“But, what do you drink?” This is the question I asked the bartender at one of the many estimable pubs I wandered into the first time I visited Bruges. Taking a pilgrimage to the holy land of beer to guzzle some Westvleteren long before it was shipped to American shores, I spent my days soaking in highly-touted Trappist ales and Belgian standards, but was looking for something a little more “Bad Sandy.” The Belgians, masters of brewing, had to have their version of “craft” local beers that didn’t travel outside of the land of waffles and moules frites.
While many dads will likely receive beer from their adult-aged children this weekend in celebration of Father’s Day, one Calgary-based brewery is taking the concept of dad-beers to the next level. Ryan and Collin Mortson, co-founders of Best of Kin …
I know that we’re all trapped inside with a wicked case of cabin fever, but there’s no reason that we can’t start daydreaming about our next beer-cation. I highly suggest heading north of the border and exploring the Canadian province of Ontario. It’s more than just Toronto, and you’d better let that fact marinate! That’s why I’ve compiled this 6er of Ontarian brews to get the planning started. Whether the economy opens up on Easter or long after, you’ll be ready to hit the road.
Pitter patter! Let’s get at ‘er!
When one thinks of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), craft beer is likely not the first (or thousandth) thing that generally comes to mind. This is the land of the $14 stale Heineken, a literal and figurative desert for decent beer. All of that changes February 29 – March 1, 2020 as HustleFest lands in Abu Dhabi. The first craft beer festival held in the capital city, the land of sand and skyscrapers will soon be host to some of the U.S.’s finest breweries; more than 30 beers will be making their debut in the UAE.
The fourth edition of the Indie Beer Cup will be held in Central America in the beautiful Costa Rica and vibrant Panamá City. This particular competition stands out amongst various events because it’s designed exclusively for independent brewers on an international scope.
With the inferior American adjunct Lager varieties produced by the industrial brewers and the explosion of craft brewing, lager-style beers have largely fallen out of fashion in the United States. Yet, while IPAs may be all the rage in the U.S., in Germany, Lagers still reign supreme and no one is producing better examples of these beers there than Private Landbrauerei Schönram.
Want to travel? “Traveling more” is a resolution for 25% of Americans for 2020. It’s not surprising, as travel is generally very fun and occasionally life-changing. Now is the time to look past some of your other, less-worthy resolutions (see you in 2021 eating healthy and saving money!) and commit to being Dora the Beer Explorer in 2020.
Sweden – a country whose northern tip breaches the Arctic Circle, making the summer days long and joyful and outdoor activities bountiful. Unfortunately, I decided to visit the capital of Stockholm in early November, and was greeted with 3pm sunsets and a Seattle-but-colder weather vibe. I didn’t mind, as it gave me ample excuse to visit the city’s numerous beer bars, leading to some enjoyable long, brisk, waterside stumbles. Swedes love their craft beer, and you will not find it hard to indulge yourself while taking in this extremely walk-able city.
By far, my favorite holiday beer is Brasserie Dupont’s Avec Les Bons Voeux (translated as “with good wishes”). It’s made year-round, but only brought to the United States during winter. The beer began as a treat to brewery visitors during the holidays and, as it only makes its way to the United States around the holidays, it remains a special treat for us.
It’s great that St. Nick takes care of the kids. But, for grown-ups, it’s all about St. Bernardus. He doesn’t need to send his elf for your shelf because his smiling face and festive hat adorn every bottle of St. Bernardus Christmas Ale. One sip of the exquisite Belgian beer will surely bring an abundance of holiday joy to any beer fan.
Everyone has improperly poured a beer in their life to the grimaces and eye-rolls of their drinking buddies and colleagues. The prime illustrator of a poorly-produced draft beer in any American bar or drinking table is the overwhelming presence of foam that inundates the glass and misbalances the minute equation between liquid and bubble. The copious head of white, quickly-dissipating bubbles – you can call it “dry foam” – is a sure sign that you’re not going to have an ideal drinking experience, regardless of if you’re drinking a Natty Lite or an award-winning IPA. But what if the overwhelming presence of foam was a good thing?
If you’ve had a properly-poured Pilsner Urquell straight from a Pilsner Side-Pour faucet, you’ll know that the presence of wet foam in your pour of a Pilsner is a good thing – and by design. So, what’s the difference between the foam in a typical beer and what is present in a proper pint of Pilsner Urquell? To find out, we asked the historic Czech brewer.
It was a dark, blustery evening and the city was rushing to make it home before the arrival of an autumn snowstorm. The first snow of the season loomed over Denver as clouds darkened and the wind whipped the coats of commuters as we experienced the second-largest two-day temperature drop on record. Winter arrived early in Denver–including at my local liquor store, where I picked out a Fantôme Hiver, enticed by the mischievous ghost on the label, to warm me up on that brisk night.
It’s a hard-knock life when you have beer-related engagements scheduled in two countries on two consecutive weekends. I recently found myself in Poland for the incredible One More Beer Festival before planning to meet up with friends in Munich for Oktoberfest six days later. Doing the wise thing and taking a full week of vacation, I started to scout out how I could spend the days between periods of copious beer consumption. Lo and behold, the world’s number one beer-drinking country per capita, the Czech Republic, happened to be smack dab in the middle of my two destinations. The gods smile upon me.
Turks and Caicos Islands is a group of Islands located in the Atlantic Ocean southeast of the Bahamas. The first inhabitants of Turks and Caicos were the Arawakan-speaking Taino people, who arrived between 500 and 800 AD. In 1512, Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de Leόn’s arrival created slavery and depopulated the islands by European disease. In the centuries since, Turks and Caicos has been under several different European powers but gained independence in 1973. Since then they have remained a separate British Overseas Territory.
This post was sponsored and supported by Paulaner USA.
Steins. Pretzels. Dirndls. Lederhosen. Sausages. More Steins. Tents. Singing. Chances are, I just summed up your Oktoberfest experiences. But other than hearing about that time your friend studied abroad in Germany, what do you really know about Oktoberfest and the beers served there?
Märzen, Helles and Festbier aren’t usually what you brandish at your bottle share, but the craft that goes into producing these styles is immense. Munich breweries are very proud of their beer traditions—none more than Paulaner, Oktoberfest’s #1 provider of stein-filled happiness. We asked the masters for a little more background behind the magic that goes into each glass, which in turn fuels all the good times and pretzel consumption.
One More Beer Festival. The rallying cry I often tell my aching liver is actually the name of one of the coolest international beer festivals out there. Starting September 20, beautiful Krakow, Poland, will host two days and three sessions of incredible brews, with more than 180 beers from over 30 to taste.
What happens when a vintner’s daughter, who has worked in her family vineyards and wine cellar from early childhood, falls in love with spontaneously fermented beers in Belgium? Enter Jitka Ilčíková and her “vintner brewed beer” at Wild Creatures in Mikulov, Czech Republic.
Amidst stunning architecture and a scenic landscape filled with rolling hills, snowy mountain caps, and rushing rivers, lies a long-standing brewing tradition primed for new growth. Austria is home to over 300 brewers now who made 9.8 million hectoliters (there are roughly 0.85 bbls/hectoliter) of beer last year; its people drink more than 110 liters of beer per year – only behind the Czech Republic and Germany for most Europe. Vienna, Austria’s capital, is a fitting image of the current state of the country’s beer scene. Many bars only have taps from storied breweries like Ottakringer or Trumer available. Zwickel, Helles and Pils reign supreme. IPAs are little more than a passing rumor with beers over 6% routinely raising eyebrows. It’s a city fixed between consistency and curiosity. All of these market factors were on display when I visited the Wiener Bierfest recently, just steps from the historic St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
Emilia-Romagna, Italy, named by Lonely Planet in 2018 as the best place to visit in Europe, is known for many of the finer things in life. The birthplace and home of Ferrari and Lamborghini, a foodie paradise with city names you will recognize from your favorite cheeses and cured meats, and home of the world’s oldest university, there are a lot of reasons to book a holiday here. But there is a specific reason you may want to earmark the first weekend of June as your time to visit, and this is because of the fantastic Arrogant Sour Festival held in Reggio Emilia each year.
On the northern tip of the Japanese Honshu Island, there is a region where a notoriously distinct Tsugaru dialect is spoken. Be Easy Brewing is located in the Tsugaru region of Aomori Prefecture, and the brewery is as captivating as the beauty of Aomori.