Category: Inside Beer

Inside Beer: Craft Maltsters Spur Roots Revival

One of the world’s oldest cultivated grains, barley used to be common in fields throughout the Lone Star state—until higher-yielding, higher-commodity crops, such as corn and sorghum, pushed it aside. Today, there are only a handful of Texas farmers who bother with barley, and just three small facilities in the state where it can be processed into a useable form for brewing. Blacklands Malt in Leander, Texas, was the first. Surprised to discover the industry had all but died out in the state, founder Brandon Ade partnered with researchers at Texas A&M University in 2012 to identify and develop...

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Inside Beer: Crafting a Better Can

When Peter Love, founder of Cask Global Canning Solutions, debuted a manual canner that could fill and seal two cans at a time at the 2002 Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo in Cleveland, Ohio, the response was less than encouraging. Love recalls, “One guy came by the booth and said, ‘That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of. What respectable brewer would put their beer in an aluminum can?’” Dale Katechis, founder of Oskar Blues Brewery, for one. He bought one of Cask’s machines and debuted Dale’s Pale Ale in cans later that year. Marty Jones, Oskar Blues’ marketing...

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Inside Beer: Top 10 Trends Shaping Craft Beer

If there’s one constant in craft beer, it’s how quickly the landscape continues to change. From mergers and acquisitions to strategy and packaging, here’s a look at some trends that will continue to impact the industry into 2018 and beyond. Big beer flexes its muscle. Even casual beer drinkers can’t help but notice the buying spree that juggernauts such as AB InBev, MillerCoors, and Constellation Brands have been on. Cult favorites Wicked Weed and Funky Buddha are just the latest in a long line of breweries to hand over their craft credentials in favor of the distribution muscle, resources,...

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Spirited Columnist Tom Wilmes Wins at NAGBW

Spirited Inside Beer columnist Tom Wilmes was recently announced as a winner at the North American Guild of Beer Writers (NAGBW) annual journalism awards. Wilmes’ “When ‘Local’ Isn’t Enough” article, from the magazine’s May/June 2017 issue, took top honors in the Best Short Form Writing (fewer than 600 words) category. According to its website, NAGBW is an “all-volunteer group of authors, writers, publicists, bloggers, columnists, critics, cheerleaders, and more, dedicated to elevating the level of our craft as we cover the art of brewing.” Through its journalism awards, NAGBW hopes to foster awareness and appreciation of efforts to write...

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Inside Beer: Playing the Hops Market

As critical as hops are in beer, you might expect growers, brokers, and brewers to have their supply systems dialed in to ensure sufficient quantities of the desired varieties meet everyone’s needs. Surprisingly, this isn’t always the case. Every few years, reports of a hops shortage or an oversupply ripple through the industry, causing minor panic and sending prices either shooting skyward or tumbling back to earth. Maybe there’s a drought, an unanticipated surge in demand for a certain hops variety, or too many brewers contract for more hops than they end up needing (which creates a glut of...

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March/April 2018

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