The beer industry is far behind where it should be in terms of diversity, inclusivity and representation. If you have the opportunity, consider supporting these black-owned American breweries. Let them know that you see them, appreciate them, that you are aware of the huge challenges they face. That they are helping inspire and lead a new and better generation of brewers and consumers. They matter.
This is a working list, and is by no means complete. Please let me know if I have missed any. Breweries in pink are black woman owned or co-owned.
If you frequent craft breweries or taphouses, you’ve probably become quite familiar with the Crowler™. Standing at 32 ounces, the large single-use fillable can emerged into the market in 2012, created by Ball Canning in partnership with Oskar Blues Brewery in Colorado. Oskar Blues is considered the first craft brewery to release its beer in 12 ounce cans, which they pioneered in 2002 using a small tabletop device that filled one can at a time. Since then canned craft beer has truly exploded, pushing larger production breweries to invest in their own canning lines and inspiring an entire sector of mobile canning services which many smaller breweries are able to utilize.
Spring is here, and for many that means a growing excitement for seasonal fruits and vegetables like asparagus, fava beans, snap peas and radishes. We’ve made it through the winter full of starchy roots and now it’s time for bright, light and fresh options. Another favorite coming into season is rhubarb, or as I like to call it, pieplant. An obvious companion to strawberry, raspberry and other co-seasonal sweeter fruits, tart rhubarb stalks are fun to play with in the kitchen and some even use them in the brewery. And yes! You can grow rhubarb. Easily.
If you’re a beer fan, chances are you have a few bottles of something rich and barrel-aged hanging around–that is, unless you’ve already gone through your backstock in these weird times. I like to enjoy few ounces of most of these big, sweet and boozey beers, and usually try to share a bottle among several friends. But given this month’s circumstances, the sharing part is less of an option. So I decided to share my beer with cake instead. A carrot cake in the style of coffee cakes–no streusel here, but feel to add one if you’d like. This cake highlights the rich flavors of aged beer and brings a bright sideparty into the picture with spices and nuts. I like my cake for breakfast, personally, so I tend to make mine slightly less sweet than a full-on dessert, but you are welcome to disagree and amp up the sweetness. Times are strange, make what you like. If your beer is not super sweet, then please do add a couple extra tablespoons sugar as well. This style of cake is somewhat forgiving. I used Brew 3000 from Fremont Brewing, a lovely malty and oaky flavor bomb, but great barrel-aged examples abound from the likes of Epic, Deschutes, Great Divide and many more. If you don’t have any barrel-aged beer on hand, right now is a great time to support your local breweries by purchasing some!
Hops are a key element of beer. First and most obviously, hops offer a growing catalog of many wonderfully unique flavors, providing brewers with a wide palette of different options to build creative recipes. And because hops are bacteriostatic and actively inhibit the growth of Gram-positive organisms, they help to keep some bacteria and other unwanted agents at bay during fermentation as well as storage. Hops also lend a helping hand to stabilizing beer foam and of course blend a bitter balance into the sweetness of an otherwise quite grainy and malty beverage. Finally, hops may even provide some mental health benefits as well. A 2017 study at the School of Health Science and Education at Harokopio University in Athens measured the self-reported stress, anxiety and depression levels of 36 participants and concluded that the application of dry hop extract over a four-week period provided significant meaningful improvements in perceived outlook and experience. In other words, hops can help!
In this series I showcase craft beer under 5% ABV: because life is too short to just have one beer. All posts are uncompensated and opinions are my own.
What I’m drinking today
Georgetown Brewing’s Roger’s Pilsner is a 4.9% American pilsner made in Seattle, Wash. Brewed with Oregon-grown Sterling hops and a combination of pilsner and 2-row malts, it’s a great American interpretation of a classic German style beer. This is touchy territory for me, as I’m a dedicated pilsner fan and am often wary of American versions, but Roger’s works. The good brewing technique is evident.
- Barkeep’s Corner: Flow-Control Faucets
- Black-Owned Breweries
- Beer Glassware and You: A Guide to Proper Service, or, Not Caring at All
- An Overview on World Hop Growing Regions
- Munich Malt
- Noble and Nearly Noble Hops
- CBC and DC Highlights
- Strawberries and American Wheat
- Coconut in Beer
- Buttermilk Biscuits & Amber Ale