We’ve gone over this before, but it is worth going over again. I’m not often a fan of “blame the internet” but when it comest to beer trends (and most financial news really) almost every story is taking a snapshot and extrapolating. “People are drinking less Budweiser” isn’t as sexy a headline, true. But, more than that, there are a lot of cats our there like me who either can put in an application at WalMart or crank out analysis as it happens. I flatter myself that I try and take a longer view, so when (as often happens) my off the cuff analysis is still right six months or even a year later, it makes me happy.

No, Marijuana Legalization Isn’t Crushing Craft Beer

Let’s put the issue to rest once and for all: Legalized marijuana is not hurting beer sales. At a time when the beer industry as a whole is trending down, pinpointing one factor and saying it is the reason seems to be a stretch. A toxic brew?

No big surprises here

Starbucks spent a really long time developing its reputation as a morning time ritual and occasional safe place for blind internet dates. The transition to bistro was bound to be a tough one. At least they figured out what they were doing well or poorly.

Starbucks Will Stop Serving Beer and Wine

Starbucks has decided to get rid of its Evenings program, which offered beer, wine and small plates, in order to focus on its lunch menu.

Love on Tap

Everything is confirmed for the upcoming “Shore Craft Beer Fest: Love on Tap” noon-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25 at Seacrets. There are still a couple of surprises in the works but they expect to have more breweries than ever and several love-themed seasonal beers.

Love on Tap at Seacrets

Right now VIP tickets are only $40 and include a commemorative tee shirt, pint glass and more than 30 beers to taste responsibly.

Beer and Cigars

Cigar vendors often are at beer festivals and I’m always happy to patronize them. I have my own beer and cigar preferences and they involved counterpoints. The short version is that cigars are smoky enough, so I don’t pair them with smoky beers often. Also, cigars can be spicy so the same with that. It’s fun to experiment, though, and cigars take long enough to smoke that you can try a couple different beers safely.

A beer drinker interlopes in the cigar world

Chances are, if you’re into beer, you’re into a few other consumables too: specialty coffee, great food, cider, mead, whiskey, perhaps wine or cocktails. Would cigars be on that list? Admittedly, I don’t know much about cigars, though I certainly don’t share some people’s revulsion to the smell.

Gear

I know a lot of people dig these, but unless I’m driving an awfully long way and there’s a beer that I really feel I need to share with someone, I’m just as happy with a bottle or can. I guess for road trippers it is nice to bring them out empty and come back with them full, but I really don’t have that kind of willpower.

New uKeg Growler Could Keep Your Beer Fresher, Longer | CraftBeer.com

If you’ve ever had a craft beer go flat in a glass growler (or if you’re as clumsy as I am), you may have grown weary of the sometimes fragile vessels. Heck, I once drank an entire 64 oz.

Tastes and Recipes

What beer would you use to steam sliders and why?

A little beer is a lot of flavor in these Super Bowl sliders

Big provisions are required to watch the big game, and nothing’s more substantial than a burger, even in its mini-form – the slider. Indeed, if you plan to serve a variety of dishes for the Super Bowl, sliders are more sensible than the full-sized guys.

Girl Scout Cookies. Same question:

Beer Pairings for Girl Scout Cookies (2017 Update)

It’s our favorite time of year once again-Girl Scout Cookies are here! We’ve added new editors’ picks of great beers to celebrate the season with and a collection of cookie-and-beer pairings we compiled from around the web. Let’s hear your favorite pairings!

Recipe of the Week

Beer Banana Pudding Recipe

Although commonly associated with the South, this sweet layered dessert is really ubiquitous in the United States. Here, we make the custard with Belgian golden strong ale for complementary warmth and banana notes.

Homebrew tips and tricks

On the homebrew section of this week’s podcast:

Try First Wort Hopping

I recently discussed no-chill brewing, a post-boil technique that turns conventional homebrewing wisdom on its head. Another counterintuitive practice that nonetheless turns out great beer is first wort hopping. First wort hops are added to the kettle during runoff, immediately after Vorlauf, and allowed to steep in the hot wort as the mash is sparged.

Is it worth it?

The Catalyst Fermentation System

Free Shipping. U.S. Orders Only.The Catalyst Fermentation System (6.5 Gallons) is an innovative piece of homebrewing equipment that simplifies the fermentation process, making it easier t…

Like and Subscribe

In case you didn’t know, these are the show notes for the Beer with Strangers podcast. If you’re interested in the show it’s at BeerWithStrangers.com, or you can follow along on our Facebook page. Of course, you always can subscribe on iTunes as well. If you’re looking for Doug and Homebrewing stuff, you can find their Facebook page here.

Tony Russo
Author: Tony Russo

Tony Russo has worked as a print and digital journalist for the better part of the 21st century, writing for and editing regional weeklies and dailies before joining the team that produces OceanCity.com and ShoreCraftBeer.com among other destination websites. In addition to having documented everything from zoning changes to art movements on the Delmarva Peninsula, Tony has written two books on beer for the History Press. Eastern Shore Beer was published in 2014 and Delaware Beer in 2016. He lives in Delmar, Md. with his wife Kelly and the only of his four daughters who hasn't moved out. Together they keep their two dogs comfortable.

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