Profmanfredi’s Top and Bottom Beers of 2016

Before I launch into my best and worst here are the qualifications: all the beers listed were tried for the very first time in 2016. It does not matter when the beer was released, only that I tried it for the very first time in calendar year 2016. Please note that the bottom ten are mostly styles that I tried and did not like and are not a slam on the brewery or the beer, just not my cup of tea for whatever reason (although…

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Bad News for Budweiser in Brazil

From CNN.com Brazilians aren’t drinking as much beer as they used to, which is giving the biggest beer brewer in the world — Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) — a major hangover. The Belgian-based company said beer sales dropped nearly 9% in Brazil in the last quarter, which slammed the company’s overall profitability. And remember, this is the same quarter that Brazil hosted the Olympics. The world’s biggest sporting event wasn’t enough to convince residents to drink and celebrate, as the country is mired in its longest…

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I Went Down to the Crossroads, and You Should Too – Indiana Beer

When I cross the state border on I-80, the sign calls Indiana the “Crossroads of America.” One website encouraging people and businesses to relocate here cites the number of pass-through highways as a chief selling point. If I didn’t know better, I’d say this is a state that’s proud of helping you get somewhere else as quickly and painlessly as possible. While growing up on the Illinois side of the state line, I remember one Indiana waterpark’s commercials assuring me that “there’s more than corn in…

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Groundswell Brewing Company, Grantville, San Diego – Brewery Review

Groundswell Brewing Company, Grantville, San Diego There’s something really attractive about this tasting room that is hard to put my finger on. Perhaps it is the dimensions and colors and horizontal salvaged-wood wall accent, but it is making me think of Scandinavian architecture and design. There are about 24 seats plus two cushioned L-shaped bench in corners. The bartender, Stefanie, was immediately welcoming and friendly, and clearly has good relations with her regulars (of which there are many: always a good sign). There’s no official flight price,…

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Founders Brewing Co. Backwoods Bastard Ale – 4-Pack Review

When I saw the recent winter weather advisory for the Chicago area, I knew I had to pick up a beer that would keep me entertained during the promised blizzard to come. So, while looking through the shelves of my local craft beer store, Founders’ Backwoods Bastard Ale caught my eye. I’m familiar with Founders Brewing Co., as many craft beer fans are, due to the insane nationwide following their All Day IPA and KBS have generated. Both beers are known for their flavor and for…

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Holiday beer review: Tröegs Mad Elf

Holiday beer review: Tröegs Mad Elf By Stephanie L. Smith Elves can easily be found on many shelves across the country this holiday season, but there’s one elf who only appears in the beer cellars of those living in the upper East Coast and Ohio: Tröegs Mad Elf. Founded in 1996 by brothers John and Chris Trogner and located in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Tröegs Brewing Company produces 16 beers, which are divided evenly between year-round and seasonal offerings, while limiting distribution to nearby states to maintain…

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Christmas Beer

It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas Beer

Christmas beer season is upon us. Unlike the conversation associated with the slew of pumpkin ales that arrive months before trick or treaters hit the streets, Christmas beers are largely well received. Partly, it might be because holiday beers are wildly diverse. In general, there is usually some level of earthy and warming spice involved, as well as robust malt. Some are hopped, some are aged, some are lagered, and some are all of those. Like gifts under a tree, there’s a little something for…

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Shut out of another bottle release

                After once again being shut out of another bottle release, I find myself in limbo about my feelings towards the community that I have begun to love.  Since giving into my passion of drinking great beer over 3 years ago, I have spent most of my free time learning understanding and analyzing the craft beer industry.  As a former sneaker head throughout my 20’s, I’ve noticed similarities between the two.  And it all stems from one word, “HYPE”.   Check out these tips to survive…

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Federal Jack’s Chowder

Chris Charland’s Chowder: Federal Jack’s chef shares his recipe for a sure respite from the winter weather A couple of years ago, in my infinite wisdom, I asked Kennebunkport Brewing Company if I could brew with them for a day in February. I had done this back in the 1990’s for an article I wrote about the experience. This time it was February, oh, did I mention that? And even lovely Kennebunkport in southern Maine was a frigid eight degrees. “Dress in layers” was head…

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Holiday Beer – Berkshire Brewing Company Cabin Fever Ale

Snow has begun falling throughout the Northeast, and along with the flaky precipitation the temperatures have started to drop too.   Just in time for the holiday season, the lighter summer ales have been swapped out in favor of malty robust  porters and stouts.  While it is still far too early in the season to start getting “stir crazy”, it is certainly not to early to look for some of the best seasonal beers.  While generally the word “seasonal” attached to beer makes me cringe,…

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