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 →

Preparing for the BJCP Tasting Exam

For a few years I’ve secretly aspired to become certified beer judge.  Some of you might think I’m already qualified to judge beer, but regular readers of the column will know better.  The challenging part, aside from knowing what you are talking about, is to land a spot on one of the Beer Judge Certification... Continue Reading →

Beer Review – Batch 300 Imperial IPA by Land-Grant

Over the last few months Columbus has been awash in some pretty impressive Imperial IPAs including the likes of CBC Creeper, Fathead’s Hop JuJu, North High’s Stardust to Stardust and Butch Otter, Great Lakes Chillwave, Seventh Son Proliferous, 2 Tones Space Lazer, and the ever rotating selection of Hoof Hearted double IPAs.  If your palate hasn't... Continue Reading →

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