Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries

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Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout
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Dr. Fritz Briem
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Fearrington Winter
Fullsteam Brewery
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Hi-Pitch IPA
Hi-Wire Brewing
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Shiva IPA
Asheville Brewing Co.
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The 50 Biggest Breweries In America in 2014

Same top 10 (13, actually) as last year.
It’s April folks and fools, and you know what that means: baseball starting up, late-season snow storms, and college semi-pro basketball teams’ unbeaten seasons coming to a glorious end. It also means it’s time again for the Brewers Association’s meaningless 50 largest breweries in America list. Not a lot here that stands out, since the top 10 (13, if you’re counting, which you aren’t) is exactly the same as last year. But take a read …
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Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout, Kiuchi

Nigel gives Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout, Kiuchi 4 mugs.
Konnichiwa fellow Beer Dorks and welcome to Nigel’s first review during the 33rd Annual International Beer Month. This year’s IBM is brought to you by the guys who made that depressing Nationwide commercial that aired during the Super Bowl, so don’t expect any humor or tact.

“Nigel, why don’t you guys review more Asian breweries during International Beer Month?” asked no one ever, and that imaginary question led me to kick off a month …
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Celebrator, Ayinger

Rings gives Celebrator, Ayinger 4 mugs.
Celebrator is probably the granddaddy of all the German dopplebocks, at least in terms of U.S. awareness, and it’s one of the most awarded, winning early and often at the World Beer Championships, including Platinums in 2005 and 2007.

Celebrator is also certainly the most famous dopplebock on these shores and its bottle, with the little plastic billy goat hanging around the neck, is easily recognizable to any Beer Dork.

Ayinger Brauerei is also relatively well …
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Beating a Dead Clydesdale

We pile on with some more thoughts about an obscene amount of money spent on a dying brand.
As everyone knows, February is International Month here at, and this month I’d like to talk about the world’s most recognizable foreign-owned beer producer, AB-InBev and, more specifically, the stupid Budweiser ad they ran during last week’s Super Bowl.

I’m sure everyone is more than sick of rehashing it, so I’m not going to go into how scared and pathetic it makes the company look, or how they pissed all over some of their employees …
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1809, Dr. Fritz Briem

Eddie gives 1809, Dr. Fritz Briem 4 mugs.
Welcome to International Month at, where for 28 days (sometimes 29, just for the Hell of it) we focus on influential—or, at least, known—beers from outside these United States. And to kick off this year's edition, we'll start off with some Eurotrash History 101:

For a Frenchie, Napoleon was pretty badass. A self-made military genius, he pretty much ground all of Europe under his heel (except England, thanks to Lord Admiral Nelson, who's named after …
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Y’all Want Some Beer? Part II: Asheville

Nigel ventures South and experiences all phases of the craft beer revolution in America.
In retrospect, “swinging by” Asheville, NC on our way to Charleston, SC after three days in the Smoky Mountains was not the best of planning. Spending less than 24 hours in a city with 18 craft breweries, a thriving alternative culture, and one of America’s most famous attractions in the Biltmore Estates is much like a family with young children stopping by Disney World for an hour on their way to Miami. It’s a tease …
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Et tu, Founders?

Did one of the Midwest’s best craft breweries sell its soul?
So the first I heard about Founders selling a minority stake to Spanish brewery Mahou San Miguel was—shocker—on Twitter, when some wag tweeted for some guidance on what he should do with his bottle of KBS now. Of course this sarcastic post is poking preemptive fun at the inevitable knee-jerk reactions from beer dorks who think Founders sold out and their beer, once so sought after, is now only suitable to be poured down the …
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