Beer & Brews

“Beer is far more diverse than wine,” says beer scholar Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery and The Oxford Companion to Beer. He explained why (and shared some of his best beer intel) in F&W’s Lessons from Masters series: “The reason is pretty simple: Brewing is much more like cooking than winemaking.” New breweries popping up all over the world as well as markets and liquor stores stocked with towering shelves of craft beer certainly seem to back up his argument, but as complex and diverse as different pints can seem, there are still two basic families to keep in mind. “Generally speaking, ales are warm-fermented and lagers are cold-fermented,” explains Oliver. “Up until about the 1600s, almost all beers were warm-fermented. The Germans and Czechs were at the forefront of cold fermentation, and actually fermented their beers down in caves, often cutting out blocks of ice during the winter, dragging them down into the caves during the summer to ferment closer to 50 degrees or below.” F&W’s guide to the world’s best beers includes more on the history and of beer and beer styles, editor recommendations for what to drink now, beer pairings and the best tips for beer travel so you can drink great brews and visit breweries across the globe.

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Food & Wine: Where to Drink Craft Beer in New Orleans
Where to Drink Craft Beer in New Orleans
Considering its long-standing embrace of boozy excess, it sure has taken New Orleans a long time to warm up to craft beer. Back in 2007, it had just two local breweries—Abita and Heiner Brau—and both were tucked away on the northern side of Lake Pontchartrain, more than an hour from where most tourists sip Ramos Gin Fizzes and Sazeracs. Meanwhile, the term "bottle shop" didn't mean well-curated coolers like Stein's Deli or 504 Craft Beer Reserve; it meant corner stores that stocked malt liquor and watered-down lagers.   "When I started Parish Brewing Co. in 2008, there were less than five breweries in the state,” says brewmaster Andrew Godley. “Now there are 22 or 23, and more are slated to open this year and next. The beer consumption in Louisiana is Top 10 per capita in the country, so I don't see the growth slowing down anytime soon.” — Andrew Parks  

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