Adventures in Lambic Land

It’s a Friday afternoon in early April, two days into my Belgian beer holiday.  As I write this I’m sitting in the modern tasting room of Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen, savoring a 2012 vintage bottle of oud geuze and a cheese board.  Sunlight streams through the windows, it seems like the first completely sunny day in... Continue Reading →

Hitting the Trappist Ale Trail Part 2 – Into Wallonia

Belgium is formally divided into three regions, Dutch speaking Flanders in the north, French speaking Wallonia in the south, and bilingual Brussels lying roughly in the middle.  Setting the capital territory aside, the other two regions are separated by more than just language.  Each has its own parliament, political parties, religious preferences, and of course... Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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