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On this week’s show, we’ll discuss how Budweiser’s divesting hasn’t been the boon that we hoped, the “trend” of low-alcohol beer, the continued (and I think positive) obsession with pairing and the Australian Craft Beer revolution. In all there is a new beer era with which we have to come to terms.

Shuffling beers

When we heard Budweiser would be divesting itself of smaller companies, there was a little hope that maybe it would be some of the craft beers it had scooped up over the recent past. But now it looks as if it will just be selling mid-level brands to other would-be massive beer companies.

Really good, low alcohol beer

I was speaking with Jim Lutz of Fordham and Dominion and he was telling me how Fordham always specialized in English-style, low alcohol beers, so when session IPAs started getting popular, they were already ahead of the game. It takes some practice to make good low alcohol beers. I had the pleasure of trying one at The Globe in Berlin this week as Fin City released is Weed Ling E-Z IPA.

Food pairings

In the recent State of the Beer we mentioned that Chesapeake Brewing Company was pairing local beers with its food in their new Annapolis restaurant. I want to take a look at these suggested pairings, because two of them (the brown ale and the saison) are among my favorite paired beers.

Australian beer

In this guide to some of the best beer places in Australia, what is most striking is how they have adopted the “American” model which really is just the pre-industrial model: Stick a brewery in the middle of town, people come, hang out and get to know one another. From their, they start businesses, political movements, associations and just regular community. It isn’t hard to comprehend when you take the notion of beer as a tool for getting hammered out of the equation.

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