If you’re in the United States, you may have noticed a new Icelandic beer appearing on bottle store shelves. Einstök Ölgerð (“unique brewery” in Icelandic) offers several beers that, while are based on standard styles, are truly unique. Einstök Arctic Pale Ale is a superb example of how a style many of us have tried numerous versions of can honor tradition while still standing out.
Kjartan Gíslason is the co-founder of Omnom Chocolate in Reykjavik, Iceland. Omnom is known not only for their delicious and creative bean to bar chocolate, but for the colorful packaging and marketing that presents the spirit of Omnom to consumers. In today’s episode, David Nilsen talks with Kjartan about that spirit behind Omnom, as well as their collaborations with Reykjavik craft breweries such as Borg Brugghus and KEX Brewing on both chocolates and beers, and the use of flavors distinct to Icelandic culture in their bars.
Cantillon has been the standard-bearer for the Gueuze and Lambic styles since 1900–before the Theodore Roosevelt administration. In fact, search their brewery on Google Maps and you’ll find it labeled as “Musée Bruxellois de la Gueuze” and to this day each bottle is a seminal exhibit for sour lovers. A bottle of Cantillon is a DeLorean trip back in time and it’s the commitment to preserving the old ways that ensures the quality today. One of the oldest experiments with Lambics was the addition of cherries to the mix and Cantillon’s Kriek 100% Lambic Bio continues to impress into this next millennium.
Trappist Ales, room-temperature pints, and generic lagers. Maybe you once heard your most enthusiastic beer friend explaining the origins behind the “India” in India Pale Ale and the “Russian” in Russian Imperial Stout after their 5th flight of the day. While 20 years ago this may have been the extent of international beer knowledge for the common consumer, today the gospel of craft is spreading to all corners of the world.
With the glory of the Olympics underway, we’ve decided to highlight some of the up-and-coming stars in the international craft game. You won’t see Mikkellers or Cantillons featured front and center on this list, but rather a set of breweries who are either growing in stature or proudly representing their countries as craft pioneers. Check out our 29 rising international breweries that will get you humming those John Williams Olympics theme songs. Special thanks to Miguel Rivas, @thebeertrekker, for his contributions to this article!
A decade ago, in the early days of the ISO:FT message boards, 3 Fonteinen beers were the kids wearing pink on Wednesdays and making “fetch” happen. High bounties were paid for a Hommage, Framboos, or a rare Zenne y Frontera, with airline luggage fees serving as the general mode of transportation for this precious cargo.
Thanks to a huge increase in production and distribution, 3F beers are no longer the Charizard foil cards they once were. While this provides that constant IV drip of Oude Guezes, it also means that we get a few other Lambic oddities, such as the Intens Rood.
After a year+ of adding significant wear and tear to our couches and trying to save countless botched home improvement efforts, it’s time to explore the world outside our homes again. With vaccination rates rising, a number of countries are opening their doors to tourists once again. Of these locales, Greece may be one of the most enticing, where exploring ruins and picturesque Mediterranean isles makes for a much more interesting trip than exploring your local Target for the 8,495th time. And while Greece isn’t necessarily a world-renowned destination for beer, there’s enough exciting things happening in Dionysus’s domain to make sure any beer lover will have their fill.
Harassment, sexism, and discrimination are not new to the beer industry, or any industry. Reports have swirled amongst employees and peers for years with little to no action, but 2021 was the year the dam finally broke.
This year, the beer industry has seen a massive influx of accusations and reports of discrimination, harassment, and even assault as a result of Brienna Allan’s recent Instagram movement. These stories shared on social media pages like Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit, have sent shock waves through the beer industry. And while many of these cases have lead to massive overhauls in personnel, resignations, and overall policy, several more stories of abhorrent behavior continue to emerge including at some of the world’s largest and fastest-growing breweries.
In just five years, New Orleans’ Urban South Brewing has made a huge impact in the beer world and is currently one of the fastest-growing breweries in the U.S. With more than 200 beers released to date, multiple awards under their belt and newly expanded distribution across Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi, Urban South are riding high and celebrating their fifth anniversary in style with a 15-beer collaboration project that includes some of the biggest names in U.S. craft beer. Drekker, American Solera, Aslin and Pontoon are all involved in this highly ambitious project that includes beer styles ranging from mixed-fermentation Table Beer to Fruited Pastry Sour to TIPA.
Sure, it seems a little sketchy to buy beer from a guy tapping a keg on a Hanoi street corner, but it’s actually totally legit. Besides, at 5,000 Vietnamese dong (VND)—about 22 cents U.S.—what do you have to lose? Bia Hoi is a traditional low-alcohol beer that’s brewed fresh daily and brought to the street vendors via Vietnam’s ever-present motorbikes.
In Episode 27 of the “Boys Are From Märzen” podcast, Jessi Flynn of Kweza Craft Brewery in Kigali, Rwanda joins Kindsey Bernhard.
Flynn is the managing director of Kweza Craft Brewery, the first craft brewery in Rwanda; it is also owned and led by women.
Working in business development for his law firm, Rob Fink spent a lot of time in pubs and restaurants entertaining clients. In his early 30s, drinking for a good portion of the afternoon was fun, once he had kids he knew his habits had to change — but he liked beer.
In Episode 26 of the “Boys Are From Märzen” podcast, Kindsey Bernhard is joined by Natalya Watson, founder of Virtual Beer School, an online course that helps people prepare for the Cicerone Certification Program’s Certified Beer Server and Certified Cicerone exam.
In Episode 23 of the “Boys Are From Märzen” podcast, Kindsey Bernhard is joined by Tamar Banner of To Øl in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Banner recently celebrated her 20th anniversary as a professional brewer. Banner spent time at Harpoon Brewery in Boston, New Belgium in Fort Collins and BrewDog in Columbus. In November, Banner took her talents to Denmark to become the head brewer at To Øl in Copenhagen.
Since our launch in 2012, PorchDrinking has celebrated its anniversary each year by throwing a big bottle share for all of our industry friends, supporters, and staff because to us, bottle shares are the truest form of beer lovers coming together as a community. However, 2020 was an unorthodox year, and as much as we would have loved to mark our 8th anniversary with another share, we figured that passing bottles in an enclosed space during a pandemic probably wasn’t the best idea.
So to kick off the new year, we reached to a few of our industry friends to ask them what they’d bring to a “Dream Bottle Share”. For continuity’s sake, we asked each of our guest contributors to share four of their favorite beers from 2020 as well as four of their favorite beers all-time that they would bring to a hypothetical dream bottle share.
Across the globe, the market for non-alcoholic/low alcohol beer exceeded $9.5 billion in 2019, with an estimated compound annual growth rate of approximately 7-8% over the course of the next six years (Global Market Insights). By 2027, global sales in this segment are projected to surpass a valuation of $28 billion (Fact.MR). That’s some serious change in more than one sense of the word.
The North Pole goes dark for months at a time during the winter months, which also happens to be the time when the indigenous elves work their hardest. The elves, of course, serve the world’s most famous philanthropist, Santa Claus. But, with a harsh and brutal winter comes the need to kick back with friends and enjoy a good beer or two and that’s where North Pole Brewing comes into play. The brewery, and its head brewer Abigail Cornelious, have so far enjoyed resounding success.
The tradition of Hofbräu Munchen began on September 27, 1580, when Duke Wilhelm V founded the brewhouse in Munich. A little less three hundred years later on October 12, 1810, at the wedding of the Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen, the “first” Oktoberfest was celebrated. Two years later the Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier was brewed.
In 2003, the Hofbräu concept crossed the Atlantic Ocean opening a mini-brewery and restaurant in the style of the original Hofbräuhaus in Newport, KY, bringing the German beer to America.
With a rich history going back 600 years, Hacker Pschorr is truly one of the OGs of German beer. These guys were doing Reinheitsgebot almost 100 years before there WAS a Reinheitsgebot. This Munich-based brewery produces several dozen different beers, only a handful of which—including Münchner Gold—are distributed in the US.
The global pandemic has put a damper on our oom-pah-pahs and Zicke, zacke, hoi, hois. Indeed, Oktoberfest 2020 — whether it be in Munich or anywhere else — is not quite the same. Nevertheless, the six official Oktoberfest breweries in Munich have not ceased in creating their beers. The youngest of the six, Paulaner, offers not one, but two versions: the historic Märzen that’s available year-round and the Oktoberfest Lager served in Munich during the festivities. For extra fun, search for the special one-liter can and glass mug set.
One of the hardest decisions for the dedicated craft enthusiast has to be how long to cellar a prized bottle. How do you ensure that you see your beautiful bottles reach their final form? The balance of power between #drinkfresh and amassing a cellar so massive it would make the Sun King blush is a wobbly tight rope, indeed. Too often you find yourself paralyzed to open those most revered bottles, worrying that with a particular Cantillon or Side Project or Hill Farmstead we’ll never cross paths again. Or worse, you fear the chiding from fellow Ahabs for not inviting them along to take down the white whale.