It’s not uncommon for me to have a mug of coffee on my desk me while I’m writing about beer. It makes sense given that I spend the afternoons and evenings reporting on the day’s beer news and then the morning transcribing notes or reworking articles. The two beverages are such an important part of so many lives that it seems appropriate to explore the intersection where the two meet. In this issue’s cover story, I spend some time with brewers and roasters alike and get into the brewhouse to examine how brewers extract that rounded coffee flavor, not just for their stouts and porters, but also for a growing number of other styles. Read an excerpt from the story here.
You’ll find a lot to explore in this issue. Brandon Hernández traveled to Japan and experienced the country’s growing beer culture, and what he found might surprise you. Responding to reader feedback, we’re pleased to introduce a new regular feature that gives suggestions on how to spend a great beer-themed weekend away. We’re calling it Beer Weekend, and first up is New Mexico. We will continue our trek around the world with Brian Yaeger, our seasoned Beer Traveler columnist, examining his new (temporary) home of Amsterdam.
About a year ago I was talking with a rep from SABCO, the company behind the popular homebrewing system. He was going on and on about how the company was working to keep up with demand from restaurants around the country eager to install their own brewing equipment—even if at the very small end of things—to make their own beer and make the transition from restaurant to brewpub. I found the idea intriguing, especially since it offers the chance for so many more people to drink local. So, Mr. Hernández pulled double duty in this issue and shares a look at this growing trend.
With this issue, we’re excited to announce that Randy Mosher, a celebrated scribe with one of the finest palates in the industry, will debut a column called The Taster. Mosher, the author of many books, including Tasting Beer, will continue on that book’s theme by exploring the flavors and aromas we experience while enjoying a beer. This is the first of six planned columns and one that we hope will increase your beer knowledge and thirst for more.
Shortly before this issue went to print, the Brewers Association, the trade group that represents craft brewers, announced some changes to its membership requirements, which opened the door to some breweries that had been in the cold, like Yuengling. It’s a change that is likely to be welcomed by many. Here at the magazine, we’ve been talking a lot about what craft really means outside of the marketing, government and taxation realms. It’s something we’ll look into down the line.
As always, thanks for reading the magazine. We work hard to cover the beer world that you enjoy. It’s a privilege for us and one we will never take for granted.