillerCoors for misrepresenting its Blue Moon label as a craft beer. MillerCoors responded that any definition of what makes a beer “craft beer” is meaningless.

U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel agreed. Essentially ruling that beer is beer, no matter how big its brewer is, he dismissed the case – letting Goliath get away with posing as David.

Snapping up competitors

Big Beer also acquires small labels and even, in some cases, homebrewing supply companies.

This infiltration almost always occurs on the sly. The labels and usually even the beer itself stays the same after ownership changes.

Many craft beer enthusiasts lament the “loss” of well-loved craft brewers like Goose Island and Breckenridge, which now belong to Anheuser-Busch, and Lagunitas, a label Heineken now owns.

Anheuser-Busch and its Big Beer peers like Constellation Brands, which imports and brews Corona and other premium beers, have bought out or acquired large stakes in at least 33 craft brewers in recent years.

This spree is leaving craft brewers and customers trying to figure it out two things. First, does the ownership matter? Second, what is Big Beer up to?

We interviewed nearly 20 New England brewers and brewery owners to see what they thought. Some surmise that Big Beer is capturing some labels to study the industry and culture. Others suspect nefarious ploys to control shelf space and taps – and protect the market share of the biggest and most cheaply produced beers from any additional craft beer encroachment.

Similarly, Anheuser-Busch’s purchase of craft label Wicked Weed in 2017 prompted Jason and Todd Alström, brothers who run the popular Beer Advocate website, to complain about what they call “zombie beer brands.”

That is, beer that appears to be locally brewed by independent owners but what they called Big Beer’s “soulless” competition for the real thing.

Taunting craft beer drinkers

When Big Beer isn’t imitating its craft brewing competitors, it counters their appeal by belittling their customers.

In a commercial that aired during the 2015 Super Bowl, Budweiser declared that it is “proudly a macro beer,” not to be “fussed over” or “dissected” or imbibed by consumers of “pumpkin peach ale.”

Budweiser’s 2015 Super Bowl commercial that belittled craft beer fans.

The company doubled down on its big-is-better meme the next year. In a similar commercial, Budweiser sneered at the origin stories of many craft breweries – which often begin as homebrewing pastimes – that Budweiser is “not a hobby” and “not small.”

Budweiser dissed craft beer and craft beer drinkers in this 2016 Super Bowl commercial.

Budweiser also feminized male craft beer drinkers and implicitly questioned their sexuality. The 2016 commercial boasted that its beer is “not soft” and “not a fruit cup” to a thumping, masculine beat.

Some craft brewers retaliated with parodies.

Ninkasi Brewing in Oregon mocked Budweiser’s anti-craft message.

Who is winning?

All but US$23.5 billion of the $107.6 billion Americans spent on beer in 2016 flowed toward Big Beer. But the volume of beer sold has stagnated since 2013 as American craft breweries, which now number more than 5,200, gained ground.

In 2017, U.S.-brewed beer fell by 4 million barrels to 170 million barrels. However, sales of imported and craft beer sold straight to consumers (versus at bars or restaurants) rose measured by dollars, as did domestic super-premium brands like Michelob Ultra Light and Bud Light Lime, according to the market research firm IRI Worldwide.

We expect independent craft brewers, which are gaining a bigger market share overall, to prevail.

But we’re not underestimating Big Beer, especially when Blue Moon Belgian White was the top-selling “craft” brand sold directly to consumers in 2017.

The ConversationThis article has been updated to correct where Blue Moon labels say the beer is made: Golden, Colorado.

Ellis Jones, Assistant Professor of Sociology, College of the Holy Cross and Daina Cheyenne Harvey, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, College of the Holy Cross

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

straight from the keg

Seattle-based PicoBrew goes professional with Z series beer-brewing machine

PicoBrew is making a move into craft breweries and restaurants, but the startup says it will still be available to brew beer on your kitchen counter. The newest line of automated beer brewing machines from the Seattle company, the Z series, is made for those who want the option of making bigger batches of brews —… Read more

loads of beer kegs banner

Brewing beer on Mars? Students find Martian soil is suitable for growing hops

You can’t breathe the Martian air but at least you can grow some hops – the indispensable ingredient that gives beer its uncanny sharp and sour taste. That’s according to the results of a science experiment performed by students at Villanova University. Suddenly, life on a barren rock millions of miles away from home doesn’t seem… Read more

beer fridge

11 Holiday Gifts For Beer Lovers

Giving someone the perfect gift can be a grueling task, but finding the ultimate present for the beer lover in your life doesn’t have to be. From beer making kits to beer candles, we came up with a list of presents that would satisfy even the pickiest beer connoisseur. If you’re having doubts, or simply need… Read more

making beer from home

Happy New Year/ 2017 is half way gone!

Welcome to 2017 and what are you going to resolve this year?

Did you complete any new years resolutions last year?

I did and I am very grateful for it.

May there be peace in your thoughts

May there be love in your hearts

May the whole year be a happy and prosperous one for ALL…

Have you achieved your resolutions you made at the beginning of this year?

If not the why?

Half way through the year take stock look at where you are and where you want to be.

Make it happen for yourself.

Save

beer brands

What is Cooling in Home Beer Brewing?

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Red Baron Bottle Capper

Beer clarity is essential for many beer styles, and can make or break a beer in a competition. There are many ways to help clarify your beer, and some are easier than others.

A semi-advanced home brewing technique used to improve clarity is a process called “cold crashing.” Just hearing the term may bring to your imagination a much different process than what is actually involved in cold crashing.

If done correctly, cold crashing will give your beer a clean, crisp appearance.

1. What is Cold Crashing?

Cold crashing is a process used to clarify home brewed beer by cooling it to near-freezing temperatures before bottling. Cooling the beer actually encourages yeast and other sediment suspended in the beer to flocculate (group together) and sink to the bottom.

This allows you to transfer the beer out of the fermentor for bottling while leaving behind much of the sediment that would cause a haze in the finished beer.

2. How is Cold Crashing Done?

To cold crash a beer you simply need to place it in a temperature-controlled environment. A lagering fridge that is outfitted with a temperature controller (this controller is most often recommended) is ideal. Regular refrigerators actually fluctuate in temperature which causes problems with the beer, while a fridge with a controller is held at a constant temperature.

The cold crashing temperature that is recommended varies from 33 degrees F to 40 degrees F, with 38 degrees F being the most common.

The recommended duration of cold crashing also varies. Some brewers say that only a day or two is needed, but it is most common to cold crash for one week.

3. Can Both Lagers and Ales Be Cold Crashed?

Although cold fermentation is only done for lagers, cold crashing can be done on both ales and lagers.

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How to Mash in Home Beer Brewing

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