It's important to remember that beer, when you come right down to it, only requires four ingredients: Water, a starch, yeast and hops. And if you ask F&W executive wine editor Ray Isle, the coolest of that quartet is the hops.
F&W's Kate Krader spotlights some of the country's best new breweries.
Here, three incredible new San Diego microbreweries including Ballast Point, which serves experimental beers and sausage rolls.
Indiana has one of the fastest-growing craft beer scenes in the country. So we asked Indianapolis chef Micah Frank of Black Market, who is collaborating on a beer with Sun King, for some of his favorite Hoosier brews.
Daredevil Brewing Co.: Muse
"An unfiltered and food-friendly Belgian-style ale."
Union Brewing: Apollo's Space Flight
"They make beer, like this Imperial Double IPA, two barrels at a time."
Three Floyds: Alpha King
"A big pale ale, from probably the state's best-known craft brewer."
Flat 12 Bierwerks: Pogue's Run Porter
"It has a lighter body than many porters, which makes it really drinkable."
Courtesy of Sierra Nevada
There are now more than 180 craft breweries putting their brew into cans (out of about 875 total, not counting brewpubs). And that’s a fine thing. I mean, it may be 20 degrees outside, but you’ve still got to drink something at the beach, right? Here are 5 great canned craft beers. »
© David Tsay
It’s possible you may have missed it, but just before Christmas a team of scientists in Seattle managed to determine the absolute configurations of isohumulones in beer!
Relieved, aren’t you? Me too. But no matter what you think, it’s evidence of sorts that people’s curiosity about beer knows no bounds; and in this case, their curiosity about how hops work.
Hops (the female flower of the hop plant) impart bitterness, and also—depending on the hop strain—resinous, piney and/or citrusy/tangy notes. Most beers have some hop character; over the years various craft brewers have also been obsessed with pushing the envelope of how hoppy a beer can get. In the wrong hands, this obsession can result in undrinkably bitter haaargh-water, but for a talented brewer it can result in beers that are delicious in large part because of their complete, crazy, in-your-face hoppiness. For the adventurous, here are 9 extremely hoppy beers that also happen to be extremely good. »