News & Reference

Organic Beer – Going Green for the Earth

Carolyn Smagalski (The Beer Fox), Featured Contributor   |   April 21, 2014
: Not a fad - The global brewing community recognizes the importance of going green, and has taken up the torch.

“Go green, young man, go green!” might well be the best advice for the youth of our planet. Although I remember this adage from my grandmother and great aunts, as they grew their own vegetables and put up (as they called it) everything from peaches and jellies to corn and spaghetti sauce, I seem...

2014 World Beer Cup Sparks U.S. Prosperity

Carolyn Smagalski (The Beer Fox), Featured Contributor   |   April 14, 2014
: Full circle effect - The largest commercial beer competition to date, the 2014 competition featured 4,754 entries from 58 countries.

The export of American beer is a growing phenomenon according to Bob Pease, the Chief Operating Officer for the Brewers Association, headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, USA. Funded by the US Department of Agriculture, the Brewers Association Export Development Program enjoyed a 49% growth overall on exports in the past year, indicating that the word...

Beer for Sophisticated Restaurateurs

Carolyn Smagalski (The Beer Fox), Featured Contributor   |   April 7, 2014
: Beer Fox recommendations - Get some classic craft beer and market your willingness to seize American innovation!

It was a memorable day, that “coming-of-age” moment when I was mature enough to be included in the family toast. With curiosity gnawing at my imagination like a Rotweiler with a chew toy, the prospect of raising an Austrian crystal of aromatic wine to my lips was irresistible. The laws, of course, admonished parents...

“Head” Brewer Mashes Brains into Beer

Carolyn Smagalski (The Beer Fox), Featured Contributor   |   March 31, 2014
: Extreme beer - It turns out that “Bohemians,” as Dock Street regulars are affectionately called, know how to kill a keg in style.

Justin Low, “Head” brewer at Dock Street Brewery in Philadelphia, mashed a new blend of madness into what truly defines Extreme Beer by adding brains to the brewkettle. The idea may seem a bit intense for the faint-of-heart, but Dock Street took off at breakneck speed to slam the trump card on the deck...

Drink Latin with Me

Carolyn Smagalski (The Beer Fox), Featured Contributor   |   March 28, 2014
: Corripe Cerevisium - I don’t need to stray from Latin to stay wrapped in pleasure.

No matter what the season, there is nothing like a little red dress to set the mood. Instantly, you are transformed from the casual jeans-girl to one who is a little “hotter,” more enticing, with a bit of mystery behind the magic. You might be tempted to start speaking in Russian – like Jamie...

Is Green the Color of the Day?

Carolyn Smagalski (The Beer Fox), Featured Contributor   |   March 17, 2014
: Looking back over the years - I have traveled a long and exciting journey in beer, watching the beer community as it evolves.

A little over ten years ago, I was green in the world of beer. I would have been the ideal mascot for St. Paddy’s Day: green in my understanding of beer; green in the breweries known to me; green in my ability to taste the nuances that distinguish one beer style from another. Although...

Real Cider and Perry

Carolyn Smagalski (The Beer Fox), Featured Contributor   |   March 10, 2014
: Natural beverages - Cider and perry, that which CAMRA terms “real cider” in protective circles, is a recent discovery for this lover of the brew.

As a child, my love for nature’s gifts was enormous. My mind’s eye can retrace every dimple and divot on that Wild Cherry Tree with absolute accuracy – the bark, gently gnarled, but somewhat smooth; tiny green leaves, unfolding from her curls; the air, filled with the fragrance of her blossoms. She seemed to...

Ten Tips for Cooking with Beer

Carolyn Smagalski (The Beer Fox), Featured Contributor   |   March 3, 2014
: Cuisine a la Biere - With a few bits of guidance, you can be off-and-running as a master of beer cuisine.

As the Beer Fox, my dedication to beer is expansive, encompassing the history and development of beer, brewing, beer styles, brewmasters and their methodology, beer judging, festivals, taste, and of course, beer with food. Cuisine a la Biere is one of my favorite fields of focus. Although Belgians and Germans have been cooking with...

Converting Wine Lovers to Beer Enthusiasts

Carolyn Smagalski (The Beer Fox), Featured Contributor   |   February 24, 2014
: Women have grown up - The landscape has changed and ladies who saw themselves as wine divas and cocktail bitches are now considered old-school.

Sensory specialists have long suspected that women have a high level of sophistication regarding taste. Research shows that 35% of women in the United States are supertasters, compared with only 15% of men. What this means is that many women feel taste sensation more acutely. They may react to bitterness in an abrupt, negative...

The Sochi Seven

Carolyn Smagalski (The Beer Fox), Featured Contributor   |   February 17, 2014
: Performance Enhancing Pils - Dave Hoops, Brewmaster at Fitger’s Brewhouse in Duluth, Minnesota, takes commemorative classics to a higher level.

In 2014, January and February showed their extreme heads in the northeast corner of the United States. From temperatures that dipped below zero to blizzard-like snowfalls back-to-back, there has been no shortage of adventure for those hunkering-down with a hi-def screen and Imperial brew to shield the harshness of Mother Nature. With so much...

Sochi Beer Run for an Olympian Work-out

Carolyn Smagalski (The Beer Fox), Featured Contributor   |   February 10, 2014
: Russia’s robust beer scene - With 263 microbreweries and 182 brewpubs, Russia’s artisanal presence is not a passing blink.

To those of us in America, the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, are invigorating. Our eyes are locked to our HD monitors, living each moment alongside Olympic gods and goddesses in their quest for the Gold. We may be cheering for team USA, but we can’t help picking our own personal favorites as...

Celebrator Hop Caen

Carolyn Smagalski (The Beer Fox), Featured Contributor   |   February 3, 2014
: Social commentary - I confess to being a Hop Caen addict who turns to Heard It Through the Hop Vine first, no matter how colorful the cover story

Beer is quenching, wet, dripping with seductive flavors, and it goes well with a juicy steak or a flaming kebab. But I think you’ll agree that some of the most attractive elements about beer are the stories. They may be stretched a bit, but what’s a tapestry without a little yarn woven through it?...

Growlers to Go

Carolyn Smagalski (The Beer Fox), Featured Contributor   |   January 27, 2014
: Urban legends - Origins of the term growler are vague. Most seem to be pulled together by those making nothing more than educated guesses.

Have you ever heard the Urban Legend of how the Growler got its name? In the early days of “take-out beer,” engineering professionals were much more focused on making money from the trades of the industrial revolution rather than on the design of a marketable way to carry beer home from their favorite saloon....

Common Origins of Off-Putting Beer Flavors

Carolyn Smagalski (The Beer Fox), Featured Contributor   |   January 20, 2014
: A complex art - All things considered, those brewers who produce clean, malty, luscious beers need to be hailed as kings and artisans

Beer, even good craft beer, is not always made to perfection. Beer brewing is a complex art. The artist – er, humphrh – “brewer” needs to be keenly aware of every aspect of the brewing process, including ingredients used, timing, chemical alteration, and sanitization. If any one of those segments falls short, so does...

Drinking Local Drinking Fresh

Carolyn Smagalski (The Beer Fox), Featured Contributor   |   January 13, 2014
: Richer flavor - Food, and beer, just tastes better when it absorbs the terroir of the region.

In the United States, we do not realize how much our food, particularly our agricultural products, is changed by chemical treatment, genetic modification, and transport spanning multiple continents. Several years ago, I recall recognizing a significant difference, both in texture and taste, between hot-house tomatoes and those I grew in my own garden. In...