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Beer 101: The Fundamental Steps of Brewing

Brewing begins with raw barley, wheat, oats or rye that has germinated in a malt house. The grain is then dried in a kiln and sometimes roasted, a process that usually takes place in a separate location from the brewery. At the brewery, the malt is sent through a grist mill, cracking open the husks of the kernels, which helps expose the starches during the mashing process. The process of steep milling, or soaking the grain before milling, is also an option for large-scale brewers.

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Beer 101: Storage

When you resist the urge to crack open a beer instantaneously, magic can happen. Storing or cellaring beer allows a number of internal and external factors to add character to it, often for the better.

Certain kinds of beer are ideal for cellaring, while others are meant to be enjoyed immediately. There are a few general rules to abide by, and a few exceptions to those rules.

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Beer 101: Temperature, Pour, and Glassware

When it comes to beer’s temperature, the common belief is “the colder the better.” This is not always sound advice. Beers served too cold can numb the tongue and deaden the taste buds to the delightful flavors within. Letting a beer warm up just a bit can unlock the flavors and enliven the character of a well-crafted beer. The temperature at which you serve different beers is often a matter of personal taste, but if you are seeking guidance, here are some serving suggestions that may bring out the individuality of certain types of beer.

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Spring 2015, Issue 18

Craft drinkers have always been alert to a change in the seasons, because they often herald changes in the beers that we like to drink. The current Spring Issue looks at changing times with some additional perspective.

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Three-Eyed Raven

Winter is coming. I mean, it’ll be a while, but it’s still looming in the distance… just like the threat of White Walkers.

Sorry, sorry, I got real life and the fictional universe of Game of Thrones confused again. But it’s an honest mistake, especially when I’m imbibing Brewery Ommegang’s Three-Eyed Raven Dark Saison – the fifth of the brewery’s GoT-themed releases.

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La Quinta Brewing out of California has taken the two best kinds of brews and melded them into a tasty coffee porter. Koffi is perfectly roasty without tasting like Midwestern bowling alley carpet, and the chocolate and crystal malts are just sweet enough to contrast the roastiness. They say on the bottle "if you enjoy coffee, you'll love this beer." I agree. It's creamy like a latte.

If you find yourself in Palm Desert, CA, or have a chance to get your hands on some La Quinta, pick up a Koffi and it will do the same for you!

-Jim Dykstra

Respect for Beer with Stephen Beaumont

The Asheville Brewers Alliance Presents: Respect for Beer with Stephen Beaumont. 

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Snake Charming and Herding Cats

The craft beer industry, generally, is a no bullshit zone – people place a premium on sincerity, and can sniff out BS as easily as DMS. So how do those on the front lines sell their beer? The short answer: honestly.Green Flash Brewing IPA Beer Connoisseur Brickstore Pub

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West Coast IPA

It's the perfect season for a classic Double IPA. 

Green Flash has a reputation for big beers, in ABV and flavor. Their flagship West Coast IPA takes you through five layers of hop -- Columbus, Simcoe, Centennial, Citra and Cascade. It smells like candy (for grown-ups only.)

In a simultaneously perfect and unperfectly fitting reference, this beer was "here in a flash and gone without a trace." 

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The Grainfather

When New Zealander Peter Eastwood started his homebrewing business in 1989, most homebrewers used extract kits for their ease of use and ubiquity. Despite swift growth in the local market and expansion to Australia in 1995, Eastwood wanted more. He felt that extract kits, while effective and easy, were missing a key cog in the quest for true craft beer. Thus, the idea for the Grainfather took root.