Beer Knowledge

Is studying the psychology of a beer drinker like studying the psychology of a fruit fly? Shallow and futile?

I like to think we have a few more marbles rolling around, and it seems we can even offer valuable insights into human behavior.

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Imported Craft Beer on shelvesWay back when, if you wanted to drink something different in the U.S., it had to be an import. You could argue that dark beer meant import. To many it still does.

Things have obviously changed. There are around 2,000 breweries in the U.S. each producing around a dozen beers, which if my math is correct, equals a shit-ton of different beers.

I know it’s overwhelming for me. I try to drink as many different varieties as possible. My uniques on Untappd are more important to me than my total.

But we don’t live in a bubble, and the craft revolution is taking place at a worldwide scale. Mikkeller, Brew Dog, and Baird are all familiar names of international craft breweries. Not to mention the “old” imports: Sam Smiths, Chimay, Orval, Weihenstephaner, etc.

My question is this – do you make an effort to drink craft beers from other countries, or is trying American craft beer enough of a challenge for you? Let us know below.

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Review of beer jobberSome of you might have heard about an interesting new service for buying beer online called Beerjobber.

I spoke on the phone with Beerjobber founder Sean Nevins to get more info on how the whole thing works.

BeerJobber has a unique business model. They have two main goals:

  • Give you access to beers not available in your area
  • Get those beers to you fast and fresh

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Bottles of Biere de Garde and Biere de Mars
It’s getting pretty damn hot outside and you might be tempted to cool off by reaching for a summer beer staple – the Saison.

But slow your roll.

Take this opportunity to try a lesser known beer style that will remind you of a Saison but offer something a little different.

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There’s a very naughty word I like to use.

“Dark fruit”

It comes up repeatedly when I’m describing beer. Like, “I get dark fruit up front…”

In my defense, I’m not alone. A search for the term on Beer Advocate yields over 765,000 results.

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It was an ironic situation.

Our BJCP study group was holding one of its bi-weekly meetings. Studying for the exam means refining your tasting abilities. Ideally, you and the other judges are in agreement on what you smell and taste in a beer. The first thing you do after a round of scoring is compare your score to that of your cohorts and hope you’re not too far off.

Yet this particular night, we were about to prove that no matter how hard we studied, mother nature has ensured that we’ll never taste things exactly the same.

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Joshua Bernstein took on an enviable task – to get to the core of the craft brewing movement and expose it to beer lovers.

His book Brewed Awakening (released in November 2011) documents his findings. I’m tempted to write that it appeals most to mid or higher level beers geeks, but it really is a great book for anyone struck by the beer curiosity bug. After all, if you’re interested in reading any book about beer, doesn’t that make you a geek at some level?

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I’ve never reviewed a beer on this blog.

Strange, huh?

Sure I’ve talked about different beers and what I thought about them, but I’ve never done what you would call a “review post”.

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Without a doubt, this is my favorite time of year for seasonal brews.

Sure, we craft beer lovers are reveling in the party favorites like pumpkin beers and Oktoberfests. However, I’m most excited about the Wet Hop ales. Hops are harvested only once a year, around late Summer/early Fall, and many breweries take this time to celebrate the glorious hops by making special brews to honor the season.

Yes, as a devout “hop head” this is like my holiday! The terms fresh ale and harvest ale are often used interchangeably, but now I’m discovering that they can mean different things…

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Gueuze Crash Course

by Billy Broas

Lembeek, Belgium
Time for another beer style crash course video. This time we’re talking about gueuze, which is a blend of young and old lambic beers.

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