The links go small for this Friday. Not that there are fewer links, but all but one takes a more granular look at the craft beer world. A beer review of a small beer and a few locally targeted stories from NC and Illinois fill out today’s roster.
- But first, let’s go national. If you drink craft beer, you know hops are very important. The use (or overuse) of hops has led to a boom for hop farmers. The most interesting thing in this AP story is that 75% of US hops are grown in Washington state.
- My favorite beer reviewer to read, Will Gordon, goes small with a review of a sub-4% beer and actually likes it. He does bring up an interesting question, how do you properly price a session beer? It is made the same as a beer with more alcohol, but are people willing to pay the same for a beer that won’t hit them with the same alcohol effects?
- A local view of the new Illinois law that raises the production cap on small brewers in Illinois. While I support the raising of these limits in every state, I wonder if many small brewers can ever sell enough to make it worth their while to approach those limits. There are a lot of breweries opening up every day across the country. At what point will supply completely outstrip demand?
- The Oskar Blue facility in Brevard is getting an upgrade and expansion. Oskar is an interesting story to me in comparison to their new neighbors also moving into the area. Oskar’s Brevard facility sits quietly off in a little corner of Brevard while the new Sierra Nevada and New Belgium facilities are gaudy shrines to their breweries’ fans in the up and coming Asheville. Oskar has taken a more intimate approach and it is working.
- Staying in NC, one of the best sours you can find will be bottled soon. Cornelius’ D9 Brewing will do a limited release of its Viking Froach Scottish Sour later this month. If you like sours, it could be a good bottle to seek out when it hits the shelves.