All up in your flavor space
Sour Beers: They're Wild!

Sour beers are where beer started. Spontaneous fermentation was the original way to introduce alcohol-producing microbes into the wort. Spontaneous fermentation is achieved by simply leaving the fermenting wort open to the air. This is how the first beers were made and how beer was made until it was discovered that yeast were responsible for the transformation of sugars to alcohol. Once microbes were discovered, it was only a matter of time before a strain of yeast was isolated and used to make more consistent, clean-flavored beer. This marked the decline of sour beer - drinkers wanted a more predictable flavor. But now sour beer is on the rise and some consumers can’t get enough of these tangy tart flavors.

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The Reinheitsgebot: 500 years of tradition

Germans are proud of their brewing heritage, and why shouldn’t they be? Germans have been brewing beer since the Bronze Age, but by no means did they invent brewing. That honor belongs to the Sumerians some 10,000 years ago, around the same time as the rise of agriculture. The oldest evidence of beer in Germany is from about 2,800 years ago. That 2,800 years was well-spent, turning the people of the region into some of the best beer brewers in the world. Five hundred years ago, a law was passed in Bavaria defining what beer was made of and how much it should cost. This law became known as the Reinheitsgebot or “German Purity Law”.

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How to Optimize Your Coffee Blend - Part 2: Every bean counts!

In my last blog post, I laid out my dislike of pre-roast blending with some reasoning such as variations in grind distribution and component optimization. Now, I want to go into further detail on why post-roast blending will help roasters improve the perceived quality (PQ) of their products. Much of the reason why post-roast blending is objectively superior is the attention to detail, specifically in roast development. And as the title suggests, every bean counts!

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Is Bigger Always Better?

Examining the trends of high and low alcohol beers

The rise of craft beer is not news to anyone. This seemingly unstoppable industry has seen growth in double digit percentages for the last 5 years and now controls about 14 percent of the US beer market. Craft beer drinkers have declared that they want flavorful beers, but how do you know how flavorful a beer is if you have never tried it before? For many, alcohol by volume (ABV) is used as a gauge of how flavorful a beer is. This may or may not actually hold true, but the growth of craft beer has been accompanied by a dramatic increase in the amount of high alcohol beer that is sold. In 2013, 25 percent of all new beers released were high alcohol, and in 2014, 23 percent of all beers launched were high alcohol. These were massive increases from 15 percent in 2012.

Oddly enough, with the rise in popularity of high ABV beers, we’ve also seen a rise in the popularity of session beers. Founders Brewing has reported that All Day IPA has grown since its release in 2012 to make up about 50 percent of their production volume. Other breweries have similar brands and stories as well. But why is there growth in both ends of the spectrum? And is there room in this town for the both of them?

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