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.
When life gives you a handful of Boeing Max 8-shaped lemons, you make lemonade. Or when your flight for a quick weekend getaway is canceled, you jump on Skyscanner, put “everywhere” into the destination, and see what comes up for cheap. For me, this destination ended up being the Romanian capital of Bucharest, a city with a population of roughly three million that had its heyday in the ’20s and ’30s when it was hailed as the “Little Paris of the East.”
International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the achievements of women politically, socially, economically, and culturally. The first IWD was held in 1911 and it is celebrated every year on March 8. In addition to commemorating the achievements of women, IWD also serves as a call to action to increase gender parity around the world. In honor of International Women’s Day, we’ve compiled a list of six beers backed by six brilliant women to enjoy on March 8 and beyond.
We’ve all woken up a little groggy on the first of the new year with grand plans for how we’re going to make our lives better during this next lap around the sun. You commit to exercising, finishing your mediocre …
It’s a marshmallow world in the winter and what better way to commemorate this season than a stout brewed with… marshmallows? As an avid maker/consumer of Rice Krispie treats, if you tell me something has marshmallow in it, I’m immediately excited, like “when it was your birthday in school and you got to bring in treats for the class”-excited. Luckily the Swedish, who know a thing or two about endless freezing nights, have crafted a liquidized Stay Puft in the form of Hypnopompa to warm our innards on a chilly winter’s eve.
It’s hard to believe it’s already been over two months since our summer 2018 Europe trip. It still feels like just a couple weeks ago we were walking the black sand beaches of Iceland, gazing out over the Cliffs of Moher and admiring in revered silence the beauty of Westminster Abbey. We talk about our trip all the time and are already dreaming up our next one. But I’m getting ahead of myself. There’s one more country and ale adventure story to tell…
I’ve had a life-long obsession with skyscrapers. I don’t really know where it came from, maybe growing up just outside New York City played a roll, or maybe too many Tower of Babel lessons in church as a youngster had the opposite effect of what was intended. Now, I tend to judge cities on two major categories: Their skyline and their craft beer scene, two lovers who often quarrel rather than get along. Where the towers rise, the beer quality tends to fall – world class postcard skylines like Dubai and Shanghai have not inspired great beer to follow suit, and while both cities have recently been doing better in this regard, in New York and LA you have to get outside the high-rises to find the best stuff. However, the Hong Kong Beer Scene proved to be different.
Whether you have a long layover, or you’re able to take a few days to explore, here’s a few of my favorite places I went to while enjoying the shade of some of the most marvelous structures made by man.
For the past nine months, Katie and I have been adventuring our way through Minnesota’s craft beer community. With more than 150 breweries and brewpubs to visit — last we heard that number was actually upwards of 180 now — we’ve been busy and content with what’s right here in our own backyard. But sometimes a new adventure calls, and when an opportunity to visit breweries in Iceland, Ireland, London and Paris came calling — we answered.
In truth, no one came calling for us; we just happened to be heading to Europe on a sort of one-year anniversary/bucket list trip. Still, we took advantage of our time abroad to visit some new taprooms, make some new friends and drink some new beers.