Back to the grind after another gorgeous weekend here in Chicago! Let’s see what happened in the world of craft beer over the last few days in our Afternoon Bender. Today we’ve got pickles, watermelons and…Duff Beer?!

Add another brewery inspired product to the side jobs list. This time, its pickles!  Odell Brewing collaborated with the Real Dill Company to create a pickle using their Mercenary DIPA (which is fabulous by itself!). I don't know if ISO: Pickles is on a FT/ISO forum yet, but it should be.
Odell Brewing on Twitter

Did you miss the hubbub about Budweiser’s new marketing campaign?  After taking on the entire craft beer community during the Super Bowl, they seemed to personally attack 21st Amendment with their newest advertisement that calls out watermelon beer. Take a look at 21st Amendment’s social media feeds. They are loving the free advertising and taking the high road.
21st Amendment's Twitter Feed

The Naperville Ale Fest looks like its going to be huge this year with over 200 beers. It'll even have its own sour tent called The House of Funk which will offer different sour beers for sampling. Incredibly exciting!
Naperville Ale Fest to feature 220-plus craft beers

Duff Beer from the Simpsons is finally a real thing!  I will try any beer once but I have my doubts about this one. Homer never struck me as a craft beer connoisseur.  
‘The Simpsons’ Duff Beer Tries to Tap Markets Outside Springfield

Last week we talked about beer labels, sexism, and if we should finally get rid of "sex sells" marketing for craft beer. Late last week Alpha Brewing out of St. Louis made some waves with its beer labels for the latest "Indoctrination Series" release but for other reasons. What do you think about this?
Local Craft Beer Name Changed After Some Take Offense

The Gear Institute tested a few different growler styles for freshness, portability, ease of pour, etc. and chose a winner. Check out their rankings.
Growlerpalooza 2015: Which Travel Growler is Right for You?

Here's something we almost never talk about on this side of the table - the Feds. This is an interesting read for all of us that are not in a brewery setting on a daily basis. It'll give you a little taste of some of the not-so-fun aspects of working through all the BS. However, this guy “Battle” Martin earned respect because he knew his stuff and did his job right! Happy retirement, sir!
Michigan craft brewers lament retirement of ‘pedantic pain in the ass’ federal bureaucrat

Sometimes its easy to forget what's happening in other parts of the world in craft beer since there's so much to keep up with here in the US. The Washington Post tells us what's happening in Mexico with this great piece.
Mexican micro-brewers step out of the shadow of the country’s beer giants

Let's all complain about another list!  Jack’s Abby at #13 and Alchemist at #10 seem super low IMO. Lists are hard to do since they are subjective in so many ways but those choices do seem a little out of place.
21 Top Breweries in New England: The List

Here's a really unique list that we won't complain about! A fun and interesting spin on a canned beer list. Perfect for the season since we need to all be out enjoying the great outdoors! What's your favorite beer for a picnic, beach day or hike?
Backpacking and Craft Beer: 5 Beers Worth The Weight

Interesting back and forth here between some writers at SommBeer about children being allowed at brewpubs. As a new parent, I probably have a different view than what I had a year ago and definitely a different perspective than I did 10 years ago. I think if your child is well-behaved then go for it. Many brewers would say the same. Jeremy Danner from Boulevard was saying so on Twitter! If a brewpub is supposed to be a community meeting place, then if your children (or dogs!) are well behaved they should be allowed to accompany you as long as those are the rules of the establishment. I have been to so many brewpubs and taprooms (no food or outside beverage, of course) that have Lego tables, a toy area, etc. to keep the children occupied and that is amazing. I have also been to places where it is only 21+ and if that’s their rule I will abide by it. I just know that I can’t go there with my child and the brewpub also has to make peace with the fact that they may be turning away a number of potential clients with or without children.  

If the children or dogs aren't well behaved or can't be soothed then find a sitter. I am super cautious when taking out my kid. Not because of other patrons but I because I don't want her to be uncomfortable and start crying. I am ready to leave on a moment’s notice if she gets fussy. I don’t mind because at least that means I got to leave the house!
Kid Invasion: Why Not Bring Kids to a Brew Pub?