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Afternoon Bender - Week Ending August 22, 2015

Afternoon Bender - Week Ending August 22, 2015

So, you might have noticed that things have changed a little around here. We've decided to switch to a weekly format so you can get all your weekly beer news (and then some) in one big ol' post.

We might post on the weekend or we might post during the week. We'll see what works! Do you have a preference? Let us know!


We've all hear about the Wheaties beer by now. Well now we can all enjoy a Pop Tart beer too. Although 21st Amendment makes some great beers and this one is more of an homage to their location than anything. We love a good India Red Ale!
New Pop-Tart Beer Is the Latest Craft Brew Inspired by Breakfast

Was Count Chocula your favorite? I was partial to Franken Berry.
Count Chocula beer a reality thanks to General Mills

When I go to Starbucks I want my coffee, not beer. One of the Starbucks I go to frequently has had this option for awhile and I have never found myself wanting one of the beers, although they do mostly carry local beers.
'Evenings' at Starbucks: Coffee shop to sell wine, craft beer, small plates

Now this is our kind of race!
Hundreds run and drink in first S.F. Beer Mile World Classic

Ooooohhhhh!!!!! Oh no she didn't!
Budweiser doesn’t like this brewer’s ‘Queen of Beer’ campaign

It's Oktoberfest season!  Find a selection of local, nationwide and German Marzens and see which one you like. You'll surprised by how different they can taste.
Church Street Brewing recently held a Marzen release party.

The Official Oktoberfest 2015 Mug design is here.
Oktoberfest reveals official beer mug for 2015

It's also that time of year that some people dread (Joanna) and other loves (Rodney) - pumpkin beer season.
Pumpkin beers cropping up earlier than ever

For all the Joanna's of the world.
Opinion: It’s pumpkin beer season — like it or not

Not to say that all spice is bad spice. We can get behind this trend.
Craft Beer’s Latest Obsession: Ginger

Is it a given that beer people are also dog people? We kind of feel like it is which is great! Flat 12 Bierwerks releases a new beer for dogs. Meera, Odin and Escher can't wait to try it!
Yes, there’s now a beer for your dog — seriously

The artist renderings look amazing for the Half Acre expansion. If you know anything about me (Rodney), it's that I am in love with all things Half Acre so for them to expand like this is amazing!
Half Acre's Plan For Huge Brewery, Restaurant in Bowmanville Gets Approved

Do you have any thoughts on cucumber beer? I just had the Flat 12 Cucumber Kölsch and although it reminded me of a spa, it was amazingly refreshing!
Cucumber Beers: Stars Of The Summer?

Since it is the last few weeks of summer, we should all get our grilling in. Here are some quick and dirty tips on what you can do with beer and the grill.
4 Ways to Barbecue with Beer

Some of your favorite breweries might look to sell!  Or not. This includes stalwarts in the industry like Ballast Point, Lagunitas, and Dogfish Head. It depends  on which article you read and who you believe. Brewhound has a great breakdown of which ones have sold recently, who they sold to and what percentage was sold.
Reuters: Dozens of Craft Breweries For Sale

A good list (I know, that's an oxymoronic statement) that has a lot of good information for a beer novice and maybe a couple of hidden spots for a beer connoisseur. 
America's 20 best cities for beer drinkers

Stop motion. Pipeworks, you win the day.
Pipeworks on Instagram

Plastic bottles and beer, at least good beer, has always been a big no-no. Until now.
Science Keeps Beer Out of Plastic Bottles, But Japan Might Change That

Joanna here. While I think this guy has a certain point, I think he's exaggerating a lot. Yes, beer has been around for all of history but all those other things you also describe? The glassware and all that? That's also evolved with the beer through history. Much of that isn't a new invention. Now it's just become mainstream and jammed down everyone's throat. Don't take it so much to heart, you know? I get annoyed by it all sometimes too, but we live in a capitalist society that, well, capitalizes on what happens to be the flavor of the moment. Pun intended. That's exactly what's happening. At some point, the "craze" will die down but great beer will still be made and the glassware will still exist and we'll still be writing about it, drinking it, making it, and trying something new with it.
It's Time To Dial Back The Craft Beer Snobbery

This will definitely be on our Christmas list.
Guzzling 9,000 Years Of History With 'The Comic Book Story Of Beer'

I'm sorry, but this is HYSTERICAL. "You Only Pope Once"?? High five, guys!
Soon you can toast Pope Francis with a commemorative papal beer

A little off-the-beaten-path international flavor.
In Kosovo, a Thirst for Progress, and Beer, Too

It was a matter of time.
Aurora brewery introducing marijuana-infused beer

We don't know about this. Home brewing isn't for everyone. Brewing in general is an art. If you automate it, you're just taking all of the artistry and fun out of it. It's not really "cumbersome and complicated." It's just kind of hard.
Homebrewing ‘robot’ aims to make beer-making smarter


Afternoon Bender August 7, 2015

Afternoon Bender August 7, 2015

What a perfect "holiday" to celebrate on a sunny Friday. Before you can get out and enjoy your favorite beers from around the world, let the Afternoon Bender help you through the last few hours of the workday.

Afternoon Bender August 4 + 5, 2015

Afternoon Bender August 4 + 5, 2015

Guys, we don't know what happened yesterday! This went to publishing and then ? The web is weird.

We're combining yesterday and today into one giant MEGA Afternoon Bender!

Anyway, a huge Happy Birthday to co-founder of BTL Rodney!! The rest of the team is wishing him all the best and many delicious beers in the coming year.

An article after my own heart!
Opinion: Why all craft beer should be in cans

Interesting discourse into the “whiteness” of beer. Diversity is creeping into the beer industry more and more but it still draws up a certain stereotype.
Color of Beer: Addressing Our Whiteness

Yesterday the Cicerone Certification Program made a big change – they added a new level of certification. After looking at the BJCP recently, I think there need to be about 50 levels. Holy smokes, there is a lot of detail in beer!
Advanced Cicerone Certification Announced by Cicerone Certification Program

“Science” we can all get behind – whiskey and beer!
The Secrets to Living to 110 Might Be Whiskey and Beer

I lost the Upland sour lottery but now they are going on sale to the general public.  Do you think that lottery losers should get first shot at them?  What are your thoughts?
Upland on Instagram: Mark your calendars…   

Keystone Light finished a close second in the race to space.
A world-famous distillery is launching whiskey into space for a surprising reason

HomebrewFinds searches the Internet to save you money. This hop sale is perfect our beer style of the month – IPA!
HomebrewFinds on Twitter – 30% off Hops!

False advertising or are they just trying to fit the style?
Red Stripe sued over misleading 'Jamaican' beer claims

This is pretty wild!
Portrait of Australian surfer painted with pale ale beer

The success rates are spotty but breweries are trying anyway.
Craft beer Kickstarters are the hot new trend
P.S. – Help send our own resident brewer Adam Smith to Siebel!

And finally, an update on Wandzia, the Polish beer stealing badger. You should remember her from last week when she shot to fame after downing 7 beers she took from nearby beach-goers. Here’s a video update where she’s still under “light influence” but able to eat lying down.
Drunk Badger Finished 7 Bottles of Beer, Gets Bad Hangover (VIDEO)

Belgium is steeped in brewing tradition but two guys are shaking things up.
Beer-brewing 2.0 in Brussels

Another international story but this one is pretty sad. South Sudan has been embroil in civil war and its symbol of independence, White Bull beer, may be the next victim of the conflict.
South Sudan’s beloved national beer may be the next casualty of its civil war

Okay, people. Are we really going this far? Not sure if we'd be drinking bug beer. How about you?
The next big thing for beer could be bugs, NC State scientists say

5 good basic rules to storing beer from The Thrillist.
The 5 Rules for Keeping Your Beer Fresh & Drinkable

A great listing of happy hour specials all over Chicago now that it's legal again. Whew!! That's a lot of happy-houring!
The Best Happy Hour Specials In 25 Neighborhoods

We'd definitely agree that this is what we've been seeing lately pretty much everywhere. Nothing wrong with it either!
Top 6 Beer Trends of 2015

Food52 (one of Joanna's favorite food sites) gives us a little beer-centric tour of a Milwaukee with plenty to see and do. Their art museum is really fantastic!
What to Do in the City That Puts Beer Gardens in Public Parks

Super excited about this! This is right down the road from where Adam and Joanna live.
Plans For Chicago's First Cider House (and Brewery) Press Forward

Afternoon Bender August 3, 2015

Afternoon Bender August 3, 2015

Every city needs a map like this. One for craft beer and one for greasy food, etc.  You could just hand every tourist or new resident a pamphlet of maps and they will be just fine.
Brewers' Victoria map directs customers to locally crafted suds

Ladies in the lead again! Deschutes appoints a new research and development brewmaster. Congrats!!
Deschutes Brewery names Veronica Vega as R&D brewmaster

We are longer the 1%, we are the 12%!
Next Round: Craft beer continues its rise

I am not surprised that Atlanta Airport is not on this list. It was Sweetwater 420 or nothing in terms of the craft beer "selection."
8 great airports for beer enthusiasts


Why Good Bars Spray Your Beer Glass With Water

Rogue Ales and Spirits does a great job in documenting the fun and innovative things they have going on in the beverage industry. Now buzz off and read this!
A Bees Eye View Of Rogue Farms

The main reason that I do not use Untappd is because people treat it as an arms race and not as a beer tool. Chelsie from Stouts and Stilettos does a great job of expressing her feelings in this post.
Untappd Is Not A Race: Enjoy The Beer Experience

The Beer Apostle was one of our first non-spam followers on Twitter and I have loved to read his take on the Florida craft beer scene ever since.
Four Beers from Orlando Brewing

Beer and Brewing provides alternatives to the priming sugar pouch in your homebrew kits if you want to stay away from high fructose corn syrup.
Priming Sugar Alternatives

An interesting historical article on Anchor Brewing and how they helped to shape the craft beer industry.
How Anchor Brewing changed the beer business


Afternoon Bender July 30, 2015

Afternoon Bender July 30, 2015

Remember that article indicating that 90% of all beer in the US is made by just 11 companies? Jim Koch of Boston Beer Co. has something to say about it.
U.S. Beer Maker Says Tax Code Encourages Foreign Takeovers

Goose Island announced the 2015 Bourbon County lineup. They also unveiled their beautiful new packaging and bottle format. The beer will now be available in 16.9oz bottles.
Goose Island reveals 2015 Bourbon County lineup

Cool short documentary on farmer, food writer and fermenter Sandor Katz aka Sandorkraut. I have a feeling Joanna will love this dude! Edit: She totally does because her dream is to be neck deep in pickles and kraut every day.
‘Sandorkraut: A Pickle Maker’ got some awesome hop harvesting info from Joe Schiraldi of Left Hand Brewing Company. This will absolutely come in handy when we're harvesting our enormous crop of Cascade hops in a couple months.
Harvesting Your Homegrown Hops

We like these guys a lot. They make great beer, sours and otherwise, and their packaging design is killer!! Here's an interview with their brewmaster, Jason Pellett.
Beer Talk With Jason Pellett of Orpheus Brewing

A deeper look into the mystery and controversy behind Not Your Father’s Root Beer. This is a very interesting read.
Not Your Father’s Root Beer: My Strange Visit to Small Town Brewery

Are you an artist? Have you ever thought of designing a beer label? Well, Arcade Brewing here in Chicago is running another “Public Brew” in which they challenge their fans to name and design a label for a new beer. This will be the 5th of the series.
Details about Public Brew on Arcade Brewery's Site

Oh yeah, one of our favorite breweries, 18th Street, is releasing their Double IPA Sinister this Saturday. I have a feeling there will be quite a few folks there. Don’t forget to check their parking map on their site too.
18th Street Brewery Sinister Release Info

A few days ago, we heard about a black bear that had discerning taste in beer. Now, a Polish badger named Wandzia has her own afternoon bender on the beach. The Guardian reported she was surrounded by SEVEN empty bottles of beer and hid two in the bushes. We can't make this stuff up, guys.
A Badger in Poland Drank Too Much Beer

Afternoon Bender July 28, 2015

Afternoon Bender July 28, 2015

Lots of scientific & tech innovation, food & restaurant reviews and a few things in between. Good luck if you're trying to get tickets to the GABF today!