Filtering Through Brewtally Awful Beer Analogies for the Facts

The statistics don't necessarily tell the entire story and need to be sussed out a little. According to Nielsen data, craft beer sales have increased by 6% this year. Two years ago, craft beer sales increased by 19%. The market share of the top 10 craft brewers has slipped to 39%, from 50%.

But wait, the number of craft breweries in the U.S. increased 14% between 2014 and 2015. But if craft beer is declining, how are the number of craft breweries increasing?

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Missouri Beer Companies Able to Lease Coolers to Retailers in August

Jeff Shrag, President of the Missouri Small Brewers Association and co-owner of Mother's Brewing Company, summed it up perfectly: "This is about the slow annihilation of craft beer in America. They are going to do it by a thousand tiny cuts."

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Crosspatch Corner - I Grouse Over Zymurgy's 2016 Best Beers in America List

Unsurprisingly, 15 of the top 20 beers on Zymurgy's list are IPAs or Pale Ales. Enough with the IPAs already, people. Expand your drinking repertoire, please. There is a whole wide world of beer out there that isn't all hop bombs. 

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Becoming a Certified Cicerone: Part Five (The Feelings Edition)

People have asked why I was taking the Cicerone exam and what I hoped to get out of it. I’m not in any industry at all where a Cicerone certification is particularly useful beyond impressing people and saving time trying to prove my beer knowledge to people who dismiss me or don’t take me seriously, usually because I’m a woman and/or they assume I “like” beer because my husband does.

Beer is not just something I drink and rarely has been – it’s living history, a seemingly endless educational opportunity, and a way to bond with people and places, however unlikely. One of my great joys in life is thinking about and experiencing the perfect beer to capture a day, a mood, a feeling, an occasion, a place. 

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Becoming a Certified Cicerone: Part Four

I’ve heard and read a lot of stuff about what you should do and should not do the morning of the exam: don’t eat, don’t drink coffee, don’t smoke, don’t wear perfume. I’m a brat when it comes to being hungry. My day is 15% eating snacks and 85% worrying I may be too far away from snacks at any given time, so not eating the morning of the exam was not an option for me.

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Becoming a Certified Cicerone: Part Three

A word of warning: as great as American craft beer is, I would buy the commercial examples listed in the BJCP Guidelines rather than buying an American craft version of a style because there is a high likelihood that an American craft beer that purports to be a style like an ESB is probably not going to be the best way to train your palate and brain to recognize the classic beer style.

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Becoming a Cicerone: Part Two

Beyond the expense of the exam itself the other costs can up quickly. However, the good news is that if you don’t have a lot of cash to throw around, it’s still completely possible to have all the study materials you need for next to nothing.

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Becoming a Certified Cicerone: Part One

My road to Cicerone was a long one full of hard work, failure, and self discovery. In this series of posts, I'll talk about how I approached the exam, the resources I used, how I conducted tastings, how the day of the exam went for me, and what I learned along the way. 

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Does Not Rating a Beer on Untappd Lower Its Rating?

I’m an avid Untappd user. And I’ll admit, I’m a badge junkie. I obsessively document each beer I drink and consult my beer list when determining whether I’ve had a beer before or not because it’s not always so easy to remember what beers I’ve had when I have 1900+ distinct beer entries. One thing I rarely do anymore: rate the beers.

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Off Flavors Identified in Goose Island's Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout and Barleywine

After offering refunds for off flavors in its 2015 Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout and Barleywine, Goose Island identified the cause of the tainted beers: Lactobacillus acetetolerans, a rare form of bacteria first classified in the 1980s.

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