Belgium or Bust

After spending a few enjoyable days in Amsterdam, today I leave the land of tulips and windmills, Rembrandt and van Gogh, Heineken and Grolsch.  My destination, Belgium, has long been at the top of my list of dream travel destinations.  The anticipation is palpable, and for good reason.  In Belgium brewing is elevated to an... Continue Reading →

A Visit to Cloudwater Brew Co

When I first moved to the UK it didn’t take long to figure out that Cloudwater Brewing represented something very modern.  The visuals—16 oz cans with wrap on labels, ingredients listed on the can for all to see, prodigious hop additions, premium pricing—were immediately familiar to someone from the USA.  When I bought a can... Continue Reading →

A Pilgrimage to Pilsner Urquell

Pilsner occupies a rather unusual spot in the pantheon of beer styles.  When people first get turned onto craft beer their instinct is to gravitate to something dark or hoppy or fruity.  Lagers are generally none of those things, in fact they are almost the antithesis of what casual observers think craft beer is about,... Continue Reading →

Ohio Breweries Strike Gold at FoBAB

As I was scrolling through my social media accounts this morning I saw that Wolf's Ridge Brewing scored a gold medal at the Festival of Barrel Aged Beers (FoBAB) yesterday in Chicago.  My first instinct was to tweet to Chris Davison congratulating him and everyone else at Wolf's Ridge, but when I scrolled through the... Continue Reading →

Pursuing Pivos in Prague

For reasons that are not completely obvious to me Czech beers have had less impact on  American brewers than beer styles from elsewhere in Europe. Have a look at the commercial examples listed with each of the four subcategories of Czech lager in the BJCP style guidelines and you won’t find many familiar names.  When... Continue Reading →

Ale Spotting in Edinburgh

Scotland’s contributions to the world far exceed any reasonable expectation for a country with half the population of Ohio.  The world would be a duller place without the likes of whisky, golf, curling, kilts, bagpipes, and the catchy 80’s pop hit “In a Big Country”.  We can thank Scotland for the steam engine (James Watt),... Continue Reading →

Does Ohio beer have its own identity?

Many great beer styles are associated with a region—pilsners with the Czech Republic, lambics with Brussels, goses with Leipzig, saisons with Wallonia, steam beer with San Francisco, and so on.  While most styles originated in Europe long ago, America has made important contributions in my lifetime. American-style pale ales and IPAs originated in the Pacific... Continue Reading →

Craft Beer Hunting in Japan

One of the perks of being an academic is the occasional opportunity to travel to faraway places. If you’ve been reading this blog for long enough you’ll know that I try to take advantage of these opportunities when I can. I’ve got a responsibility to my readers after all.  Earlier posts described my efforts to... Continue Reading →

Taking the BJCP Tasting Exam

It’s been over a month since my last post, perhaps my longest hiatus since starting this blog nearly four years ago.  In the meantime, I’ve been to Colorado for a workshop, Idaho for vacation; South Korea for a neutron scattering conference; and upon returning home spent several evenings in my yard pulling the weeds that... Continue Reading →

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