It’s About the People
The one thing I might actually enjoy more than the beer itself when it comes to covering this industry is the people. It is the people, after all, who make the beer, or promote the beer, wear their passion on their sleeves, or think of new inventions or how to use different ingredients, and overall bring a level of excitement to the beverage in the glass.
It has become the magazine’s custom to every few years dedicate an issue to the people making a difference in the industry. We asked our writers to scour the globe to come up with a list of people who are transforming beer for the better. What you might notice is that very few of those profiled are brewers. This isn’t because brewers aren’t innovating—they are. It’s more because brewers get a lot of attention in the industry, more and more regularly achieving “rock star” status. So I challenged our writers to go beyond the beer makers to show us all the others in the industry working on behalf of all brewers and their wares. What you’ll see in the nearly 30 profiles is the true diversity of this industry, something that is not always readily apparent.
We also did something different for this issue and gave our intrepid art director an extra cover to work with. Yes, in a first for All About Beer Magazine, we feature a foldout cover. It’s one way we saw to fit as many of the innovators as possible in one space. Cheers to Art Director Peter Johnstone, who spent weeks working with photographers and on layout to create a memorable image. We hope you enjoy this feature and invite you to join the conversation to voice your votes for people you think we might have overlooked this time.
Another star of this industry is hops, and as autumn enters across the United States the annual harvest begins and along with it the proliferation of wet hop beers, often referred to as fresh hop beers. Interested in the language, process and history of these much-anticipated offerings, we asked news editor Heather Vandenengel to hit the farm.
While examining the farm life, Vandenengel took on double duty and took a look at pumpkin beers, a hugely popular seasonal offering that is loved by many and disliked by many, with both sides making passionate arguments for and against. These are here to stay, and this article tells us why.
There is a lot else to explore in this issue. Travel to Ireland, Sweden, St. Louis and more to see how local beer culture is evolving. Finally, our long-time readers will notice that our back page is looking a little different. We’ve moved our long-running column “It’s My Round”—personal essays from consumer and industry folks alike—to a spot on our website. In this issue, we look back into beer’s past and appreciate where we are today with a feature we call “Then & Now.”
John is the editor of All About Beer Magazine and the author of three books, including The American Craft Beer Cookbook. Find him on Twitter @John_Holl.